Dear Little Sister,
(You know who you are. And I’ll have to send you the link to this post, because I know you won’t see it otherwise!). Last week I read a book that was hard to read. Not, like, technically difficult, but challenging. It didn’t make me cry then, but it might now. It was a book about cancer, and the chaos that comes after it. A book about hope that comes from Jesus and not from career, family, finances, friends, or health. But it was especially a book about sisters. The way we try to do the right thing, but hurt each other anyways. The way we should be closer than best friends, but we still just don’t understand each other sometimes. And how Jesus changes who we are as sisters, too. And now I’ve got some things I want to say to you, little sister.
This post was originally shared on the Real World Bible Study Blog
This page contains affiliate links – they don’t cost you a penny, but they sure help to pay off those student loans! For more information, please see my disclosure page. Also, I received a review copy of Moments we Forget; all opinions are my own.
Moments we Forget tells the story of Jillian after she beats cancer.
She’s still caught in the middle of the battle between her sisters, even as they try to intentionally build a closer relationship by starting a book club together. She’s struggling to go back to work, struggling to keep track of things at home, struggling in her relationships…just struggling. And no one understands, not really. How lonely she is, and yet how hard it is to keep it together long enough to hang out with people. How scary it is to forget things or get lost.
Even though you didn’t fight cancer, you’ve bravely battled the effects of a head injury. And the biggest scars and symptoms are the ones people don’t see. And I didn’t get it. Not really. I wanted to. But I got out of that wrecked car, spent months at the chiropractor and the therapist, and then fought to move on with my life. I wanted to understand…but I thought I understood, so I didn’t try any harder. And even those we’re not at war like those sisters were, so often we’re like ships in the night.
Little Sister, I’m Sorry.
I’m sorry that I haven’t been there for you. That I haven’t intentionally created a safe space for you to land. Oh, a little here and there, but not much. I’m sorry that I haven’t invested in our relationship…even when we lived in the same house. We love each other, but we just go say hi and get things done. I’m sorry that I didn’t try harder to understand, and that I didn’t go to battle for you. I’m sorry that I haven’t prayed for you faithfully like I should.
Little sister, I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you that day. I’m sorry I couldn’t keep you safe. Intellectually I know there was nothing more I could do to prevent the event that has hijacked two years of your life, but still.
Little sister, I’m proud of you.
I’m proud of you for getting back up and fighting each day, even though you don’t always get it right. (Hello, who does?) I’m proud of you for going back to work this year even though it leaves you so tired at the end of the day. I’m proud of you for building a tribe – even a tribe of little old ladies. You turn 29 in a few weeks, but these ladies actually probably get how you feel! I’m proud of you for finding a way to participate in church even when your head hurts too much to sit in the service with the sound system.
I’m proud of your faithfulness in Mpact Girls, working hard and loving on those girls and giving more than anyone, even when it was all you have to give. You amaze me with your super energy with kindergartners and your gifting with training our other volunteers, but especially your faithfulness. I’m proud of the way you tutored Andy in crazy math all last summer, and you made time for family when I didn’t set the example. Thank you for your hard work and patience, even when you’re tired and even when you don’t feel good.
I’m so, so proud every time I see you pick up the violin and work your way through Suzuki, through things you mastered 20 years ago. You fight to take back what was lost and to glorify God with your special gift again. I know you will, because there’s nothing you can’t do with Jesus and a lot of patience and hard work. Faithful little sister, you’ve got this.
Little sister, I love you.
I don’t tell you enough, but I love you so much. I remember the first time we saw The Hunger Games, and Mom asked me “would you do that for your sister?” I would like to think I would, little sister, but I haven’t shown it if I don’t fight for you in the day to day stuff. I want to do better this year, little sister. I want to be your sister on purpose.
I wish it didn’t take a book to figure this out, but that’s the power of books, right? I’m hoping that if I share this here, someone else will sit up and take notice, just like reading Moments we Forget made me sit up and take notice.
Want to start a book club with me? Ha! Or maybe just try out some new recipes next week?
“Reverend Annoying Sister”
Moments we Forget is on Tour with Celebrate Lit. If you have a sister, you should definitely read this book.
About the Book
Book: Moments We Forget
Author: Beth Vogt
Genre: Contemporary fiction, woman’s fiction
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Jillian Thatcher has spent most of her life playing the family peacemaker, caught in the middle between her driven, talented older sister and her younger, spotlight-stealing twin sisters. Then on the night of her engagement party, a cancer diagnosis threatens to once again steal her chance to shine. Now, Jillian’s on the road to recovery after finally finishing chemo and radiation, but residual effects of the treatment keep her from reclaiming her life as she’d hoped. And just when her dreams might be falling into place, a life-altering revelation from her husband sends her reeling again. Will Jillian ever achieve her own dreams, or will she always be “just Jillian,” the less-than Thatcher sister? Can she count on her sisters as she tries to step into a stronger place, or are they stuck in their childhood roles forever?
Click here to purchase your copy.
Beth K. Vogt is a nonfiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Now Beth believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A women’s fiction novelist, Beth’s first novel for Tyndale House Publishers, Things I Never Told You, released May 2018.
Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA® finalist. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publishers Weekly‘s Best Books of 2014. A November Bride was part of the Year of Wedding series by Zondervan. Having authored nine contemporary romance novels or novellas, Beth believes there’s more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us.
An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Novel Rocket and also enjoys speaking to writers’ groups and mentoring other writers. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Rob, who has adjusted to discussing the lives of imaginary people, and their youngest daughter, Christa, who loves to play volleyball and enjoys writing her own stories. Connect with Beth at bethvogt.com.
More from Beth
“A sister is like yourself in a different movie, a movie that stars you in a different life.”
Deborah Tannen (1945-), sociologist
I’m launching Moments We Forget, book two in the Thatcher Sisters series, and I’ve just turned in the final book in the series. I’d love to share book three’s title with you, but I don’t know what it is. (Of course, book three might have a final title by the time you read this—that’s part of the fun of prerelease deadlines.)
One thing I do know: the theme of “Little Women gone wrong” is woven through all of the books . . . thanks to the Thatcher sisters: Payton, Pepper, Jillian, and Johanna.
Sisters, be they real or imaginary, can be complicated.
Of course, there are sisters who have close relationships. They “get” each other and love doing life together.
But then there are the sister relationships that are like mismatched socks. Or those expensive jeans you loved in the store, but when you bring them home, they never quite live up to those moments in the dressing room.
Such are the Thatcher sisters. Johanna, Jillian, Payton, and Pepper grew up in the same family. They’re all tall. They love Broncos football and board games. But in so many ways their lives are like different movies because they each made different choices. Choices that changed and separated them. Moments We Forget continues to explore whether the Thatcher sisters can find a way to understand each other enough to bridge the distance between them.
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