Today I had the distinct honor of purchasing a graduation gift for my sister. I chose it with great care and I pray that she will treasure it for years to come. It’s difficult to know what will have great significance within the heart of one whom you really do not know well.
My sister was born when I was seventeen years old. In a different country and by a different father her birth served primarily as a painful reminder of my own abandonment by our mother. Not only abandoned but now replaced, I resented her existence with a passion and offered to an innocent one the anger and hurt that was the consequence of the actions of another.
I had a sister?
To say our contact was limited over the years would be a liberal assessment. Every now and then my mother would say “do you want to talk to your sister?”, and before answering I would be greeted by a little girl voice with which I was unfamiliar. She was smart, she was cute, she was gifted… on the rare occasions that I spoke to my mother, her conversation was focused on the beauty of her second daughter. My own hurt, un-forgiveness and bitterness prevented me from caring.
When my mother passed away, it was my sister who called to tell me. In immediate shock I responded to her little girl voice in the cold and distant fashion one would to a stranger in such a situation. I purposed in my heart at that time to “leave my past behind me” and move forward. I didn’t have any plans of ever having any contact with my mother’s “other daughter” ever again.
Several years later as I finally faced and grieved my mother’s death and worked through forgiving her, I came face to face as well with the truth that I still had a sister. A sister whom the enemy had been able to keep me from for the entirety of my life as a result of my own unresolved issues with my mother.
I have a sister.
Social networking being what it is, it wasn’t difficult for me to track her down. We connected and have spent the last year and a half on the journey together of becoming acquainted. I have come to know her to be a beautiful young woman. She is gifted as an artist and student. She loves black licorice and sweet tea. She is quick witted, tender hearted and not afraid of hard work. She has overcome great obstacles and yet has risen to the top looking forward to the next life step of college. She already has her plane ticket to come visit this summer when we will spend an entire week together. We are going to go to the beach because she has never been.
I am thankful that the Lord helped me to see that the anger, bitterness and resentment that ruled in my heart had allowed me to be stolen from. I am thankful still that my sister and I have the entirety of our lives to now experience in abundance the relationship the Lord intended for us to have from the beginning.
Is there a place that the enemy has been successful in stealing from your life? Is the refusal to let go of something preventing you from grabbing hold of the fullness of the abundant life the Father has for you?
Father, help me to recognize and lay at your feet anything that prevents me from experiencing the abundant life that you intend for me to have. Help me to never help the enemy steal from me again.