PERSONAL | Dear Michael

Monday, March 13, 2017
I'm glad it's your birthday,
Happy birthday to you.

- The Beatles -

Dear Michael,

Once upon a time, 2,922 days ago, you were born.

I wasn't there to hear your first cry. I didn't get to stroke your soft, fuzzy little head and sing you a lullaby.

We didn't pass you around while gasping at the wonder of your tiny frame, nor did we gaze into those gorgeous dark brown eyes and whisper "you are loved" into your precious baby ears. 

I didn't get to (or perhaps, have to?) change any of your diapers *sigh of regret mixed with relief :)*

I didn't get to watch you crawl across the floor and I didn't get to catch you as you toddled into my open arms. 

All the things a big sister longs to do for her newly-born brother, I didn't get a chance to do, except one -- I got to pray for you. I wanted so much for you to exist. Even though I didn't expect you to be born in a hospital several hundred miles away to someone other than our Momma, I longed for you to enter the world. Michael, God answered my prayers and you came into being.

After that, all that was left to do was to pray that God would bring you to us.

474 days ago today, you hopped out of the back seat of a Missouri State-issued car and said "Nice to meet you!" and my heart was thoroughly melted. 

We took you in the house, and your next remark was, "Do you guys have any LEGOS?" and my heart-melting turned into a chuckle. "This kid and I are going to be friends."

We spent the next few weeks getting acquainted, and one day it sunk in that you were here for keeps. 171 days ago, you officially became my brother forever. And I was glad :)

So many times the Lord has used you to bless me. When you color me pictures and write "I love my big sister" on random scraps of paper, I feel all swollen up with joy. A few days ago, you brought me a math worksheet with multiplication on it, and I felt like I was going to bust with pride because you are s-m-a-r-t! I can't help but laugh at your giggling when Barney does something funny on the Andy Griffith Show. And whenever I sit by you during Sunday worship and you ask questions about the sermon, or when you recite your scripture verses for your Bible class, I'm overwhelmed by God's Work in you and I'm thrilled that you're learning about what truly matters. 

You stuck by my side through last year's gardening failure, you say "How was school?" every day as I drag myself back through the doorway, you're my workout buddy, cookie-tester, and movie-pal. You are Michael, and that's just the only way to sum you up justly. 

Are you a perfect young man? Ha, no. Sometimes, my sweet brother, you aggravate me to my core. Sometimes, you seem to know exactly what to say to set off my ticking time bomb. Sometimes, I feel like I do a face-palm every five minutes over something Michael-related.

But, oh, how I love you. 
And so does Jesus.

Being your big sister is one of the greatest things in my life, and I will always cherish you as one of my best friends besides. I regret that I often don't reflect Jesus to you as I should, and I make bucket loads of mistakes every day regarding my attitude towards you. But if there's one thing (or maybe two things?) I hope and pray that you learn from having me as a big sister, is that Jesus saves (the chief of sinners-- she sits with you at the dinner table!) and that the burden of our failings can be abandoned at the foot of the cross, never more to be a part of our identity. 

Little brother, I'm glad you're here.
Buddy, thanks for all you mean to me.
Sweet friend, happy 8th birthday.

Michael Joshua, you are loved. 

For I am confident of this very thing,
that He who began a good work in you will perfect it 
until the day of Jesus Christ. 

- Philippians 1:6 -

The End

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