Our MOPS group waited until the end of first semester to send in our registrations so as to catch any stragglers who may join later. It was December before I received my awesome package of goodies. inside which was the very chic- courage key. It came on a day I had been texting, through out my mother business, with my younger sister. She was turning 24 in just a couple of days. We had grown up, as many siblings who are near in age do, at odds in everything we did or thought. It pains me to say that we were just flat out not close for most of our childhood. It had been about a week since I had seen her and when we were together it was clear there were things on her mind. I was already aware of some personal struggles she had faced over the last year or so.... Falling in love and marrying a man who could no longer have children... taking on motherhood to his two teenage kids.... living far enough out of town to feel like there is no one around for miles.... and the back and forth struggle with drug use.
As her birthday and New Years Eve approached, she was feeling heavily bogged down. She wanted desperately to make good life changes. Resolutions like so many others would be making at that time of year. To get off drugs all together. To better her body and spirit. When down, she and my husband talked long and hard about the Gospel Of Christ and what one must believe to be saved. As the day progressed she vented more and more. Her heart was sinking at the thought of not having a baby of her own. She felt weak with her struggle to keep off drugs, and she was drowning in the drama of step-mothering two difficult teenagers. I prayed for my sister, cried at the struggles she was facing and how powerless I felt not to be able to behave as the protective big sister I had grown up being, and then took action.
My sister was not a MOPS mom, she had neither birthed or adopted a small child, but she was now a mother in her own right. I felt she needed support from a fellow mother just like I had found in my MOPS group. She needed to be told that she had bravely taken on what many others wouldn't. That with faith and support from the LORD and loved ones, she could overcome her drug use, comfort her saddened heart, and tackle those stressing battles. Right away, I set to making the key into a pendant. As heartfelt as I could put into words, I wrote her a letter. In it I reminded her that she couldn't know what wondrous things God has in store for her life. I shared with her the verse Philippians 4:13, and voiced how proud I was that she recognized a problem and was taking steps to better herself. Finally I vowed that I would be as available as I possibly could, and check in with her far more often to see how she felt and keep up with her progress. I had it sent off in the mail that very evening... then I waited.
Two days later she called, crying. We had such a loving conversation in which we managed to heal a few old wounds from conflicts growing up and found that we could have a relationship I hadn't believed we would ever be able to have. I sent her the key I had received to remind her how much of her bravery I have already witnessed, and to empower her to remember she is never alone in her struggle. Hopefully she is strengthened in faith, in body, and in the new sense of family we are both overwhelmed to feel now.