So…My Brother Got Married…

This post is a little late… I was going to post about my brother getting married like… maybe a day or two after the wedding… the wedding was January 31st so….

I’ve been trying to figure out just what I wanted to say and I’ve been having a bit of trouble. It’s weird but it’s not. It’s different but it’s comfortable. And then there are all these other things… well… See I already spent a considerable amount of time writing about how I feel about my brother and his bride, etc. because I had the privilege of giving a toast at the wedding. Let me tell you, getting up in front of all those people and crying like a baby while trying to read what I’d written was not easy. People later told me that it was good that I cried. I cried because I meant it. I cried because I felt it. I cried because I love my brother.

Anyway, I pretty much said everything I wanted to say in my toast, so that’s what the rest of this post is going to be. My toast.

It’s really difficult for me to say with words just what my brother means to me. God has blessed me tremendously by giving Daniel to me as a brother. He has been with me through the most difficult times of my life as well as some of the most fun times. While we certainly don’t get along 100% of the time, we have a uniquely close relationship that I treasure immensely. From the little things like our dumb, repetitive jokes or silly noises and dances, to the more meaningful things like telling me the truth when I need to hear it, even when he knows I might not receive it well, or hugging me when I’m crying even if he doesn’t know why, I will always treasure our bond and the kind of friend that he is to me.

Watching the Lord pull Daniel up from darkness and into the light of salvation has been one of the most awe-inspiring experiences of my life. I remember praying for him for so long and feeling so hopeless, but the Lord saved him when I least expected it, and I had the privilege of watching it unfold first-hand. Then, to watch him grow and mature so quickly afterward was such a great testimony of God’s power and faithfulness. When I really think about it and look back to who he once was and who God has changed him into, I am often brought to tears. It is truly amazing and I am so thankful for God’s work in his life.

I am also thankful for how Daniel has taught me and cared for me over the years. Even in my more difficult and unyielding times, he has stuck with me continued to speak truth to me. Because of this, I am confident that Daniel will make a good husband – he is faithful and he never gives up, no matter how difficult things get.

My friendship with Bekah has been an interesting one. It took quite a bit of time for us to get close and I believe we are still working on that. I think she will agree that the Lord has placed us in each other’s lives to teach us a lot about understanding others and about loving those who are very different from ourselves. I mean honestly, what better way to learn about those things than to be placed in such close proximity to our polar opposites? I have learned a lot from Bekah and greatly appreciate the times when she has shared hard truths with me as well as the times when we can just hang out and enjoy each other’s company. I know that we still have a lot to learn about each other and I look forward to times of bonding in the future.

My brother is a very unique person and I never imagined he would find someone who has so much in common with him – but here she is. God orchestrated this so well, as He always does. Daniel and Bekah are certainly well-matched.

Daniel, If mom were here today, she would be so happy to see the man that you are becoming and she would be crying her eyes out and talking about how her baby has grown up so fast. I know that she would be so happy for you and she would be eager to welcome Bekah into our family as her daughter.

May the Lord give the two of you strength and continue to equip you with faithfulness and diligence and every other tool that you will need in order to create a marriage that glorifies Him and paints an accurate picture of Christ and His church.

I love you both.

Let’s raise our glasses to Daniel and Bekah!

 

Beautiful Wedding <3

Beautiful Wedding ❤

My brother and Me

My brother and Me

My New Sister-in-law and Me

My New Sister-in-law and Me

After my Toast... couldn't keep it together :P

After my Toast… couldn’t keep it together 😛

Brother

So I don’t even really have time to post a blog right now, but I really want to, so I will try to be quick. 

First I will give you some context as I know that some people reading my blogs don’t know much about my family or what has been going on with me this year. 
My brother Daniel is in the marines and is currently stationed in Japan. We are really close so it is hard for me to have to go so long without seeing him. As you probably know if you have read my past blogs, talked to me lately, or seen my myspace page, our mother passed away this year in May. It was the most bittersweet thing for my brother to come home while my mother was dying in the hospital. It was the worse possible reason for him to be visiting, but I had missed him so much that it was so nice to see him again (what an understatement that is). I think that I have a special relationship with my brother because we have gone through so much hardship over the years. I think that losing our mother, whom we both loved more than words can express, also aided us in growing closer to each other. It was extremely devastating to leave him at the airport when he had to go back to Japan. I wish I could talk to him face to face every day.

So there you go…thats your context. Now on to what I was planning on writing about. So lately we haven’t been able to communicate with Daniel as much because he moved rooms and no longer has a phone that he could use. He also has limited internet use. We can’t call him and he doesn’t have much opportunity to call us. (At least lately he has been able to email us a bit). A few weeks ago he sent us an email and it literally brought me to tears. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I miss him. 
In a few weeks he will be going on a big ship and going from port to port. So we will not be able to be in contact with him at all. I’m not sure how long he will be doing that, but I know it will be much longer than I want it to be. I’m thinking it will be a few months, but possibly a year. I don’t remember exactly what he told me about that, but even so, the military changes plans very often.
The other night, well it was about 4 in the morning(sunday morning), my phone rang. Of course, I was sleeping so it woke me up, but I didn’t recognize the number so I didn’t want to answer it. So naturally I just pressed the button on the side to quiet the phone and went back to sleep. When I woke up and listened to my voice mail, I was very upset with myself.  It was my brother. He had finally gotten a chance to call me, and I didn’t answer the phone! In the voicemail, though, he said he would try to call the next day if he could find a way. So I prayed all day that he would be able to call. 
I was half expecting him to call in the middle of the night last night, but he didn’t. So I was pretty sad about it thinking “if only I had just picked up the phone!!”
To my surprise, I got a phone call today, at noon. I did not recognize the number…it was Daniel! I was so happy to hear his voice! We talked about what we had been up to and whatnot. We had a good conversation. I didn’t want to stop talking to him, but he had to go after about a half hour. So we exchanged I-Love-you’s as we both knew very well that anything could happen and this could be the last conversation we have. This realization does not come only because he is a marine and his job can be dangerous. It is because the unthinkable happened last May. We had no way of knowing that our mother would be gone so soon. I think every time me and my brother say goodbye now, we make sure we are leaving on good terms. And we always make sure the other one knows we love them. Oh, I hope that wasn’t our last conversation. I hope I get to see him and hug him again. But only time will tell. All I can do is pray and wait. And trust that God won’t put anything on my plate that I can’t handle swallowing.

So of course you know I am going to tell you this: you never know when someone you love so dearly is going to pass away. Please make sure you don’t leave anything left unsaid. I was fortunate enough to feel that my mother knew everything that I could have possibly wanted to say to her. We left on very good terms. I can’t imagine what it would be like if we hadn’t.