Friday, October 4, 2013

dear Jamie.

Dear Jamie,

Five minutes ago it officially turned into your birthday. You are 22 years old. And I cannot believe it.

I was three when you were born. I don't remember a lot about it. But there is an entire home video dedicated to that day. From the waiting room full of people, to me wearing my big sister shirt proudly, and it ends with me explaining that indeed they were my mommy and daddy but yours too.

I know I was excited. I had prayed many nights as a toddler before going to bed that Jesus would give me a baby sister. And you, my sweet sissy, were the answer to not only my prayer but to mama and daddy's prayer too.

You were perfect. Born early and small- but perfect. You looked like a little baby doll and I treated you just like that. I am holding you or kissing you or talking to you in every picture and video that we have. I was in love with you- and that has not changed one bit.

Months passed and then the news came. You were not just a spoiled baby who cried like doctors said but instead you had  disorder- one that we would learn much about in the coming years. Cerebral Palsy.

Even to this day- I get a little choked up when I say it. Because- it does not define you. Doctors wanted to put your abilities in a box. To tell us what you could and could not do. And as a small child myself- it was heart breaking. I wanted my sister to play barbies with me. I wanted you to run around with me. I wanted you to be able to tell me about your day at school. And you couldn't. I didn't understand completely. But I can assure you this. On that day in December of second grade- when Jesus took a hold of my life and the Holy Spirit inhabited my body- I was able to understand. The Holy Spirit was able to give me peace and understanding and a boldness even as a child when praying.

I prayed with urgency. Every single Bible class- I talked about you. I asked my friends to pray for you. My teachers to pray for you. And the days when I would walk into the halls of SCA with teary eyes because you had seizures all night the night before- my teachers touched Heaven for you, sissy. You have always been covered. And through those prayers and our gracious Heavenly Daddy- we have seen miracle after miracle.

You are so smart. You are so good at sorting colors and shapes. And you love to "doctor" us. You love to color. And I love it when you use that sweet right hand when trying to play. You push the boundaries- and I adore that.

You walk so good with our help and your braces. And you never really fuss about it. I am so proud of you. I cannot imagine the kind of heartache you have some days and you cannot express it. You have taken TONS of medicines your whole life like a pro. Endure endless physical therapies. And rely on us to do a lot of stuff for you. I am thankful the Lord is your comforter and gives you understanding.

You were so brave when I was in Africa. Cried only a few times and I think enjoyed being the boss around here.

Jamie, I am so thankful for the way you love others. Even though you get aggrivated with us and sometimes- yell- that's normal. I do that. But most importantly- you talk to everyone. And smile. And sometimes even say a little "AWW" so you can kiss their hand or hug them. That is like Jesus. People think you don't get it but you do. And you understand a lot more than we even realize.

Sometimes when I am praying out loud for you and reading verses to you- you just laugh- like the Holy Spirit is just telling you something. And I have no doubt that he is. because he loves you that much, Jamie.

We won't know just how many lives the Lord has changed through you until we get to heaven. But MAN, I cannot even comprehend how the Lord has used you. Because having you as MY sister changed my life. I cannot imagine it any other way. You may not talk. or walk. but you are mine. And Jesus used you to mold my heart. to mold my faith. to teach me of trust.

He used you to make my heart for those who cannot help themselves. He used you to teach me how to care for Abdurmon at the orphanage in DJ. He used you to give me patience. He used you to teach me to be joyful in every situation. He used you to teach me how to be a lover of people years ago. He knew what He was doing when He let you be mine.

He does miracles daily. and you are one of them. I cannot wait for the day you walk, sissy. We are getting you some goodlooking shoes.

You are my number one. You are it. I love the most in the whole world. And the man I marry- he will too- or I won't marry him. And my future kids will adore their Aunt J.

Keep being the best sister in the world. And I cannot wait to see how Jesus continues to heal you this year. Maybe you will even walk across the stage at church like we have had dreams about? Either way- your testimony is one that Jesus is using all over the world- and that excites me!

I don't know about everyone else, but YOU are feeling 22!


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