Since the moment that I knew what a sister was, that's all I asked for. So when my mom found out that she was pregnant, I was convinced that it would be a girl. My parents tried to explain to me that I might end up with a brother, but in my two year old mind, there was no doubt it would be a girl.
How happy do you think I was when six days before my third birthday, my sister was born into our world?
I think my dad was just as ecstatic as I was, seeing as he let me out of the house wearing a purple and green tracksuit with white lacy socks and black dress shoes. I’m sure people smiled at the picture the two of us made as we walked down the hospital hallway, on a mission to meet the newest addition to our family. I can honestly say that was the best day of my life. I had great plans for that little girl. She would be my best friend, my companion, my secret keeper. She would be my whole world.
Fast forward three years, and my plan was going exactly the way I wanted it to. I had a playmate, a friend, a partner in crime. A student in my school, a client in my hair salon, a customer in my bakeries. I had someone to talk with at night, someone to sing songs with. Someone to confide in.
I never saw it coming.
I knew what autism was, I mean I had heard the word. It was all over my house. There were books lying around, and internet pages were left open. It was definitely there.
My partner in crime was seven now, and she wasn't anything like the girl who had been my hair model and cookie-taster. She had autism.
All I had ever wanted was a sister who could be my best friend.
Instead, I got a girl who hit and pushed. Who said awkward things and got lost in public places. She was extra work and couldn't be toilet trained and she tired my mom out. People felt uncomfortable around her.
Why did this have to happen to me? I needed someone to talk to. I couldn't talk to my mom because she was always tired, and my dad was always busy. I needed a best-friend-sister. Not an awkward-autism-sister.
I questioned God so much. Everything would just be so much better if you had given me a normal sister. I asked him the same thing so many times. Why?
In grade 10, my mom was diagnosed with depression. And that same year, God gave me my biggest miracle.
A second sister, and my best friend.
See, he knew what I needed all along. He blessed me with the most encouraging and uplifting young woman of God during one of the darkest times in my life. He blessed me with someone who would stand by my side through every battle and who would become part of my family.
He also showed me what a blessing my one and only biological sister is.
That girl is the light of my home. She's the voice of reason, the picture of peace, and the sunshine on a cloudy day. She is the first to laugh, the first to give a compliment, and the first to cry when someone else is in pain. She knows more about animals than anyone else I know, and she sings with more passion than an entire congregation of worshippers. She has a servant's heart, she is honest, and she is a young woman of integrity. She is the only one who understands what it's like to have a mom with depression. She's the only one who can understand how my heart broke when our dog died. She's the only one who knows how horrible my hair looks when I first wake up and still loves me anyways. She is always the first to stand up for me.
She is the best friend anyone could ask for.
The funny thing is the number of times I ask myself, what if?
What if my sister didn't have autism?
What if my mom didn't have depression?
What if I fail my midterm?
What if I don't make it through university?
What if someone crashes into my car tomorrow?
It looks ridiculous when I type those things out.
God knew the second my sister was conceived that she would have autism. Actually, let me rephrase that. He knew before the world was formed that one day a girl would be born into the Peel family and she would have autism. He also had this amazing plan to bless me with a second sister who would would come into my world during high school and stick with me through the worst years of my life. He had a plan to make her an addition to my family. He designed us both so we would be able to make up for each other's weaknesses and encourage each other to grow closer to Him. He always has a plan.
Why do we question that plan when He's got it all covered?
Why do we worry about tomorrow when He's holding time in his hands?
The truth is that He always knows where He's taking us, but we don't always know where we're going.
That's the whole reason why we need Him.
To direct us. To protect us. To be our anchor in the reckless ocean that is our world. To love us. To be our peace.
So no more what if's.
He has this all under control.
|My Precious Biological Sister|
|My Miracle Sister|
If I climb to the sky, you're there!
If I go underground, you're there!
If I flew on morning's wings to the far western horizon,
You'd find me in a minute -
you're already there waiting!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day.
Psalm 139: 8-10, 13-16