Saturday, February 25, 2012

Happy Birthday, Jaydean!

Dear Jaydean,

As today was drawing nearer I found myself exclaiming to people, "My baby sister is turning 18! Can you believe it?!" It's been cause for a lot of reflection, especially as I sit here writing you. My life has been immeasurably blessed by the relationships I have with my sisters. We are each uniquely different and therefore so are our interactions with one another. Because I am [nearly] 11 years older than you I didn't play a large role in your early childhood. I look back at the time we got to spend together during your middle school years and I am so grateful. It was probably a pretty awkward time for you but it was life altering for me. You taught me to put others needs before my own. You taught me about patience and commitment. I think about the things you've experienced and how you have grown and I am in awe.

There are times in our lives that serve as milestones- a point in which you reflect on the past and consider all the possibilities of your future. This is such a time. Nothing really changes when you turn 18 - You're still in high school. You still live with your parents. You still have the same rules. And yet, you're making that shift into adulthood. It's a special time, filled with promise and excitement! I can promise you that it will not be easy. The coming years will bring an incredible amount of change, tough decisions, and heartbreak. But they will also bring experience, knowledge, growth, and love. It's worth every single minute of the bad stuff, trust me.

There is a song by Jonny Diaz that makes me think of you whenever I hear it. The chorus goes like this:

"There could never be a more beautiful you
Don't buy the lies, disguises, and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you"

I am so proud the woman you're becoming, Jaydean. I love you! Happy Birthday!!!!