My Sister & My Friend

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I hated her for about twenty years. Hard to imagine, isn’t it? That sweet cherub of a baby despised by her big sister. I can’t really explain it.

We fought like cats and dogs for a long time. I always wanted to have the upper hand. And I was not going to give in. I felt so  threatened.

Thanks to God working in my heart, the hatred disappeared near my 20th birthday. It probably took another ten years for us to really learn how to get along. Well, me, anyway. As I look back, I’ve been the harsh, obtrusive, bossy one. I think she would have gotten along fine if I had been reasonable.

When I was about thirty and she was twenty-seven, I realized what a blessing God had given me in my sister.

Where I’m weak, she’s strong. She’s funny and creative and artistic, and I’m not so much. She has great fashion sense, and I, obviously, don’t. She’s got street savvy, and I am gullible. She’s got dogs; I’ve got kids.

She loves me and my family something fierce. Probably with the same fierceness we used to fight with. As I tell my kids, “Auntie Jamie would walk over hot coals and broken glass in her bare feet to help us.”

Thankfully I didn’t miss out! Some sisters never resolve their differences and end up carrying them to the grave. While I can mourn the loss of the early years and what could have been, it’s better for me to rejoice in what we are today:

Sisters as well as friends

Today is my baby sister’s birthday, and I’m so glad that God gave her to me.

Happy Birthday, Jamie! I love you!

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  1. What a blessing to have such a wonderful relationship with your sister!

    I have tried for many years to rebuild my relationship with my older sister. I have prayed about it and made significant changes to my attitude etc. However, sometimes as much as our hearts and minds might change and soften, forgive and love, that other person might not be in the same place.

    I won’t give up though, because someday, just maybe, my sister’s heart might be transformed as well!

    Happy Birthday to your sis! Love her well!

  2. I had to comment since I could have written word-for-word what you just wrote about my baby sister…and her name is Jamie, too! It took me so long to realize it was me, not her, who should change. What a difference it has made!
    What a blessing she is to me, now, and it’s interesting that now instead of dwelling on who is right, I try to be a blessing to her, too.
    I wasted a lot of time, but we are only in our forties. If the Lord grants it, we have many more years to make up for it.

  3. I don’t have a sister and always wanted one. I’m convinced there’s a special bond between sisters. I have 2 daughters, ages 17 and 14. In the past year I have seen a fierce friendship develop between the two of them. It warms my heart to see them together. Glad you and your sister have found that special bond.

  4. Thank you so much for this post. I too, was the big sister who despised her little sister. I was #1, she was #2 of five. She drove me crazy growing up. I even hid her new shoes one time. She got in trouble. A couple months later amazingly, I found the shoes. I know-horrible! And no, I didn’t confess until I was in high school.

    After high school I went to school about 7 hours away from home for one semester. At the very end of the semester, I really felt like God was telling me I needed to go home. So I packed up my bags and didn’t return to that college. At home I really felt lost. I didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing. When I had headed off to college, it was all planned out. I was going to get a business degree and then I was going to open a Christian bookstore.

    Now what? I took a photography class at the community college and my main subject was my sister. We started spending a lot of time together. She really wasn’t as bad as I had made her out to be growing up. She became a true friend and blessing.

    God gave me 9 months with my sister that I am forever grateful for. She was in a car accident on 9/8/2000. On 9/13 she was declared dead. 10 years have gone by. It’s hard not to wonder what it would have been like if she hadn’t died. Would we go shopping together and buy “twinkie” shirts as she called our matching shirts? Would I have a bunch of nieces to play dress up with (I have 4 boys)? I wonder how our relationship would have bloomed in 10 years versus 9 months.

    Oh well, it’s all left to wonder about. And be thankful for the short time that I knew and loved my little seester.

    1. Thanks for sharing your story, Andrea. What a blessing that you went home! God’s plans don’t always make sense, but wow! So glad you had that time together.

  5. Sibling relationships are complex. There were times when my brother and I were thicker than thieves and times where he seemed to revel in getting me in trouble. There seemed to be an unwritten rule between us that we could pick at each other but woe unto anyone who hurt the other. That brutally honest relationship style lasted into our adulthood. Still as awful as he could be sometimes I’ll never forget that when I was pregnant with my third and was taking care of two babies while my husband was deployed(while also being active duty) that he came over to my home and cleaned it from top to bottom to give me a break and some help. He had a good heart. He passed last year. It’s funny how people creep into your heart and leave lasting imprints.

    Happy Birthday to your sister and may you continue to cherish each other even while driving each other crazy.

  6. Happy Birthday to your sister!

    God blessed me with 2 younger sisters (one is 2 1/2 years younger, the other is 7 years younger). I’m the bossy, protective one. I’ve tried to ease up on the bossiness as we’ve grown up but the protectiveness is never going away. No one better mess with them, upset them, or tell them what to do! (That is, I can, but no one else had better…) 😉

  7. This is so nice to hear. I am an only child and truly could not understand why my kids fight like cats and dogs! I am hoping that when they mature, they will get along. Thanks so much for the post!

  8. Aww, happy birthday to your sister. Your post gives me hope for my two little girls ages 7 and 3. Sometimes super cute and close, other times their bickering makes me want to pull my hair out. =)

  9. I’m encouraged by this. Although I know that my son does his fair share of fighting and bickering with his older sister, I really do believe that it is my daughter’s heart attitude (she’s 3 1/2 years older) that is the main reason for most of the fighting. From the moment he was born, she’s had ‘it out for him’. I’m not sure why. I pray the God works a miraculous softening of heart in both of them so that they can truly love God and then love each other.

  10. Very sweet and reminds me of me and my sister. Never close until almost 2 years ago when we have our first child (both boys) 9 days apart 🙂

  11. Thank you so much for sharing this. I have a younger sister named Jamie too and we are not close at all. We had some things happen about 6 years ago and our relationship never recovered. We have been civil and polite to each other, even getting along at times, but never fixing the problem. It’s like we get a good strong band-aid on the hurt and it works for a while but then something will happen that rips it off and we’re right back to where we started. It’s encouraging to read your story of reconciliation with your sister. Thanks for sharing and HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAMIE!!!

  12. What a beautiful post… I’m such a sentimental, teary-eyed fool. 🙂 My sister is 3 1/2 years older than me and, as young girls, we played well together. Enter junior high and high school… she was quiet and conservative, I was spunky and opinionated. She wore long skirts and turtleneck sweaters. I begged to wear lip gloss and miniskirts in 8th grade. 😉 I was CONVINCED we would never get along… we were just too different. When I was 18 and she was 21, she got married. I was her maid of honor and, with me at college and her in graduate school, we had lengthy phone conversations planning out her wedding together. Finally, finally, it became clear that, yes, we were different, but our differences complimented each other in beautiful ways. As I watch my daughters (also 3 1/2 years apart) play together, I anticipate some rough years, but I also pray for the joy of sisterhood all through their lives…

  13. I would so love to have any kind of relationship with my sister but I resolved about 4 years ago to just rid my life of anything toxic and she was first to go. She does nothing but tear everyone down, live a life of hypocriacy (sp?) and spew negativity. I did accept her friend request on Facebook but anytie I post anything she deletes it — she’s livig a lie there telling people she’s someething she’s not I guess she fears people will find out the truth from me. Any small successes my children have that I DO choose to share as a triumph on my wall, she comes on and takes over the thread to on up my kids with something her kids have done. It’s really pathetic and just makes me sad for her.

  14. Love my big Sis and this beautiful post! Thanks for the birthday wishes and the sharing of sister stories!