Approximately one year ago, on June 19, 2019, my family began a season that we had never known, seen, or felt before: my sister was diagnosed with liver and pancreatic cancer. Kerry, as we called her since we were kids, is my only sister – she is two years older than I am. We come from a family of six (6) – I have two half-brothers and my sister and I share the same parents. In this blog series, I will share with you our journey through this ordeal, how God continues to help our faith grow in Him, and how as a family we are learning to trust Him each day. I hope that as you journey with me – whatever season you find yourself in, whether you can relate to a long-term family illness or you lost a loved one suddenly – I pray that our journey through this season will help to bring you peace. If you cannot relate, I pray that you will gain insight and be blessed as you share our journey. “And this we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8: 28). This is who we are:
My sister and I grew up pretty close; she was always looking out for me… literally! I remember some of the instances pretty clearly – one time when I was in high school and she was attending a neighboring college, there was a 5.4 magnitude earthquake that shook Jamaica in January 1993. I remember it like yesterday; my sister rushed over to the school grounds to find me within minutes after the tremor to make sure that I was safe. I was on the third floor of a building and God protected me from harm. I can also vividly remember my sister being my heart door keeper when I was probably about 16 years old and light-headedly dated a young man from my community. My inexperience and lack of self confidence closed my eyes to a lot of things then… one day, I went to visit him… he was living by himself at the time. Within 10 minutes of arriving at his place, my sister was at the door, armed with her big-sister shield and wielding her protective sword to take me home… I pouted and left but in hind sight I knew that she was genuinely looking out for my interest. She always has and always will. Our relationship was always a ‘looking-out for each other’ type.
Fast forward to our adult years, Kerry’s protection remained instrumental and with God’s guidance, she helped to keep me balanced through some very insecure years. After leaving high school, our parents had separated and my path became unclear with many different crossroads. My sister took the lead – she became a first gen university graduate and her example led the way for me to follow. She got married and after several years, moved to the U.S. in the 2000’s with her family, unknowingly that years later, God would have allowed me to follow on her heels. I arrived in the U.S. in 2016, and this arrival was no coincidence; God ordains and orders my steps – I was brought here for such a time as this!
I strongly believe that our steps are ordered by a loving God who is often misunderstood. I will not try to defend Him because He needs no defense; however, I will share my story and tell how God’s Holy Spirit continues to help me along every step of the way through this journey. In ‘Our Journey. Episode 2‘, I will share how God continues to reveal Himself through our dark nights and how we are learning to trust Him each day. Until then, walk good.
God bless you!