A few months before my mother passed from earth I went to her bedside. I did not even know she was sick. I knew she was sickly but I had no idea she was about to die. Neither did she. She told me, if anything were to ever happen to me, take care of your sister. I had two older living brothers. She named my sister. This was in July. By October, she was gone. Just like that. In February of the next year, I moved my only sister and her young family from California to Georgia. I bought them a small house, filled it with furniture, filled the refrigerator with food and then I stood this deeply troubled soul in front of the fridge and told her unapologetically, "The next time it gets filled, you will fill it." I was tough and generous.
A few years later my sister would buy her own house and to this day, keeps it full of food and joyous laughter.
One of the things I was created to be is generous. I was also created to be very tough on people, including myself. People wonder where I get it from. I am evenly split, tough from my mother, generous from my daddy. Now back to God.
I am preceded in death by my mother at age 55, father age 73 and two brothers age 45 and 54 respectively. There remains my only sister and myself. My mother lived much of her adult life troubled, likely even depressed. As I lost the only close family I knew, I got to the place where I made a promise with my creator. I said, only you know how much I can take. I have always tried to be strong. You might know how much more I can take but I don't. So I need you to promise me something. "Keep me off those ropes of depression." And if you do and I can be strong, I will show the generosity you poured into me. I will shine like the angel you created.
But if you don't, I will fall. And then God you will spend a lot of my wasted time putting me back together again. I do not want to spend our time together putting me back together. Use me Lord, but don't let me hit those ropes. Keep me tough and keep me generous.
And he has, and together we are building something amazing together. That something amazing is my life. A life centered on giving and letting God take care of the ropes.