Monday, July 2, 2012

The fruits of the Spirit

Tonight, I stood in my sister-in-law's kitchen, making spaghetti sauce and just hanging out with her. Although we have seven kids between us, it was relatively quiet and we just chatted and pottered around together.

As we worked, I silently thanked God for her: for her faithfulness and her steadfastness over the fifteen years she's been married to my brother.

An observer might assume that Rach and I have always gotten along so well. But the truth is, we have a history, Rachael and me.

When Rachael and Matt started dating, I was quite possibly the snottiest little sister ever. I would openly roll my eyes at Rachael, would scoff at anything she said - I was just generally a brat. I planned to go to their wedding in full goth gear; thankfully, my vanity overrode that!

Looking back on the past fifteen years, I can see how Rach persisted with me. When I decided to turn back to Christ at age 18, Rachael and Matt were the first to celebrate with me (alongside the angels, I'm sure!) When I backslid, they opened their home to me. When I backslid really, really badly, they still loved me.

Rachael was the one who came with me to the doctor's office that day nearly a decade ago, to have my first pregnancy confirmed. I was 22, unmarried, and scared as heck. She held my hand and loved me through it. She came to the first ultrasound too, and squeezed my hand at just the right time. She bought my unborn baby a Bonds wonder suit and a teddy bear, and this simple action showed me that although I was a sinner, I was loved, and I was forgiven, and my baby was loved too.

I am sometimes in awe of her graciousness and her forgiving spirit.

Not that she's perfect; I know that. But to be around Rachael is to get a little glimpse into the nature of Christ. 

I love you Matt and Rachael, and I thank God for your faithful witness.

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