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A Love Letter to My Sister (and maybe to you too).

When I was about 3 1/2, my mom did the worst thing she’s ever done to me and brought home my baby sister.

It took me about 16 years before I finally appreciated her, my sister I mean, and the only thing that caused it to happen was her hooking up with a royal piece of shit.

She married him, and had three beautiful children (so, worth it), but he tormented and abused her both physically and mentally for years.

At long last, she left him. Divorce proceedings began… and then he died from overdosing on cocaine laced with fentanyl.

(I would like to interject here that we had the churchiest upbringing ever, and I still can’t understand how this is real life.)

But now, she is in an uncomparable funk. And there are a few things I’d like to say to her. Actually, I’ve said them to her already, but I want to do it here too, just in case you need to hear it. Or maybe someday, I’ll need it for myself.

1. You are so worth it.

I think my sister’s biggest issue is her self-worth. She doesn’t have much. Which is probably my fault, because I tormented her endlessly when we were kids. I hate that I did that. I have no excuses or explanation other than that she annoyed me, and I was mean.

Her husband tore her down even further, leaving her feeling like she isn’t worth much at all. This kills me.

Now, she looks for love to fill her up, without understanding that no matter how much someone loves her, unless she loves herself, it will not last.

You can’t tie your self-worth to a boyfriend, a husband, a job, or your kids (or anything else for that matter.) Life is one continuous change. Nothing ever lasts, and if you don’t have the core belief that you are worth it, all on your own, you will not survive the ups and downs that come with living.

I don’t know how to fix this issue. I only know that deep in my soul, I know that God made her and me and you for a specific purpose, and if HE thinks we are worth it, that’s really all that matters.

2. It’s not your fault.

In my sister’s case, there are many things she could have done differently, but her estranged husband’s death was not her fault. He was drinking and doing drugs before she left, and growing ever more violent along the way. If she had stayed, she or the kids (or BOTH) could be deceased at this point. She couldn’t have saved him. She couldn’t force him to choose to drop his addictions. It is NOT her fault that he overdosed.

But she totally feels like it is.

You might have a situation that you feel the same way about. I’ll just go ahead a drop a couple of truth bombs on you. You can’t change things that already happened. You can’t fix other people. And you can’t blame yourself for something you didn’t see coming.

3. God is giving you another chance

So, after the death of her estranged husband – and I mean like the very next day – her house and all her belongings were lost in an arson-related house fire. She and the kids were not living there at the time, but most of their stuff was still there.

At the moment, my sister is a little depressed. I’m sure you can understand why, and I’m only giving you the bare-bones version of what all happened.

The other day she said to me, “I have no job. No home. Most of my belongings are gone. Life will never be the same. Which is good, because I’m not being abused anymore, but bad because I feel like I’ve hit rock bottom.”

Man, do I get that. She’s right. I don’t know what else could go down.

But her perspective is ALL WRONG. We all prayed for years that she would have the courage to leave her marriage. We didn’t pray he would die… but we did pray that God would deliver her…and did He ever.

That entire part of her life was wiped away, and she and her three beautiful, amazing children made it through it. She lost everything, except the only things that really mattered – their lives.

And, in case you weren’t aware, the only thing that would keep you from reinventing your whole existence would be dying.

So, she is still here. She has the do over for her entire life. (And she’s not even 40 yet!)

If you are reading this, you are still here. If you have breath in your body, you can change your circumstances.

4. The only thing holding you back is you.

When life falls apart, the only option is to just put it back together.

This is a daunting task, I realize that. It takes time. It takes support. And it takes boldness.

Every single one of us is born with a resiliency that cannot be taken from us. If you’d made it this far, you have it in you to make it a little farther. No matter what has happened to you. No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve seen or what you’ve done – you can and will survive.

Surviving is great. But unless you are LIVING, what is even the point of life?

The only thing keeping you stuck in your present circumstances is you. You have to take life by the balls and live it. Live it to the fullest. Because anything less isn’t worth thinking about.

5. You might need help achieving all of this.

If you’ve lived most of your adult life with little to no support, loads of anxiety, and heaping helpings of self-doubt, you probably need someone to help you rebuild.

Listen, I’m not a joiner. I don’t like group activities, and I generally feel like I’ve got things handled.

But, even I need help now and then.

Maybe you need a therapist. Or maybe you just need someone to talk to. Someone with a fresh perspective. Someone who approaches life in a way you aren’t used to living. In which case, we should chat.

I’m NOT a therapist. 

But one of my God-given gifts is helping people see through the muckety-muck of daily life. I can help you figure out what your strengths are, how to capitalize on them…

…and how to take life and make it yours.

If you want to chat for a bit, I’m offering a 30 minute discovery session to see if we might be a good fit. If you are interested, you can pop on my schedule right here:

16 Comments

  1. It is not easy to start a new life when it seems like you have hit rock bottom. Even if you have there is only one way to head–and that is UP!

  2. Maureen says:

    What a beautiful letter. I hope your sister is proud to have you by her side. Many struggle with physical and emotional abuse from their partner but lack the strength to remove themselves. Everyone deserves to feel valued, safe and respected.

  3. BMB says:

    Beautiful sentiments, and true. As someone who is divorced from an abusive, alcoholic, this is refreshing.

  4. This is a very touching post. I hope your sister finds meaning in life again and re-builds herself.

  5. Joanna says:

    Your sister is a very brave woman, even if she might not see it at the moment. She has been through so much and I can imagine that the death of her husband, even if he was estranged, and the fire, made her fall into depression. It’s so nice that she has such a good sister like you, to motivate her to start again.

  6. What a wonderful letter! Your sister is incredibly brave and I’m sorry she had to go through all of that! Glad she has you as her sister!

  7. Sondra Barker says:

    A beautiful letter with beautiful thoughts. I feel like I need to constantly remind myself that i’m the only thing holding me back.

  8. Danielle says:

    This is such a sweet message and a beautiful letter to your sister. I feel like I could write something like this to mine as well.

  9. Alexandra says:

    This post gave me goosebumps! What a powerful reading! You definitely written this from your heart! Prayers for your sister.

  10. Shannan P says:

    My heart just breaks for your sister and the pain she must feel from so much personal tragedy happening at the same time. Sibling relationships can be so hard, but as adults it seems like we often appreciate them more. So glad that you have each other to depend on and to build each other up when times are tough.

  11. Jeannette says:

    What an amazing testimony. Sometimes I wonder how people get through life without God. My sister means so much to me, but I put her through a lot. Now we are the best of friends. I can’t wait to share this with her.

  12. Diana Tidswell says:

    This is such a wonderful and well said words for your sister. It’s a wonderful thoughts that she really needs for sure. I’m really glad that you are there to build a stronger one relationship with your sister.

  13. This is beautiful <3 I am hoping for all good things for your sister!

  14. Lakshmi says:

    You got me at the opening sentence… Reading your blog.. I miss writing letters sooo much… Would love to write one soon.

  15. Clare Mibakk says:

    I have mixed emotions while reading this, I cried and I feel happy and imagine that you are my sister. Hope that your sister will find happiness in life together with you.

  16. Elizabeth O says:

    This was so amazing! What a living testimony and a sweet message for your sister. Continue to be everyone’s true happiness!

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