I’m the youngest of three girls. There is me, my sister Jessica who is 22 months older than me and then Christine who is 4 1/2 years older them me.
I have always counted my sister Jessica as one of my best friends. When we were kids we played together so much that we had our own language, which we referred to as Japanese, and which we understood. As young children people would take us as twins because Jessica was small for her age and I was quick to grow! In high school I would spend as much time and go where ever I could with my sister because I genuinely liked hanging out with her… whether this is the case for her I’m not sure I can tell you.
I looked up to both of my sisters immensley and although I worked hard to stake my individuality as a person I wanted to be just like them. In all honesty, whether my sisters know this to be true or not, I came to Christ because of them. Not because they preached Jesus to me but because He was good enough for them. When I got to the end of my rope… when I had nothing else to do and nowhere else to go… when I had given up I surrendered it all because they had. I figured that if it was good enough for them, if they thought it was real I had nothing to lose and therefore I would try.
Things with my eldest sister Christine were not the same as with Jessica. It wasn’t like we didn’t like each other but it was more that we didn’t understand each other. You see we were in completely different stages of life:
- When I was just coming into middle school my sister was graduating from high school… my 13 was her 17 and then she was off to college…
- 4 years later at the age of 21 she graduated from college when I was only 17 and a Junior in high school…
- The next year, at the age of 22 my sister got married… and I was only 18 and graduating from high school…
Every time I hoped that we would be close to being on the same level, everytime I thought that maybe we could come to some understanding of each other she moved further and further from my grasp. And when I went to college I was saddened by the idea that I didn’t really know my sister at all.
Don’t get me wrong… when I was home and we were together it wasn’t as though we were strangers but it also wasn’t like we would go out and hang out or anything. I didn’t know how to express my desire to be more than just a sister, more than someone who was thrown together due to the similar chromosomes we share. I stood in silence as time went by and we were more acquantance than friends.
And then… the Christmas that I turned 21 I decided that I would make a step to make a change. I had realized that often how we feel in relationships is only because we are not willing or we do not know to speak up about what it is we want. I had watched and heard from both sides of multiple relationships where people had wanted to be closer but didn’t know how… the thing that seperated them wasn’t an actual ability it was just the chasm of broken communication. And so I did the only thing I knew how to do… I talked.
I ask my sister if I could spend some time with her. It sounds dumb now but I was honestly scared to ask. I didn’t know what she would say, if she would realize why or even be interested. What would I do if she shut me down, dismissed my request and in a sense rejected me? I didn’t know but I wasn’t content to sit by and allow things to stay the same. And to my joy she accepted… I spent sometime with her at her house and there I told her how much I loved and admired her. I told her how my sisters are the world to me and then I told her that I desired to have more of a relationship, a friendship with her. That for years this had been my desire but I felt as though she was always at least one step ahead and we could never relate to each other.
That conversation was a year and a half ago. It’s crazy when I even think that the conversation happened because in the course of the past year and a half everything seems to have changed. I would tell you that, although Christine and I aren’t the friends that Jessica and I are, we are friends nonetheless. She no longer is some person moving so much further ahead of me… I still have not experienced love, marriage and motherhood but I am able to understand the heart behind what she says. Where when we were growing up she tried to mother Jesssica and myself, now she really is a mother and so the mothering seems to fit.
Just a few days ago I went on my first sister date with Christine. We went to a Martini Bar and Bistro in Spokane called Twings. It was a nice place with a breathtaking view from the outsiding seat we sat at. But that wasn’t the truly great part of it, it was great because it was something we had never done before together and I was able to treat her out. It wasn’t weird or awkward instead it was refreshing. To be able to talk about life, about church, about family and friends… to really talk about what matters the way I would with any other friend.
You know there is a first time for everything. Although it took 22 years I am so thankfully for this first sister date with my sister. I am thankful that there has been a change in our relationship from one of relation to one of relationship and communication and understanding. It seems that my time spent in Washington between California and New Hampshire was a time or refreshment, joy and a redemption of what things have become. God is so good and I love to be able to see His hand working through my life.
Have you experienced a first time for something lately? What was it?
Have you ever felt a disconnect in a relationship? What have you done to fix it?
Look at the relationships in your life. Decide your desires. Take a rist of rejection for the possibility of connection. Communicate!