if you're reading this, it's too late

A little dramatic, and i'm mainly kidding - but - if you are reading this, then it's Wednesday here in Japan and today is the day that my baby sister is going to college.

It took me years to realize that my sister is truly the greatest gift my parents have ever given me. Looking back, I wish I had learned this sooner so I could've been close to her, longer - because now nothing ever seems like it's enough.

Having a sister that's eight years younger than you is something I never really thought I needed. I had lived eight long years of life just my brothers and I, so it was quite the surprise when my parents told me that we were adding a little nugget to our squad. If you're like me and have a sibling that's significantly younger than you, then maybe you can relate. I started out by thinking she was the best thing in the world, then being annoyed because I always had to change her diapers, and then I always had to babysit her. Then, when I got to middle and highschool, I got irritated because my parents always made me hangout with her or bring her everywhere I went. I'm laughing as I write this, because now, I'd do anything to be invited to hang out with her.

In college & post grad - things shifted. I felt like I was responsible for her in a lot of ways, almost like she was my own daughter. I had grown fiercely protective over her, and anytime she broke the rules or got hurt, I felt a pain & worry like I had never felt before. I think that's the thing about having siblings so much younger than you - they're engrained into who you are in a way that nobody else could ever replicate.

Lucky for me - my sister is truly the greatest person on this planet. I really look back and wish I had realized this sooner - I spent a lot of time thinking I was too old and too cool to hang out with her, and now I'd do anything to spend more time with her.

Life is weird that way - it's hard sometimes to see recognize change when you're too close to something. And somehow, between going to college, and then graduating, my baby sister had grown into this generous, kind, fiercely loving and loyal - always the funniest person in the room - absolutely beautiful human being.

God knew exactly who I needed when he gifted me with my sister. She encourages everyone deeply - she dares to see the best in people and somehow knows the exact way to gently bring out their best qualities. She is passionate and wise, and leaves every space she enters brighter & makes you wonder how someone could be so vibrant.

My sister has a way of making people feel like being themselves is truly the best thing anyone can be. She can take any flaw you think you have and somehow make you believe it's a gift. She simultaneously can make anyone feel at home, and make you feel like you can adventure out into this life freely & boldly. She leaves a trail of light & laughter everywhere she goes. And now she's off to college and it makes me cry because how is it possible that my baby sister is being thrown into this weird world? It makes me want to fly home and keep her safe forever.

But I know the Lord has big & beautiful plans for my sister's life. She is so confident in who she is, and who calls her worthy. My sister is unstoppable - a whirlwind of grace and empathy that will leave you wondering how you ever lived a life without her.

She has a deep faith that's quiet but bold - and I just can't wait to see who she becomes in college.

So much about who I am, is because of who she is.

Getting to live this life with a forever friend like my sister is a gift I will never ever deserve - and i'll never stop thanking God for. So, if you have a sister. Give her a hug if you're lucky enough to be able to. Call her, Facetime her. Send her a letter, give back that shirt you 'borrowed' but never returned. Send her a text and remind her that you're connected for life - and how lucky you are to have that.

Looking back now, it's hard to think I was even able to live eight years without my sister.

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