i don't have any brothers or sisters. well, i guess that's not "technically true." i do have a couple of step sisters and a step brother that belonged to my dad before he and my mom were married. but they are 20+ years older than i am and were long out of the house by the time my parents got together. i barely know them - we aren't close and don't ever talk. sad, really.
that said; i always wanted a sister. you know - the kind that always wants to hang out with you, trade clothes and shoes and do hair and make-up together. really even the kind that your mom makes you let hang with you and your friends. but - that just never came for me. i was my parent's only child.
fast forward 25 years and meet my sister-in-law jennifer (and family) :). oh yes i did.
she is awesome and i adore her. she's everything that i want to be. she is smart, funny, kind and a woman of very strong faith. straight up someone who attracts people. she's the kind of person who lights up a room. you want to be where she is because she is just fun. she's older (translate - much cooler) than i am and instead of having the little sister who steals your clothes and friends - i became her.
j befriended me without hesitation even though i was awkward (imagine that... bwahahaha). i came into her life as her husband's brother's girlfriend. my in at that time is that i'm really good with kids. so good that i became attached to her kids (now my neice and nephews) before i attached to her. they were easy. lots of candy and lovin and i was in like flynn.
j and her husband, my super-brother-in-law, saved what little faith i had left in 2008. things just weren't going according to MY plan at that time in my life and i was angry at God. in fact - i didn't give a crap about much of anything. i had been watching my dad succumb to a very rare, deadly cancer. my stout, 250 lb dad had weathered down to a mere 85 lbs and it was horrifying. i just couldn't believe that God would allow him to go through this - or me to watch it happen. j invited me on a retreat weekend with a bunch of crazies that changed my life completely. (sidenote: i use the term "crazies" in a very loving way. these are the kind of people who walk around singing at 5 am wearing 25lb shirts full of buttons and pins). God wanted me there - and i went. i left he weekend feeling alive. my dad died two days after i returned and after the most meaningful talk we've ever had on my way home from this weekend, i was ready.
that was two years ago. today i would have to say that second to my husband my sweet sis(in-law, but who cares about that right?) is one of my besties. my brotha' from anotha' motha. :) or sister, but whatever. i feel as though i can tell her anything and she doesn't judge me. and that is awesome. there aren't many people in this world that i feel as comfortable with as her.
so today - i thank her. out loud, on the interwebz. and praise God for her and her family. i am so blessed by them there are no words to describe how much they've done in our lives. i give the glory and the gratitude to God for them.