Happy Birthday to My Sister

Today is my sister’s birthday.  Her name is Melissa, but since I have been able to talk I have called her Missy.  Here are some brief thoughts about the blessing of having a sister like Missy.

Lord forbid this would happen, but should I fail in the worst and most miserable of ways in life, whether it be as a pastor or a father or a husband, that causes others in my life to question me or even abandon me, of this I could be certain – my sister would be in my corner.  Missy believes in me.  During those long summers as a child playing tennis around the country, my sister would be right there with my mother and me.  When I was struggling, hopelessly losing a match that I should have been winning, my sister would get downright angry at others who might write me off.  In other words, she always, no matter what, believed that I could win.  That attitude has carried over into virtually every area of my life as an adult and it has been a great comfort to know that I can count on one person every single time to truly believe I can do it.  Missy is probably the best encourager I have ever met.

Missy and I never really got into fights as children, which would leave the other parents in our church confused.  There has been a special “something” between the two of us for as long as I can remember.  I have run more than one guy off who was interested in dating her, or even just talking to her, probably the funniest being that time in the Mayking, KY video store where a guy said hello to Missy and I stepped directly in between them, prompting the poor boy to make a bee-line for the door.  To this day, I can never experience a Christmas Eve without reflecting on those incredible nights Missy and I would stay up, bargaining with one another to tell each other “just one” gift the other was getting, and talking about all sorts of things to pass the time. 

Missy is tough.  Most of you reading this have no idea what she has been through in her life and the reason you don’t know is because she lives in joy and keeps putting one foot in front of another when most of us would have long since sat down.  I have heard from many family members in both our immediate and extended family, and I can personally testify that Missy is a source of inspiration that causes us to examine our own whiny attitudes from time to time.  Self-pity does not have a relationship with Missy.

Above everything, Missy is a growing, devoted Christian woman who takes parenting seriously and is desirous to be more and more of a biblical wife.  Her precious daughter Bella is growing up in the fear and admonition of the Lord and her husband, Andy, is at a place where he is able to lead the family in the confidence of the Lord – a big part of that is due to Missy.  There are precious few people I would ever leave my babies with alone for a couple of days.  Missy is at the top of the list.  Allow me to add as a nice little addition that she has recently read “Chosen By God” by R.C. Sproul and is asking all the right questions!  🙂  Yep, there may now be two Calvinists in the family.  hehe.

Let me finish with this:  Missy was spending the night by herself in the hospital with my father on the night of his passing.  Her call came early in the morning – “Philip, I don’t think it’s good.”  I have a daughter of my own now and although there is something wonderfully special about me and my boy Justus, God has created a unique and powerful relationship between a father and his daughter.  When my time comes to go be with the Lord, I can only hope my Callie Grace is nearby.  Of all the children, Missy has spoken the least of my dad’s passing.  That could very well be because her wounds run deeper than I will ever know.

Missy, your baby brother loves you deeply.  I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.  Some things can’t be explained and shouldn’t even be attempted.  The connection we have as brother and sister certainly falls into that category.  Thank you for being you.  You are a gift from God.

Happy Birthday.

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