My dear younger sister. I’m going to try to include the least amount of pedantry possible.
Things might seem a little strained between us lately, but believe me when I say that it’s only because I’m a bit older and have been where you’ve been. We’ve gotten in crazy debates about religion, and I’m sure it might grieve your heart within because you believe in everything you believe because of our upbringing.
I remember being a high school senior, then in college, and having my faith so steadfastly rooted in one thing. When people questioned my beliefs, I recall that feeling of deep pity for them; having the strongest desire for them to open their eyes and hearts and see that the way I felt was the best way to live.
But I ran away from home. I traveled to Ghana and solo through Kenya and Zambia. I’ve been to Europe. I’m not trying to belittle, but I’ve seen so much of the world and have known true, singletary struggle. I’ve learned much about different ways of life and being. So many of my life experiences post-living-with-mom have shaped me into the person I am today.
Had I not stepped outside of my comfort zones at home with the parents and seen the world through my own lens (rather than through the lenses provided by mom and dad), I doubt I would have my viewpoints.
So this is why I want to say right now that I empathize with you. I *get* the feelings you have about me, and believe me when I say that just “going to a church small group” or “having fellowship with other believers (I almost typed Beliebers, OMG)” is not going to help me “see the light.” This letter isn’t about convincing you to think like me, because we’ve had such different young adult life experiences. This letter is to let you know that I understand where you’re coming from.
And isn’t that what life is about? Recognizing the differences between people to try to understand and connect with them.
There are over 6 billion people on the planet. If EVERY SINGLE last one of us had all THE same beliefs and viewpoints, this world would be very very boring. This is why I no longer believe that born-again Christians should go out and take over the entire world with their one story of gospel, redemption, and individual saving grace. It just doesn’t make sense and wouldn’t apply to every single person on this earth; let’s be real.
You have your own life to carve out. You will find your own path to enlightenment. I’m your older sister and will always be wiser (seriously, you can’t argue with this one), but I find it hard to believe that you will completely understand what I’m talking about without experiencing it for yourself. And that’s how life should happen for everyone.
Self-improvement is an ongoing process; our passions will change throughout life, and our levels of awareness will only continue to evolve as we learn more in this journey.
I love you and am so proud of all the hard work you put in to making your life meaningful to you.
p.s.: this just might be the only blog I’ve written that doesn’t include profanity. Consider yourself an influence on my verbal nonchalance. :)