A Letter To My Big Sister Before Her Wedding Day

A Letter To My Big Sister Before Her Wedding Day

“There is no better friend than a sister, and there is no better sister than you.”
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To my big sister,

First, I want to thank you for a few things.

Thank you for being you. Growing up, you did more for me unknowingly than you did knowingly. I have looked up to you for as long as I can remember; you are your own person and that is an incredible thing to admire.

Thank you for making me smile. Through those years when I was in high school, you were always around to make fun of mom's dance moves and dad's jokes with me. On my worst days, the smiles made those days so much better. Thank you for laughing with me through those times.

When I was a sophomore in high school, there was a boy in the class below me who killed himself. I didn't know him, but it was still traumatizing and it affected everyone at school in some way or another. When I got home that day, I had a conversation with you that I'll never forget. You sat with me and we just talked; you wanted to know how I was doing and where I was at in my life. It was so nice to see that someone truly cared about me. Thank you for taking that time out of your day; I will always treasure that moment we shared together. Thank you for loving me.

You're getting married! You found the person that you want to spend your life with. That is such a thing to celebrate, and I can't wait till we get to do so. I hope this new life with your soon-to-be husband is everything you hope it will be. I hope that you travel together, go to concerts together and go on adventures together. I hope you encourage each other to explore the world, but I also hope that your life together is humbling, relaxing and educational. I hope you learn from experiences shared together, and simultaneously learn how to make the world a better place.

I can't wait to watch your family grow and be known as an auntie. You're going to be an incredible mother, and I can't wait to see how your kids grow. I know they will love and adore you. I also know that soon enough, you will be ready to expand your family and when that time comes, I will continue to strive to be the best version of myself in order to be the best role model for your kiddos.

Since you got engaged, I've been praying for you both and your future as a married couple. I pray that Christ will be with you throughout your wedding day, and throughout the rest of your life together. I pray that you both will love each other, and everyone else that enters your life, as Christ loves us: unconditionally.

I pray for your happiness and I pray that life isn't easy for you, but instead, that your hard work throughout it becomes rewarding. I pray that you get the most from your life and that you love spending your days together. I pray that you continue to make each other happy for the rest of your lives.

Know that I'll be here for you (cue the "Friends" theme song). Life can be hard, especially when you gain more and more responsibilities of your own. And when that happens, I will be here for you for the rest of this lifetime. Know that I will support you when it feels like no one else will. I hope you feel an overwhelming amount of love on your wedding day. And if sometime down the road that feeling fades, know that I love you so much and I always will.

Love,

Your Baby Sister

Cover Image Credit: Mary Beth Seidl

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Poetry On The Odyssey: You Don't Control Me

If I could speak to my anxiety, here is what I'd say.

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Anxiety,

You have controlled my life for way too long.

My constant fears hold me back from so many things I want to be able to do.

Your presence makes me a person I don't want to be.

You make me feel scared and alone when I know that I am not alone.

You don't control me.

I am not free to be myself when you are around.

There is no use for you, and you should be ashamed for making me feel sick, nervous, fearful, not good enough.

You have been a little monster, harboring inside of me for my whole life.

Whispering "You can't do that" in my ear when I dare to get out of my comfort zone.

You don't control me.

I am fully capable of doing great things and living without you.

I have a wonderful support system of people who believe in me and help me crush you every day as you deserve.

I will be brave, be bold, enjoy life more.

This is me saying "Sayonara Anxiety."

You don't control me.

I am going to take my life back from your filthy grip.

I am going to live the life I've dreamt of.

I am going to be adventurous and take risks.

I am going to be myself.

You don't control me.


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