30 Year Prayer
(Less than 3 minute read)
I went to check on my daughters before I went to sleep. All three of my girls share a room – yes, by choice. We keep waiting for someone to bail and it never happens. Julia and Megan have ¾ of a twin bed (super efficient IKEA kids bed) and a regular twin bed (same IKEA bed, just full size) against the back wall. Julia’s bed was empty. Now, I did slightly panic for half a second as several Lifetime movies dashed through my head. But then I knew to look at Megan's bed because I was 110% confident the house alarm was on and Julia had not escaped. There she was sharing that little bed with Megs. Megan was squished against the wall, while Julia hogged the middle comfortably enjoying two pillows.
I could only imagine how this played out considering several hours earlier these two tiptoed downstairs to tell me their big sister, sleeping only a bed away, had been telling them she was a ghost. I assured them she wasn’t. It was impossible because I had given birth to her and I knew she was a human. With a wink, a smile, and a giggle, they were back upstairs. I’m guessing they both wanted each other to snuggle with in order to be sure no bad ghost thoughts got in their heads. It was pretty adorable.
Moments like these and so many others in my household of three daughters take me to one immediate thought: “Ahhh…now THAT’S what it would be like to have a sister!” And for longer than a split-second and with pictures of happy Hallmark Channel movies this time, I feel the joy of sisterhood and it feels so familiar and comfortable. Yet, the funny thing is- I have no sisters, just three brothers whom, of course, I love dearly, but it’s certainly not the same as growing young and old with a sister, another girl, a forever best friend.
I can vividly remember how badly I wanted a sister when each of my two younger brothers were born. I even cried when my youngest brother was born and my parents told me it was another brother. (Don’t worry, I quickly got over that, no therapy needed.) Anyway, I grew up fine with the fact that no sisters were the cards I was dealt, but I was always secretly jealous of the sister bonds my friends had. I knew if I had one, I would have a best friend for life.
Fast forward to 2007, 2009, and 2012. We never knew the gender of our babies.
“It’s a girl!” First time: I was shocked to have a girl. I always pictured myself with a boy first.
18 months later….
“It’s a girl!” Second time: The pregnancy was so different, I was convinced it was a boy. So much so that I had brought a blue UK outfit to the hospital. BUT, I was immediately elated and secretly had hoped for a girl so Anna would have the sister I never had.
2 ½ years later….
“It’s a girl!” Third time: Now as much as we were NOT shocked this time, I remember being in complete awe that I had three girls. My girls had two sisters each! That was amazing to me. I knew this was God’s gift to them but it was just as much His gift to me. Not just a glimpse into sisterhood, but a lifetime of me being able to watch it in action.
As the years have carried on for a decade since we met our first baby girl, I am convinced that God planned this just for me. All those years I prayed for a sister, he was right there saying, “Just wait, my plan is better. You will get to see sisterhood from the best view – as a mother.” All the fashion shows, the giggles, the “shops” in the backyard, the hair fixing, the clothes sharing and the bed snuggles are precious windows into sisterhood that I never thought I would ever experience and I get to live it 24/7. I even get a front seat in fostering it, encouraging it, and building it. It is truly beautiful.
Life has a way of giving us many moments we don’t understand, we get frustrated with, and we cry over. Sure we can overcome many of those, but we may always wonder why life played out the way it did, even over an issue that may seem insignificant in the big picture of life. Faith is one of the most difficult things to hold on to, but most of the time, God’s timing is completely different than ours. I realize it's easier to say than to do sometimes, but keep moving and have hope in something bigger and better. When you think God hasn’t worked something out in just the way that you see fit within your family, sit back and let him do his work. Even if it takes 30 years. He has plans for you that you can’t even imagine. The one sister you always wanted may become three daughters you get to raise as sisters. I think that’s way cooler than what I asked for.