Dear Courtney: A Postcard to My Sister

My younger sister Courtney left a little over a week ago for a five-month stint with YWAM in Kona, Hawaii. I jokingly told her I would writer her a letter on my blog rather than on paper… and she thought that was an awesome idea so here is this post. I apologize in advance for any references you don’t understand, and even more for the ones you do.

Dear Courtney,
I haven’t gotten used to setting the table for only three. And you room is cleaner than mine right now… which is weird. And I’m writing this for the whole internet to see, which is weirder, but here goes:

YES! Your yamaca stage and my… that was just a
really awkward phase for me. Alright?

Eighteen years ago, I can imagine that I was probably not entirely happy to have you home. My three-year-old mind was probably reeling, thinking, “What is this screaming thing doing here taking all of the attention and when is it going to get the hell out?!”… Or at least the three-year-old version of that. I distinctly remember plotting against you as I hid around the corner from the kitchen. I jumped out from the side of the stove to scare you and you just stared at me and laughed and called me “Awahky.” (In my defense, I had just watched an Arthur episode in which D.W. plotted against Baby Kate. Obviously, I just had to try it.)

And now you got the hell out, off having wild adventures. Life has shifted. Changed. Somewhere around seventeen, I stopped plotting against you. Sometime shortly after that, we began to actually be civil toward one another. And then sometime after that, we became friends. Change came slowly and unbid, but we welcomed it. And things will continue to change.

We’re moving out of this house. I’m trying to move forward in life.Mom printed something by herself today. (Seriously! I know!) Things are changing here. You are going to change. 

You will grow and mature and discover and I won’t be there to see it like I have. It excites me. Hell, it scares me. But in a good way. (Not like the other night when you turned off the headlights because you thought they were the brights. If it was that kind of scary, I wouldn’t be this okay with you leaving.)

What is happening here? Why do we both have
such bad hair?!?!?!?

I’m scared because I’m going to miss you.With everything shifting around here, I’ll want you around for that. The night before you left, I was in bed crying, thinking about how it was out last night in this house together. And I thought about all the stupid things we did in your bedroom… Because we always did the stupid things in your room and not mine. I remembered the first time you got a haircut and I was put in time-out because I told you it looked stupid. I remember playing house and you always had to be the dad…sorry about that. I remember that one time when we…well, I’m not going to disgrace us both over the internet. But the Lysol kept Mom from questioning, so that was a plus…we were disgusting children.

I’ve fought with no one like I have fought with you. Heck, I’m surprised we didn’t murder each other. But we didn’t. And now I consider you one of my best friends. You’re honest when I’m being an idiot. You are great enough to pull off “half-calfs” and “adventure bags” and “fanny* packs” or whatever weird trend that should not be happening. [*Read “spinster.”] You make me laugh. And not just because you think it’s “fahnny” to go to the “mewzaam” because is “ocward.” But because you are always you and are so different from me. You are a gift. The person who gets me out of myself. You are the optimist, this wild card, the spaz. I love you. 

And I’ll miss you.

But I can’t be selfish. God has called you to go and so you have. And it is going to be an awesome, thrilling, slightly-messy, self-finding, stretching, sunburn-to-tan, wonderful five months. 

And in those moments when doubt comes in, know this: You have been equipped for every good work, both through the experiences God has blessed you with and what he has written in his word. Cling to that and know that there is a bunch of us here praying for you everyday. Praying that you are bold and strong. that your love is evident to any you come in contact with and the reason behind that love is made clear.

“A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity.”
You have seen me through great adversity and I am praying for you through any that you will face while you’re away. And, my friend, I will always love you.

So pack your adventure bag! And don’t fore-go the sunscreen. We all know how that turns out. Hawaii doesn’t know what it’s in for and neither does wherever this adventure will take you.

I love you, kid!


And just so you know, when I commented this morning, after doing my hair, that it was the best blow-dry I’d ever done, Mom and Dad started laughing because you told them what I accidentally called it the last time I did my hair like this. Thanks for that.


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