Dear Julie,

Today, as you start classes at seminary, I have a few things to share, through a letter on this blog. I’m so so excited for you. You are embarking on an adventure, one that is 819 miles away. You’ll learn a ton. You’ll grow. You’ll get an MDiv. You’ll find your way in the world, again. And, I’ll miss you. I’m thinking (hoping) you’ll miss me, too. 

Spending the past 14 months or so in the same geographic area as you has been a treat after several years of being far apart. I have so enjoyed sharing life experiences and just being with you — being able to talk in person about our lives, our hopes and our fears.

I’ve been so blessed to experience something beautiful in this relationship we have as adult sisters. I’ve seen myself following in your footsteps and turning to you for advice, even though you’re the younger one.

I believe our closeness in age has always helped our closeness as friends. But we grew up with me being the big sister. I experienced things first, got annoyed when you wore my clothes (or just wore something too similar to me) drove you to school, showed you around high school, helped you pick classes, organized your bedroom closet and drawers and babysat for you and Daniel.

I often felt I was wiser, knew more than you and knew better than you. And, there’s that whole thing about me being the bossy first-born, but this isn’t really about me. Because I’ve seen you grow. I’ve seen you flourish, find your way, excel at life, know what you want, find your passions, pursue your passions and reach even higher. You are a wonder-woman if I will ever know one.

Today, Jules, though I’m older, I don’t feel wiser. I feel like I’m incredibly blessed to have you as a sister and friend. I feel like I can gain wisdom from you because you are thoughtful and well-read, studious and great with words. Perhaps this is why I seek your approval more often that you would like me to.

I enjoy having you as a role model now. You’re someone I can follow after — in faith, lifestyle choices, yoga practices and more.

I truly wish you the best as you begin seminary. I love you and will be here for you in any way I can. I am excited to see what the future holds for you!

Love you, not-so-little sister!