I had a tough time growing up. I was bullied in school so I came home and took out all of my frustration on my family, including my 5 year old sister. I had a violent and destructive temper so I was always blowing up on her. I was verbally and physically abusive. I even exposed her to cigarettes, alcohol, and tons of other things no one her age should even be exposed to. This wasn’t an excuse but I was so suicidal and deep in my own self-hatred that I didn’t care about anything or anyone else.
One day, in an attempt to take my own life, I lit my room on fire. As I was sitting on the floor watching my bed and carpet go up in flames, I thought “this was it.” I was finally going to succeed at taking my life and end it once and for all. I was in a complete trance.
Soon enough, my mom and dad came running into my room. Still in a trance, I was completely unaffected by my parents panicking and going crazy trying to put the fire out. But what woke me was my little sister who was standing by the door, hysterically crying. She was only a baby and she was scared. It snapped me out of my trance and brought me back to a conscious state.
As we grew older, we constantly fought. The anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness just kept piling up day-by-day. I felt as if my sister and mom hated me so much that it made me even more angry and bitter towards them. It was a vicious cycle. But as much as my sister had every right to hate me, she started praying for me when she was only 8 years old.
Nothing changed as we got even older. Our relationship got worse as I hit my mid-twenties and my sister was approaching her twenties. I had lost all hope; nothing was going to fix our broken relationship.
In January of 2015, my sister and I decided to attend a Worship As 1 conference with our church. My sister and I got into a huge fight the night before and there was no way I was going on a retreat with her for 3 days. Ugh. We both texted our pastor saying we weren’t going to make it.
Through our friends Howard and his wife Sara’s prayers that night, we were supernaturally able to put the fight “on hold” and attend the conference. I say “supernaturally” because if this was any other time, we would have NEVER agreed to go anywhere together after a huge fight like that.
During the conference, we broke up into small groups and my sister and I ended up in the same group. We were still bitter and not talking to each other. But as we were led by the Spirit, we were able to open up and forgive each other for the fight. But it didn’t stop there.
My sister and I were able to truly forgive each other for all of our past hurts. Just like that. 19 years of built up resentment. Forgiven. I literally felt my heart that became hardened over the years become flesh again. It was the first time in our lives that we actually talked about our past traumas and asked each other for forgiveness. It was the first time we hugged and cried after almost 2 decades of holding onto bitterness and unforgiveness.
It honestly still breaks my heart until this day to even think about how mean I was to my sister. I feel so guilty when I think about how I ruined her chance of ever having a normal innocent childhood. I regret not being a loving older sister who she could look up to.
But as I write this, I am reminded of God’s unfailing love and promises. Broken families are mended and relationships are restored. Jesus makes all things new.
Do you need restoration in your relationships today?
I am so grateful of how something so broken became so beautiful. Our relationship is now the best it’s ever been. It was through our illnesses that we were able to finally come together as a family. (If you haven’t read my previous posts, I explained how we all became sick after living in a moldy home.)
Sydney Kang, I’m so proud of the person you have become even with your crazy and messed up past. I’m sorry for all the trauma and heartaches I caused you. I’m so grateful that God made you a strong person to endure the abuse I put you through and that He is the one healing you. Thank you for loving me when I wasn’t capable of loving anyone but myself.
I thank the Lord that He used you to wake me up from taking my own life that day. And I’m so grateful that you prayed for the light to shine through the darkness. Because of your prayers, I am now able to experience true joy that comes only from knowing Jesus. Now it’s my turn to pray for you as an older sister. I’m praying for God’s healing and blessings over your life. Love you.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
Taken from my wellness blog - Originally published 4/12/2017