I’ve always wanted to be apart of a big family. You know the ones with lots of brothers and sisters and tons of cousins and aunts and uncles. The ones with nieces and nephews when the time was right. The ones where a family meal is an event that takes lots of time to prepare for. The ones where everyone is going in every single different direction, where chaos always ensues, where a piece of dinnerware is bound to break every time the grandkids are over. The ones where love is found in the very core of the family.
I’ve always wanted one of those.
Every night when I was little, I prayed and prayed my heart out for a baby brother or a baby sister. I wanted one so bad. As I grew up, I would imagine what life would have been like if I had siblings, how different things would be, and whether or not I would have liked it.
Obviously, the Lord didn’t have that as a plan for me to grow up with multiple siblings. (I still always hope and pray that the guy I marry is like one of six kids. That would be so fun!). I grew up an only child and an only grandchild on my dad’s side. There are eight of us grandkids on my mom’s side, but our ages span over 25 years. We grew up in three different states, and we have never been super close. I’ve always wanted those cousins that you go on vacation with, the ones that you build sand castles with at the beach. I don’t think I’ve ever gone on vacation with one of my extended family members.
Today, I’ve been blessed by someone who is the closest thing to a big sister that I’ll ever have. She’s been in my life since I was around ten or so, almost ten years now. She’s seen me go through pimples and braces, short hair and long hair, the loss of weight and the gaining back of it, and every other thing that could be considered traumatic in a teenager’s life. She’s seen me cry one too many times and laugh until my sides hurt. She’s been there for me when I want to talk about a boy, and she’s given me encouragement when things don’t go the way I’ve planned. She’s really been like a big sister to me.
I got to be in her wedding. When she found out she was pregnant, she started calling me “Aunt Ashton”. At first, I thought she was just trying to be sweet. But last week, just hours after her youngest son had been born and she texted me asking me to come to the hospital, I knew she really meant it. And today as I was leaving her house, when the oldest looked at me and said, “Bye, Ash Ash,” and ran up and hugged me as tight as he could, I knew it was a blessing straight from the Lord.
I’m thankful that the Lord really does see the desires of our heart, even if He chooses to grant them to us in ways we never could’ve imagined.