All posts by Kim

The Rest of the Story

Note: Please read Vicki’s post “Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones. Or Something Like That” before reading this post.  It’ll make more sense that way. 

Ok, first of all, she deserved it.  Who winds up their pajamas like a wet towel and snaps someone in the face (yes, it was the face not the legs)?  And for the record, her finger was at a 45* angle, not 90* – that would just be freakish.  But the part about my dad being really, really mad?  Totally accurate.   And in case anyone is curious, my blood pressure still rises at the thought of being snapped with a towel or pajamas.  Consider yourself warned.

I also remember how we were on the same team immediately following the deafening cracks of her finger. I can still feel it crackling under my own fingers if I concentrate hard enough. I remember screaming “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry!” and being amazed when she frantically responded, “It’s ok!”

Really?!  It’s ok?!  Well, I guess you did ask for it…

I remember standing at the top of the stairs and watching my parents run to Vicki to see what all the fuss was about. I remember being terrified of their response.  Our Mom looked at me with sympathy and Dad simply didn’t say much to me at all. His eyes, however, spoke volumes. They left for the hospital and I clearly remember crawling into bed with my brother, Chad.   He might deny this if asked, but I cuddled up to him and listened as he prayed for Vicki’s safety.  I was terrified and apparently, he was nervous, too. If I remember correctly, my dad was upset for a few days, but no punishment was given. It’s safe to assume that the natural consequences of my choices were effective enough.

It still fascinates me that Vicki and I can have civil conversations today.  If you had told me at the age of 10 that she and I would one day be best friends, I would have said you were crazy.  My parents would have told you that, too.   And now you know the rest of the story.

It’s How I Feel

So, my sister and her family are moving to Thailand.  Several people have asked me how I feel about their big announcement.  I’ve always known that overseas missions were a possibility for Conrad and Vicki, but finding out that the plan is becoming a reality is harder to swallow than I imagined it would be. So many emotions, few of them positive. I still think they misunderstood the Lord’s call and they’re really supposed to “BUY LAND” for their dream house or something. It’s an easy mistake to make… “buy land,” “Thailand.” They’re very similar.

Until they figure out their little misunderstanding with the Lord, I am left trying to figure out my role in this process. Cheerleader? Prayer warrior? Wet blanket? Unfortunately, the latter is what comes most naturally to me. However, I deeply respect my sister and her husband and no matter how I feel about the situation, the reality is they have been called. How I feel has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with me.

My initial emotion was anger.  Am I allowed to admit that? Am I alone in that feeling? How dare they? I am in a stage of life that requires a sister’s support. And babysitting.  And how will I ever know what to buy when I need new clothes?  I don’t do fashion, people! Who else but Vicki knows exactly what I mean and exactly what to say when I call with frustrations, challenges of motherhood, or recipe questions? Being okay with her moving to the other side of the world is simply asking too much.

Then, it was sadness.  Who will love on my kids like Vicki does? Who can understand me like she does when I say I just want to eat their faces or chew on their toes?  Surely that doesn’t make sense to just anyone.  My husband thinks I’m a freak.  And who can understand the sadness I feel at Christmas time the way that Vicki does? Again, not just anyone.  And how can I miss out on these critical years for Lydia, Bryn, and Ellie? The girls will be changed young women when they come back from Thailand.  That just makes me sad.

Then, it was conviction.  It is so like me to take a situation like this and make it about me. About my kids. My needs.  Who am I to intervene when Conrad and Vicki finally see the opportunity to fulfill their dreams of serving overseas? Despite all of my efforts to sabotage their plans with my selfishness, at the end of the day, this is a holy calling.  A divine pull toward a people and land that have already begun to take root in the hearts of a mom, dad, and three beautiful girls. How dare I get in the way of that?

Today, I feel challenged. Challenged to encourage, support, and defend this call. Will I still feel the wild mix of emotions that I have already experienced in the few months I have known about this possibility? Absolutely. Am I allowed to feel those feelings? I’m a therapist…of course I’m allowed. So, here we go. Vicki is moving to Thailand. We’ll get used to the idea. Maybe I’ll even get excited for her. Maybe I shouldn’t push it. One step at a time.