Sunday, November 23, 2008

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep

We all have our share of family members that are considered "black sheep". Oh come on you know who they are, they're that one family member that everyone whispers about at family functions, that one family member who doesn't shock anyone any more with their antics, etc. Maybe you were once a black sheep, or you currently are. That's okay, I'm not here to judge. I was once the "black sheep" in my family.

Wikipedia defines black sheep as this: Black sheep is an English language idiom which describes an odd or disreputable member of a group, especially within one's family. The term has typically been given negative implications, implying waywardness. It derived from the untypical and unwanted presence of black woolled individuals in herds of sheep, which was undesirable because wool from such sheep could not be dyed.
Funny, I never knew how that saying came about. I rarely blog about my family. To be honest with you, I'm not close with a good portion of them. You may read about my surrogate family, the Dewey's, but my actual family...I hardly ever talk about. I didn't have the normal upbringing (according to most people), but to me, it was very normal. Raised by my grandparents because my parents were unable to care for me. They gave me the best life and I am who I am today because of my grandmother. Once my grandma passed, my family structure changed and we all grew apart. Sure, I love them all, but so much happier they are mostly in Indiana and I'm not.
Not only have I been a black sheep, but I have plenty of those to share. Everyone in my family is a black sheep, we all have our issues, we all have our secrets. In reality, us black sheep just want to be loved and accepted no matter what is going on with us. Sometimes black sheep make it hard to love them, but you love them because they are family. But, I mean to really love unconditionally. It's difficult. In times of trouble, the family bonds together, no matter who is in trouble. In my case, right now, it's a black sheep, my nephew to be exact.
I am a private person and this really isn't something I should not put out for the world to see. I won't hang my nephew out to dry like that. Without giving full details, my nephew is hurting and is going through a lot of problems right now. We are not sure if it's drugs, mental health problems, both...or something worse. My niece and I think it may be something else on top of everything. Something pushed him over the edge. I cried yesterday when I was talking to my niece, my heart hurting, praying to God that what we think happened, didn't happen.
It's times like this, when he needs our love the most. I'm scared for him, scared for people around him, scared of the life he's gotten into, scared he could take that very life away.
I want to tell him I love him. Tell him everything will be okay. Tell him that he won't hurt anymore. Tell him this life he lives doesn't have to be so difficult. Tell him that no matter what, God still loves him. He's a believer, and I try to tell him how much God's love makes everything okay, but he doesn't listen. But, I can't, at least not right now. I don't have a way to get a hold of him. I am a "fixer" and part of me just wants to run to Vegas and pick him up. Take him in, putting his burden on my shoulders, help him get through whatever he is dealing with. But, I know it's not that easy. And right now, for my sanity, it's probably best that I don't.
Please keep him in your prayers, if you think about it. His name is Charlie.
I wish I could give more details, but I simply can't.


Sheri said...

Oh Bran - I'll be praying for Charlie. It's probably one of the greatest gifts you can give him right now. Having been the struggling, wayward black sheep myself (and I'm sure having family wondering if I was on drugs, mentally breaking down or who knows what) - the greatest gift my mom gave me? Praying for me every day. It extracted me from a life of drugs, of belonging to a cult, of being a prodigal, and of feeling worthless due to actions against me and choices I'd made. Prayer is a bondage breaker.

Prayer Pastor Paul has been sharing some time with us each week discussing spiritual warfare. Probably something that's part of this young man's battle right now, especially if he is a believer. I understand the fixer nature too-but hand it over to the Master Fixer and just keep praying.

The other thing I'm thinking about this morning as I read your thoughts-isn't it funny how the black sheep are always the ones that stand out and make a lasting impression? Did you ever think that maybe God uses (or can use) those unique creatures to an even greater degree because they don't tend to follow the norm? When I think of fellow black sheep I think of people that have had some hard (or unique) circumstances in their lives, or that just think differently and refuse to be "normal" (according to who?). When I think of the ones that soar for God, it's those black sheep that have trusted Christ to bring them above the circumstances and to allow Him to use them to speak into other's lives. Or it's those that use their crazy antics to draw attention, not to themselves, but to their unique creator. Just some ramblings going on in the brain as the coffee starts to kick in :)

Your black sheep sistah!

Mel said...

Hey Brandi-
Good to hear from you. I've always been the black sheep of my family.
Sure, you can link to my blog. Maybe then people will read it. :)