“Can you share about your family?”
Simple questions can have rippling effects. When my room group leaders asked me to share about my family, I faced a slight dilemma. Do I mention my sibling? How do I even begin to talk about my sister? I have no real idea where she is, what’s up with her, or anything. After I came to terms with that bit of information, I wrote the following.
Sometimes, I am overwhelmed with longing. Longing for a restored relationship. Filled with questions, what could I have done differently? Is it my fault? The guilt is nearly overwhelming, and I try to block it out. But tonight, I think through these feelings.
You see, it’s been 2 years since I’ve seen my younger sister. Death didn’t separate us, though at times it would be mentally easier if it was just death. There wouldn’t be the constant fear for her life, the constant unknown, the longing to find a solution.
Instead, she walked out of my life. And I was so impotent. I couldn’t lift a finger to save her. She didn’t even say goodbye. A phone call, and she was gone. Gone.
Over the last two years, there have been occasional messages. Facebook pictures. Third party hellos. But in the last two months, there has been nothing. Her Facebook page disappeared, not a word from a friend, nothing,
I wonder, is this a punishment? Am I never going to know my sister? I miss her desperately. From the goofy pictures we took, her stubborn refusal to listen, even her explosive temper.
Did I drive her away? I saw my parent’s relationship with her dissolve, I cajoled, threatened, pleaded with her to change her ways. I silently trembled while my parents held a screaming match with her, made phone calls for help, listened as the sheriffs department offered their apologies.
I mentally begged her to leave, I couldn’t stand the family fights. I wanted the stress to be gone, I buried myself in books, in my dog, in anything to distract from the mounting family crisis.
I wanted life to be normal. A normal, respectable family. Pretend smiles, laughing off friend’s concerns, rolling my eyes at my emotional sister. So much easier than dealing with our reality.
She wasn’t over emotional, she was real. While I tried burying my problems with lists of rules, she saw through hypocrisy. She confronted me, and I accused her of being rebellious. I told her to be like me, to stop fighting against my standards.
I should have been fighting for her. Instead, I was fighting for myself. I wanted peace, and was willing to discard our relationship. I wanted escape from turmoil, so didn’t fight for her to stay. I was selfish.
Maybe I’m selfish today. I’m filled with pain, I’m angry that I’ve lost a sister. I doubt we’ll ever be together again. I’m scared, and my prayers feel useless.
When I started writing my adoption story, it was easy to pull words together for my early childhood. The things happened long ago, the parties involved haven’t been in my life for years.
But once I finished the latest chapter, I was at an emotional and mental crossroads. How do I discuss my adopted families failures? I hate the idea of dishonoring them, admitting my own failure.
My sister is a testament to my stupid stubbornness. My inability to admit anything was ever wrong. To blame other people and sin, instead of evaluating my interpretation of walking with Jesus.
It’s a terrible consequence. Twisting Scripture, creating legalism, it all drove my sister away.
I wanted so badly to be perfect, I hated my sister for ruining that image. Now I despise myself for letting my sister suffer from my pride.
I want to hug her today, and beg forgiveness. To stop her from suffering, and restore our relationship.
Maybe one day God will trust me with a second chance.