A few weeks ago, my brother and I had a come-to-Jesus moment. I called him after an intense argument with my parents and left a voicemail on his phone requesting – pleading, really – that we fix whatever was keeping us from having the relationship we always told each other we’d have as adults.
A relationship like the one I have with our sister; one that’s easy and uplifting and awkward only when intentional.
I didn’t want to make that call to his voicemail, but something inside me beckoned; I needed my big brother.
In my 32 years, our relationship has been less than perfect.
He wasn’t always kind or supportive – to put it mildly – and I’ve always felt somewhat shortchanged in the brother department. The best parts of his personality and attention were always reserved for others, while somehow, I was always – it seemed – on the receiving end of his judgment. I was never good enough for him, at least that’s how I always felt. But I yearned for a true relationship with him: The one where he was Batman and I was the almost-as-equally-cool sidekick.
Instead, with me and him, there was always this inexplicable emotional distance. I loved him, thought the world of him and always bragged on him as an accomplished, successful man and a doting father and husband. But as a brother, not so much. At least, not until recently.
Later that day, on my drive home, he called me back. He listened to my voicemail and said he was excited to hear me say I wanted to fix things between us. And so we talked – for two hours. And he apologized – with his whole heart – for any wrongs he brought on my life or to my life and asked if I would forgive him. And he didn’t do this quickly.
He listened to me express how and why I was hurt by him in the past, and why it has been so difficult for me to open up around him. I could hear in his voice, his heart was pure. He heard me. He cared that he hurt me and understood that he needed to change. He confessed God has been working on him, his pride and showing him how the ugly parts of his personality have stymied relationships.
And one of those relationships was ours.
So just like that, in a moment of one of the most sincere experiences of asking for forgiveness (a moment that I believe made Jesus smile and Satan shake his head with anger), we agreed we’d move forward and start fresh. Since the exchange of apologies that day in the car, I feel like I’ve been introduced to an entirely new person.
I have a brother who calls almost every day, and wants to know about my life.
He’s been there to talk about troubled times, or offer advice about exciting, upcoming events, like purchasing my first home.
In a word, he’s become my hero.
He’s become the brother I’ve always wanted and needed in my life. The protector every little sister desires of their big brother. And that’s way cooler than Batman.
Jennifer Preyss is the faith editor for the Victoria Advocate.
You can reach her at 361-580-6535, jenniferpreyss.com, or on Twitter @jenniferpreyss