Monday, July 26, 2010

Lasts and Firsts (with my sister)

Part Three of the LASTS series.
For Part One, click here.
For Part Two, click here.

I sat down for my thirteen-(almost fourteen)-year-old sister’s performance of the musical “Honk!” in which she was playing the lead role of the mother duck Ida. I casually perused through the program and started reading the bio’s of all the cast members. Then I got to my sister’s bio and I almost stopped breathing. Then I started crying.

9th grader? She’s described as a 9th grader?

You see for me, talking about an idea sometimes holds less impact than seeing the raw facts written on paper. And here it was, in print, the truth that my little sister is now a 9th grader. A high-schooler. She may not yet have experienced her first day of high school but she graduated from the 8th grade a month ago. She knows what choirs she will be singing in next year. And she has her class schedule all figured out. Yes, she is a 9th grader.

Usually, at least for me, a first is easier than a last. You know, the last of something usually holds such finality with no going back and it makes you want to hold on and remember every memory you possibly can. On the other hand, a first is full of such promise with a blank slate for the memories to decorate one-by-one. There is (usually) less to grieve with a “first” because it the start -not the ending- of something.

But this time is different. This time the last is much easier than the first.

The last, Chrissy’s eight grade graduation, wasn’t that hard for me. Yes, I was sentimental. I was beaming with pride to see how gorgeous she looked. I was proud to hear her sing the national anthem to start the ceremony. It all felt right. She seemed so ready. She had fit a lot into her 3-year junior high experience and it just seemed like she was ready for the next chapter.

But this first! This first day of high school, this first day of freshman year, this first of such a new season for her - this first is what is catching my throat even still.

In this big first of my sister’s life, I am experiencing again how pain is such big part of love.

The pain of letting go, the pain of selfishly desiring her to stay young so I can always have her as my “little” sister, the pain of being proud and having my heart hurt and my eyes fill with tears because she is developing with so much talent and inner and outer beauty.

It just hurts.

It *almost* makes me afraid of someday being a mom because if this is how I feel about my younger sister, I don’t know WHAT I am going to do when I go through these experiences with my own children!

As I let go and embrace this new season in my sister’s life, I am excited to see what these next four years will bring for her. I am so grateful that she loves Jesus and that she proudly expresses a desire to continually grow in her relationship with Him.

I can’t wait to see what beautiful things she will do and what beautiful things will be created inside her.

Thank you, Lord, for this new season. Thank you for all the joy it has brought me to be a part of my sister’s life from the day she was born. Thank you for who you have crafted her to be and please give me peace and joy knowing that it is You that is molding her, walking with her, and protecting her. Thank you for my sister.

What about YOU? Is there anything you are having a hard time letting go of?


  1. OH DEAR HIEDI, YES....Chills of memorys rush down my spine as I felt those same emotions on your wedding day curling your hair and praying for your future, as I did my best to make each strand perfect for your special day!! My precious young Heidi is a woman after Gods own heart, I thought. How in the world does this happen so Fast.
    I am terrified of being an "Empty Nester" with no more daughters in my home to fix eggys on toast , share a devotion and kiss there forhead and doing my best to guide them with lifes ups and downs. Im going to have to stay close to the Lord to direct my path as tears flow with Joy, yet lonly times for me, I get so concerned yet at peace.
    God has a plan , He says thankful we have Him to hang on to !!! Love ya ...

  2. Anonymous: You are so sweet Michelle :-)
    I remember that day well!

    I can imagine with your passionate Mom heart that it is so difficult as all your daughters are almost all out of the house. We daughters ALWAYS need our moms, however, even if we don't live with them! As you already know, the relationship will sure be different, but I am so grateful to be able to now be in this adult daughter/mother relationship with my mom.
    But it sure is hard to let go....I admire all you mothers who keep having to go through this process over and over with their kids!