Monday, August 13, 2012

From My Heart

It's not often I write just to write or share something strictly from my heart...because life with a toddler doesn't allow time for that kind of creativity or sometimes sentiment.

Usually, it is upload, type...publish...as.fast.as.possible.

However.

Sunday, I went to church as usual (Eli is finally in the toddler class and the usual meltdowns we had in the car from sheer panic of NURSERY....are over. He loves it and therefore I love it...even more)...
 There was a guest speaker named Victor Marx

Before he spoke, he showed a short film trailer that immediately grabbed my attention. Then he got on stage and said, "sort of a depressing intro, sorry about that"...(in an inviting Louisiana drawl)
The whole church was in an uproar of laughter his entire testimony, despite the darkness behind some of it.

If you haven't heard of him before he had a terrible childhood. One filled with abuse and molestation, 14 different schools, 17 houses and several step dads...and pretty much every male figure around him hurt him. At five years old he was molested and then left for dead in a commercial cooler.
 As an adult he was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and mental illness, and that he would never be normal.  His story from the beginning is not one that you would think would mark promise...
but it does.

A Martial Arts Master and Seventh Degree Black Belt, he now spends his time traveling the U.S ministering to incarcerated youth. He gives those that seem hopeless and given up on by society for their horrific crimes, hope and love, and understanding that despite their circumstances they are not beyond God's love. 

He illustrates with his martial arts and powerful speaking to reach youth that are unreachable...

Inspiring? VERY.

And it hit me...hard.

My younger brother is 25 this year...and has spent almost every year incarcerated since he was 17. Before that he spent time in a mental institution for jumping off a 35ft balcony head first while under the influence of alcohol. He was considered the trouble maker in school, his desk always pulled up tight toward the front of the class. 

No one ever knew that he held "genius" in IQ exams because his focus was anywhere but on school work. We fought considerable growing up because he had a rage that came out...something that no one took the time to recognize as potentially bad later. He had it harder than the other kids too. He endured a lot of hatred from my step brothers and father. It was a situation that now we all wish we could go back. Maybe we were all at fault for the decisions he made as an adult? 

But life is about choices...and the devil...in his demonic way always trying to prey on those less able to fend him off. Charles, was a good target. He just couldn't say no...to anything. As careless as I make him sound, his heart is as big as yours or mine. If you called him up to move something...he would show up before the sun was up; if you asked him for a back rub, he would give an hour long one; if you needed someone to lift your spirits, he would write a rap song for you...just for you. 

But not as many as I would like have seen that side to him. He's made poor choices and been sucked into a life that held great consequences...and many have walked away from helping or hoping on him anymore.

And something in Victor's testimony made my heart ache...but with hope.
Hope that if my brother finds God he can someday have that same peace that Victor now has even despite a hard life...and that the choices he has made can be put in the past. 

I bought Victor's book and DVD as well because I was inspired and amazed at how God can take such an empty soul and fill them up with his love. God is always knocking on the door of our hearts, waiting for us to invite him inside...
It is up to us to let him come in...

My brother gets out this October. It is a new start for him. But one that needs guidance and prayer. I ask that if you can, to please say a protective prayer over him, and that God gets a hold of his heart and transforms him. Thank you so much....

10 comments:

  1. Oh LeiShell,
    What a heartbreaking story. I will pray for your brother and hope that he finds peace and a new direction.

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  2. Praying that your brother will find the peace that only God can give. He is lucky to have you to encourage him!!

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  3. I will for sure pray for your brother. I know many a once imprisoned criminal now turned world changer because of the power of Christ. I really feel that is why the bible tells us to visit those in prison because they have a lot of time to sit and think. I do pray that even now the Holy Spirit would begin to heal and help your brother to be the young man that God created him to be.

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    1. Thank you! He seems like he wants change more this time around...so that is why I am praying even harder this time!

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  4. i will pray for him as well and share his story with my aunt who always helps me pray for people. i wish him the best of luck as he gets out and starts fresh. he is very lucky to have you as his sister ! :]

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    1. I really appreciate that! Thank you~

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  5. What an incredible story Victor has. Thank you for sharing it with me. I had never heard of him. I hope and pray that things go well for your brother as well.

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  6. I love to be touched by something or someone and it sounds like this speaker did that very thing for you! I'm sorry to hear about your brother and that he had it so hard. I'll definitely keep him in my prayers that he is able to turn his life around! I believe anyone can do anything as long as they want to; so hopefully he wants to :o)

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