Yesterday was my older brothers birthday. For me it is a day worth celebrating. My mind goes down memory lane. Our mom had these nick names for us. I was Linus and he was Schreuder (from the Charlie Brown) because I always had a blankey and he always was playing the piano. He was Bert the logical one and I was Ernie the prankster. He was Snoopy taking the lead and I was Woodstock following behind. I remember doing everything with my bro. When we grew older we played every sport possible together. He would have this annoying way of letting me get really close to beating him in basketball and then turn it on and win at the end. Usually I responded by kicking the basketball at him. While he was in high school I would sit and listen about his day and marvel at how cool and funny he was. Later he went to college and I sort of tried to figure out what to do because for my entire life I found myself and identity wrapped up in the shadow of my brother and now he was gone. It was a three year journey that really was a shadow time of darkness and depression.
Fortunately he wasn’t done taking the lead. He invited me to a camp after my freshmen year of College and through the Spirit of the Lord my eyes were opened to so much more then I had ever known. My life would never be the same because of who Christ now was to me. It would take some time for all of that to sink in but my bro was persistent in helping me navigate it all. At his wedding he gave me the book, “What’s so Amazing about Grace” and I was rocked.
After college he continued to pour into me and even got me my first job in ministry. He set me up on a path that allowed me to do so much more then I could have dreamed. He gave me permission to fail, to explore, to dare, and to be me. Even today he is giving me council on how to do weddings and funerals.
As life continues to move forward it is crazy to think about all that has been. I am so blessed to have my big brother and look forward to all that will be.