Dear Sweet Sister

Dear sweet sister,

We've been friends for so many years now, we no longer have enough fingers to count them (but we definitely have the wrinkles). Ours is a special friendship -- the kind that can never end because we both know way too much and have far too many blackmail stories. You know the ones I'm talking about.

We've been there for each other through everything. The good and the bad. The happy and the sad. The breakups, the weddings, the losses, the gains, the broken bones and sprained ankles, first jobs, college years, new careers, the births of your children. Boy have we seen some things over the years! I want you to know I wouldn't change a moment of our friendship. I love you like a sister.

There's something else I want you to know. I've sensed the awkwardness between us because of my infertility journey. I know that you hurt for me and I know that you would give anything to make this go away for me because you are one of the kindest souls I've ever known. And I know you don't know how to talk to me about your pregnancy news, your gender reveal, your kids' big moments. So, often, you just don't. You don't want to appear to rub anything in my face. You're hoping it'll protect my heart.

Here's the deal, my precious friend: I love you and I love your children because they are a part of you. I love that you're carrying new life. That's my honorary niece or nephew in your belly, you know. When your kiddo moves to the big-kid bed, graduates pre-school, scores that first soccer goal or earns that good grade, I want to celebrate with you. When you find out that your family is growing again, I want to share in your joy. When you find out it's a boy or it's a girl, I want to picture your future with you. I want to pray for you and your growing family. I know that raising the next generation is no cakewalk and I want to support you along the way.

Most of all, I just want to be included.

This friendship has always been the kind where we tell each other everything. Please, sister friend, I'm begging you, don't let that change just because our journeys are different. It's hard enough over here on the periphery without the sting of exclusion. You don't mean it that way. Your heart is too big for that. You're only trying to be sensitive to my situation. I love how much you care.

I don't write this letter to make you feel bad. I'd never want that! I write because I don't want you to worry that your good news causes me pain. Of course I'd love nothing more than to be in the same season you're in right now, but even though I'm not, I hope that you will still think to call or text when you have good news to share. After all, good news is good news and my struggles don't negate that. In fact, I could use some good news and fun conversation here lately.

Not to mention, I fully believe God is going to give me my breakthrough and my miracle baby, and girl, you had better believe I'm calling you when it happens! Someone's going to have to help me learn to change exploding diapers and cope with exhaustion. I hope that someone is you.

It's true that I can't promise I won't shed a tear when you share your news with me -- partly for my own empty arms and womb and partly because I'm so dang excited for you. My emotions about it all can be a little bit overwhelming at times (you already know that about me, though). But here's what I can promise: I will celebrate with you. I will pray for and with you. I will support you and be there to uplift you on the hard days. I will praise Jesus to the high heavens for the new life you've created. I'll thank Him for sparing you from this heartache. And I'll thank you (likely profusely) for braving the awkward and including me. It means more than you'll ever know.

So, how about we grab a cup of coffee or a pedicure sometime soon? I'll share the humorous details of ultrasound wands and hormone injections and you can tell me how many times your kiddo went on the big-kid potty this week. We'll probably throw in some reminiscing and laughter about those special stories I mentioned above -- the ones we both promised to take to our graves. We'll hug it out. We might even cry. Who knows? But when it's all said and done, we'll leave uplifted, remembering how and why this sisterhood and friendship has stood the test of time. After all, we need each other.

I love you, sweet friend. And I'd be so lost without you.

"I thank my God every time I remember you." -Philippians 1:3


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