Hey, Girl. You deserve so many more thank yous than I could ever give you in this letter, but maybe for reasons you don't realize. Not because you let me date your brother or because you let me camp out on your floor (although those are added bonuses for sure). You always welcome me into your family in ways that no one else could. I prayed for a sister for years and years, only to receive brothers (who I do still like), but because of the relationship I have with you, I am able to experience some of the precious things that I imagined I would get if I had a sister.
First and foremost, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. I love getting to know you and watching you grow up over the last few years in more ways than one. It's so exciting when I get to be proud of all the hard work you do and the things you accomplish. I don't just mean the hard work you do in the school, but the way that you put in extra effort to love the people you're around makes me so happy to know you! That trait will send you further than any test grade ever could.
Any time I get to spend with you is a treasure because when you tell me about your life and make me laugh (you're freaking hilarious) and share your thoughts with me, it feels like I have a real life sister!! I remember a few distinct times when we got our nails done together or I got to take you somewhere or you called me to get help with an audition piece and I got all the feels because I used to DREAM about what it would be like to do all those things and you were making some of my inner sister dreams come true.
Even though you're only a mere year and a half younger than me, I love seeing how wise you are in ways that I was not, and am probably still not. You think about things carefully in a way that probably could have saved me from some hurt and some sticky situations during high school.
Last, but certainly not least, the way in which you love your Lord even in the face of adversity is truly admirable. The spiritual gifts I've seen and heard you use for the benefit of the church and the mission field are helpful to so many people even if you don't realize it. Even something like your wonderful singing voice and harmonies can make a whole congregation's worship service that much more joyful!
I can't wait to watch you continue to grow. I hope I never stop sharing my inner sister dreams with you even if the visits we get are few and far in between. You are so beautiful inside and out, and I hope this encourages you. High school can hold some hard, stressful times, but it doesn't last forever, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. "As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend." (Proverbs 27:17) Thank you for sharpening me.