My Dear Little Sister,
Feels like you’re always the second best friend, eh? The one good enough to do things with until someone else shows up. I know. They forget to invite you. They have their secret stories, and somehow the joke is just too hard to explain.
You run through all the possible reasons why, but maybe it’s just because you’re not like them. You really want to be friends, but you don’t understand or enjoy half the things they say. You’re just not into the party looking at fashion pics on phones. Doing nails feels like such a waste of time. And you have no interest in the cheer team.
But you’re willing to make sacrifices, to try. So you hide who you are. You try not to say too loudly you’d prefer DQ over Sonics. You shrug and give your go-to word—‘whatever.’ You’ll never admit you’re staying home because you just want to read.
And you hide your gifts too. It’s just not cool to be the smartest one. Just avoid all conversations about your amazing SAT scores.
Yes, the harder it gets, the harder you try. And that backfires too. The hurt comes out in a joke barb that’s just a little too strong. You come home feeling you were too loud—too much. Or you try being quiet, and then you never get a word in. And you come home feeling like no one even knew you were there. You wonder when you move if anyone really notices.
So the Friday nights are spent at home with little sister and her friends and the term old maid haunts you long before you’re marrying age.
Hang on, little Sis. A time and place will come when suddenly you fit, where your gifts are respected, where people think you’re funny and life just isn’t so hard.
Until then, learn the lesson now.
Cuz you’re going to need it. We all do. Because no matter how much we sacrifice to the idol of relationship, we will all be alone at some time. The day will come when friends all have to work on your birthday and mom and dad are too far away. Husbands deploy. Kids get busy with their own things. Death does part.
Loneliness comes for all, even the one who has given everything to not be alone. They may be the desperate of all, for sometimes, they are alone when surrounded by people.
People try all kinds of pacifiers to avoid loneliness. None of them end well.
So you must learn to lean in. Lean in to the God who created You because He loves to talk to you. Lean in to the Jesus who also knew loneliness and abandonment. Learn to converse with the Creator of your soul with the familiarity of a soul-mate. Lean into the presence that is with you always.
Make Psalm 146 yours. Don’t trust in a prince to come, but lean into the Prince who came. When you feel like the foreigner, the prisoner, the orphan, consider the faithfulness of the One who regulates the tides, who turns the stars, who sends the seasons.
Lean in, and then reach out. If you turn your face from the crowd everyone is clamoring to be a part of, you’ll find other flowers on the wall—and they’re beautiful. There’s always someone who needs a friend.
People will always, always, always fail you, Lil Sis.
Lean in to the God who never will.
4 thoughts on “To My Lonely Lil Sis, Lean In–”
Thanks for these great words, Tonia. There’s a lot to think about.
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Wonderful article. You are a good writer. Keep going!