My friend Destiny, whom I've recently come to know, shared her story at GriefShare the other night. It wasn't the first time I'd heard her story. But that didn't keep the tears from coming. Destiny lost her brother Derek seven years ago. Coming from a rough upbringing, she describes him as her life witness. I love this label. Though I thankfully had a wonderful upbringing, I relate to this term. The phrase I've so often used is "my other half." I realize this usually describes a spouse, but growing up I think it describes siblings close in age. Austen was there for most everything important in my life, and I, in his. Sometimes when I'm frustrated or laughing at the situation I find myself in, I just want to call him because I know he's the only one that would truly get it. Though I have lots of younger siblings, the age gap is so great that sometimes it seems like we were raised in two totally different families, and to an extent, we have.
The beautiful thing about Destiny's story is that after years of stuffing her grief and making terrible decisions as a result, she confronted her grief face to face in GriefShare. And she came to realize that though Derek may have been her "life witness," she's come to realize that it was never just she and Derek. God was there too. Destiny's story is beautiful. And the only reason for this is because she allowed God to work in her life and breathe hope into what seemed like a hopeless situation.
Destiny followed her testimony with this beautiful song by Matt Redman, called Never Once. They played this song at church on Sunday, and it brought tears to my eyes.