I, Melynda, made a short trip to S.C. (sorry I could not visit with you all while I was there) to visit with my brother before he follows through with orders to be deployed once again to Iraq. I am praying that he won't have to go but I wanted to see him in case he does otherwise it will have been a 3 year time span between visits. That is just too long for me.
What I thought was going to be a trip to spend time with him turned into so much more. God has a way of taking our plans and turning the upside-down and bringing more out of them than we ever thought possible. Here is what I experienced on the short (13 day) trip to the States...
I arrived at the airport in Atlanta after a very long day of layovers to be greeted by my Mom and my sister, Angela, and my cute niece, Eliza. We loaded up my suitcase and headed out to meet my stepsister, Katie, and her son, Caden to eat dinner. The next day we left out from Atlanta and made the trip back to Greenville/Simsonville, SC. Of course we made a few shopping stops along the way. haha
I spent 2 hours helping my sister pack boxes as she was prepping to move to Texas two days later. We spent several hours the next day packing then met up with family for dinner. On Saturday we loaded her whole house into a moving truck. There were only 3 of us loading for a while then my brother's friend joined us for some heavy lifting. We retired early and rose early (4:30am) to get on the road so we could make it to Louisiana the first day. So my sister, my mom, Eliza, and I rode together in the car and my brother and his friend rode in the truck.
The trip out was long but good, for the most part, as I was able to spend some time in deep conversation with my brother and with my Mom and sister. It was our first journey out West that was not because of a custody battle. (I will save that story for another day). Even though it was not the way most people would choose to spend time with family I think that it was a very memorable and ground-breaking way for us. You have to understand our history together to fully appreciate the significance of it all so you will have to trust me when I say that it was a journey of the heart for each of us. Yes, as with most long road trips, tensions did get a little high at times but we worked through it...Thanks Mama! =) and we did arrive safely in Texas Monday evening. We unloaded the truck. Actually, we started unloading the truck when I had a sudden and pretty serious asthma attack that came out of no where. Luckily Brad, my brother, and Semore, his friend, are both Paramedics so I was in good hands. After a good scare and several shots of inhalation meds I was back to breathing regular. I was done for the night and was put on strict rest by both paramedics. Not so bad when I think about not having to unload the truck. lol Just kidding Sis! =D
We spent a day together before heading out again at 4:30am on Wednesday to get back to SC. What is it with the early morning stuff anyway!? After arriving back in SC and dropping off my brother and Semore so they could get some rest my Mom and I headed for her home. Yes, crazy as we are and as tired as we were we shopped on the way. At least my Christmas presents are all purchased and they all fit into a suitcase. We have learned that we don't "need" much but when your kids are too tall for their clothes it is time to get some that fit. *giggles*
I was able to spend some time with Greg's dad and step mom and Greg's mom over the next 4 days before heading back to the good 'ole DR and my loving husband and children. I also got to spend some quality time with my Aunt Meg. She shared with me that she had not been feeling well and so she made an appointment to go to see a gynecologist. The news she received was not good...not good at all. The gynecologist took three tissue samples and said that she is afraid that my aunt has uterine cancer though she could not say if it had progressed any farther.
Needless to say, my Aunt was down and in need of prayer and encouragement. Once again I saw that God's timing was perfect for me to be there to do just that...encourage her and pray for her. While I prayed for her that very day I also told her that I wanted to spend some time with God and ask Him how He would direct my prayers for her, for her future, etc. She understood.
A little background on my Aunt Meg ~ she has been the prayer warrior over my life for as long as I can remember and I am sure even further back than that. She and my Nanny (my Mom's mom) have served as my "safe place" and my refuge before I knew that God could and wants to be that for me. She has been so much more than an "aunt" she has been like a mom to me. I love her deeply and we have shared a lot of pain, sorrow and joy together. I was the one who was there when her 4 year old son drowned and went home to be with the Lord. That is just a snippet of the strength of our relationship. I just knew God was not finished with her yet!
I spent a long time alone praying for her but was awakened later in the night with a sudden desire to pray for several of my family members. I feel like I was fighting a spiritual battle for each of them and it ended when I felt God's peace come over me and then I went back to sleep for a short time. When I saw my Aunt on Sunday before leaving to came back to the D.R. I was ready to pray for her once again. I cannot tell you what all the Holy Spirit gave me to pray because I cannot remember it all but I could feel the power and presence of God there with us and when I finished praying we were all in tears and I believe with all of my heart that the cancer is gone! She will receive the results in a few days but I already know the diagnosis. I serve a very real, powerful, loving God. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Creator of you and me and He CAN do all things! I can't wait to give you the doctor's results and rejoice because my God is faithful and He is Jehovah Raffa (my Healer) He is the great "I am"!
All of this to say that what I thought would be a trip home to spend time with my brother was that and so much more for me. I had 28 hours to reflect on my life, to learn more about myself and my family, to be a blessing to them as well as being blessed by them, to see how strong my Mom's faith has grown, to hear the wisdom that God has imparted in my brother and the change that has taken place in him, and to see my sister start her journey of a new level of faith and trust in God, and last but not at all least to have little reminders of why I am so blessed to serve God, and why I need to have complete dependence upon, complete trust in, and total reliance on HIM who loves me most!!! I love you Daddy (God)! I love you Jesus! I love you Holy Spirit!
~Your daughter, Melynda
~Your daughter, Melynda