This weekend, I’m staying with my sister at Johnson University. We’ve got a lot of fun things planned and I’ve really been looking forward to it. If you’d have told us four years ago that we’d be looking forward to spending five days together on our own, we’d have laughed. Hard.
Finding friendship with my sister has been a strange, but worthwhile journey because sibling should be friends for life. There were times in our relationship that I thought we’d never get to this point. There were times in our relationship that I didn’t want to get to this point. But we never gave up, and I couldn’t be happier with the relationship we’ve found.
Morgan said, “Growing up as sisters was rough because we have two completely different personalities. And when we were younger we didn’t know how to handle the differences in those personalities.”
I was the quiet bookworm. I got good grades, had few friends, and was always escaping to the stage either with drama, show choir, choir, or band.
Morgan: “I was preppy, popular, outgoing, materialistic. I behaved terribly. I wanted to always be doing something. I was in cheerleading, I worked, I was in choir, and I always hung out with friends and the guy I was dating.”
Our clashes were epic–lasting for days, yelling across the living room, sometime wrestling on the floor, often ending in us being grounded. We didn’t understand each other. And most of the time, we didn’t like each other.
Our arguments would begin over stupid things like who got the remote and whose turn it was to empty the dishwasher. Hurtful things would be said, attacking things. Our fights would expand so far beyond a few petty details. And over time, these fights shattered our relationship.
In hindsight, I can see that our fights and harsh words so often stemmed from our own insecurities and pain. But back then I was too wrapped up in my own problems to see that she had any.
To me, she had it all. She was the golden girl. She had the perfect body and that perfect high school beauty. She was bubbly and flirty. All the boys flocked to her. She was the cheerleading captain and hung with the popular crowd.
I didn’t see that her popularity came with a price. So often the spotlight was little more than a target for vicious gossip and horrible rumors.
“To me, Megan was the ridiculously smart sister who I could never live up to. She was the angel child.”
She didn’t see that boys would push me and whisper that I wasn’t good enough to sit with my class. That girls would comment on my clothes and tell me that my make-up looked like that of a clown’s.
Instead, we lashed out at each other, adding more pain to an already difficult time.
It wasn’t until we moved out of our parents’ house and got away from those petty grievances that we actually started to talk about things other than who got the remote. We started to see each other as people, rather than the enemy.
Realizing her actions and reactions were not not always about me, and visa versa, went a long way in helping us extend a little more grace. And as we kept doling out more and more grace, we grew closer and eventually became friends.
A lot of this wouldn’t have been possible without our mom who told us, “Sisters are friends for life. Family is not an option.” She pushed us to keep talking and keep talking until we found that friendship.
Today I’m going to push you to do the same. I had to put away my pride and sense of entitlement–“I deserve an apology for what she did”–to reach out to her. I had to admit there were things that I’d done wrong without expecting her to do the same. I had to set aside my past anger and frustration until our relationship was finally strong enough to talk about those things.
That doesn’t mean that we don’t still bicker and get mad at each other today. But we’ve vowed to never let those fights come between us. We are friends, but more than that, we are family. And families must be there for each other. Always.
Have you been hurt by a family member? Or have you maybe hurt them? Is there someone you need to reach out to today? How can you make baby steps toward having a friendship with your adult sibling? If you would like prayer on this subject or on any other, please reach out to me.