Friday, January 27, 2012

Guardian Angels

   This is a bit off-track from my recipe idea...not to mention it's been ages since I've last written. Forgive me, dears! those of you who read this, anyway ;) it's late...I've grown to be a night owl, and am currently trying to break myself of that habit with little I'll keep this brief.
   Guardian angels. Who believes in them? And what do you believe they are? Angels personally assigned by God to keep you from all physical harm, keep your life bright, and respond to your beck and call? Loved ones who have passed on and can't quite stand to leave you alone in this world? A passing fey or spirit who took an attraction to you and now desires to keep you safe? Theories range all over. I've looked into the matter, and tried finding references in my Bible. I'm one of those Christians who prefers some solid Biblical fallback, you know.
   There isn't a lot on the subject, but I found what could be described as personal angels mentioned once or twice. Now, I don't believe the first theory I mentioned is a very credible one. Everything happens for a reason, including the bad things. If something unfortunate happens, it isn't grounds for people to go pointing fingers at the Heavens and becry God's "lack of presence"...ironically, most people who do that are the ones who ignored His existence. ANYWAY. Moving on. I have a small bit of personal experience with "guardian angels", and I felt the desire to share it with you.
   My family is one of four members...well, seven if you count our cats. My parents, myself, and my younger brother. I have the joy of being the oldest child. To be honest, it's become a bit of a pain as I hit my senior year. I'm the guinea pig, the one Mom and Dad will use for reference when my brother gets old enough to apply for colleges, scholarships, and the like. Needless to say, there've been some mix-ups, frustrated arguments, and many more pleasantries in this process of my growing up. No, I never considered it any fun being the oldest. As the oldest, I want to look out for my brother...but because I'm a girl, his pride would never allow such a thing. I often wish our roles were reversed, because while I play it off tough, I often find myself wishing I had the opportunity and excuse to show some weakness. I've always wanted an older brother, someone to come charging in when I'm down and demand the name and address of the one responsible. Even as a child, I felt I should have one, that my rank as the oldest was mistakenly assigned.
    I actually learned rather early on in life that my intuition was correct; I wasn't originally supposed to be the eldest. I wasn't born as the oldest child...I was simply the only one to survive and meet that quota.
    It was during the summer of my first grade year that my grandmother, who often watched over my brother and myself, told me that I had once had an older brother. He had died of complications that occurred during his development inside my mom, only three days after his birth.
    I actually cried when I heard that; I was an odd kid. After that, however, my older brother that I could never have possibly known became my childhood confidante. When life got tough...which it did quite often at that point in time...I would escape to my little corner of the yard outside and talk to him. I'd pray, too...ask God to say "Hello" to my big brother for me. It never struck me as odd that he died as a baby, and that I was an eight-year-old. In my mind, he was two years older than me, strong, and clever. I guess you could say he became my imaginary friend. Cute, right? Eh.
   Well, years passed, and while I outgrew the imaginary friend deal, I still secretly yearned for an older brother. My dad was always at work, my younger brother was quiet and reclusive, and I was mostly friends with girls. Strong male figures I could rely and lean upon simply didn't exist; even my grandfathers had both died when I was two. I'm a girl of vivid imagination; I had some fun making up what my brother would look and act like in my head, and how life would be different if he was around.
   As I got older, I started pal'ing up with the guys around me. I was a bit of a tomboy, and enjoyed acting tough with them. It made life much less complicated. Subconsciously, and later a bit more determinedly, I reached out in search of one person I could adopt as a big brother. I never really found that person. Some would come and go, and things would be especially painful when they left, so I stopped looking. I stand on my own to this day.
   Still, over the summer, something miraculous happened. My mom, my brother, and I all went with another youth group to a mission trip/week long camp called MFuge. It was full of community service, bonding with kids from other states, and fantastic worship experience. Often, these sequences of worship would find more than half of the many hundreds of attendees on their knees, crying, praying, and giving glory to God.
   After one such experience, Mom pulled me aside and said with shining eyes, "God just told me that your big brother has been interceding for you two. You've got eyes up there in Heaven."
   When I heard that, it felt as though a small hole inside me was filled with the warmest sense of peace and happiness I could imagine. Since then, whether I've decided to officially believe in them or not, I consider my brother a guardian angel. I'm not saying he's a genie, or some magical body guard who will keep me from getting a concussion, disease, or worse...I just know that he's in a better place, and even though that place is better, he cares enough to look down and watch my back, and my brother's back. This is one of those things I can think back upon...and smile.
   Pretty random post, I know. But it was on my mind. Basically, don't dwell on those who have passed. Look to the future, and don't doubt for a second they've stopped loving you just because you can't see them anymore. God bless, everyone.