October 23, 2009

Similar . . . But Different

These two flowers, both zinnias, were part of a much appreciated bouquet brought to me by my friend Melaney when my Uncle Kirk passed away. After admiring them carefully, I knew I had to get Edward out and snap a few photos.

Aren't they beautiful and fascinating?! Beautiful because their colors are so rich and vibrant and their petals are so delicate and intricate. Fascinating because these two flowers, though from the same family, the same garden and probably the same seed pack, are so very, very different in appearance!

Over a year ago, when I first learned I had a sister, my emotions expectantly covered a very wide range. And though I couldn't admit it at the time {because I felt ashamed} one of my initial reactions was that of pure selfishness.

I worried that I would get lost in an endless train of comparison to my new sibling. I was afraid that when the comparing occurred - and I knew it would occur - I would be the one coming up short every time. I feared that people would no longer see me for me, but would instead see me as the former only daughter or the new little sister or the less accomplished child. Basically, I was okay to welcome the change, but only if it wouldn't change anything for me.

Yeah, I know. Lame.

Luckily, time, understanding and a year's worth of experience have given me a gift I never expected to come from this entire situation. And seeing these two flowers a few weeks ago was a sweet reminder of this tender mercy the Lord has awarded me as I've gained a sister.

Just like these zinnias, my sister and I have many things in common. We're both tall, slender blonds. We both love to read books and hunt for great bargains at thrift stores and garage sales. We're both devoted to being mothers and wives. We both enjoy close friendships with women and are actively involved in religious faiths.

But the blessing of our sisterhood is that while our similarities bring much to our relationship, it is our differences which enrich it beyond what I could have ever realized. As my sister and I have enjoyed minutes, hours and days together learning about each other, it has become very clear to me that my fears over a year ago were unfounded. In fact, I have come to know myself more than ever before because I have a sister.

God does not expect us to be the same as everyone else. He does not want us to feel like we fall short. He loves each of us because we are his individual children. And he has absolutely confirmed to me that I am valued beyond measure and so is my sister. It is so wonderful to be different! It is so glorious to be distinct! There is no one else like me or you. And just like the flowers from Melaney, we are each, in our own way, absolutely unique and beautiful.

dragonfly signature

14 comments:

Rachel said...

I love this post. What gorgeous smiles!!!

Apis Melliflora said...

This whole post is a beautiful bouquet that I will enjoy today and for days to come.

When I'm tempted to compare, I choose instead to be inspired: to be filled with the Spirit to do and be better in the example of my wonderful, talented, beautiful, caring sister.

I celebrate our similarities and differences. For me, just having the opportunity to compare (or to be inspired) is a miraculous thing!

Tobi said...

I love this post and I love the picture of you and Apis. Thank goodness for sisters. I have four and each one enhances my life in wonderfully unique ways.

Kasey Hunt said...

Very beautiful flowers. Great story!!

The Queen Vee said...

Two good, generous, beautiful, talented, smart, loving, funny, women who are both living miricles to me. I love both your differences and your similarities and continue to wonder why me to be the birth mother to the two of you.

DF you've made the adjustment and transition look easy although I know it wasn't. Thank you for being you.

Jean/ladyjosh said...

very nicely written and expressed. You are both very special people. J&J

starz916 said...

The close up picture of the 2 of you is crazy! Your lips, your nose...oh my!

The Queen Vee said...

Miracles, I do know how to spell it.

squeezeme said...

And for me to be in a room with the two of you for the first time last month....confirmed just what you wrote. Amazing women--who inspire all who know and love you both!

jd said...

astounding how much you two look alike. And absolutely, positively LOVELY. (the post AND you two.)

Lori Gerten said...

Yay. What a great story and how wonderful to be so close after all this time. He truly does work in very mysterious ways.

Tracie said...

Thanks for sharing this journey and for your family's comments! This is just so wonderful! Keep it comin'!

Lori said...

Sweet Samantha- Your honesty is tender and poignant. Sometimes it's easy to think that the fine accomplishments and qualities of others somehow diminishes our own. I believe it's these moments of reflection that allow us a glimpse and realization of our individual and eternal worth and divine nature. If you don't know already, I'll say it again. Your talents AND flaws are what endear you to so many... you've been blessed with many gifts that are an inspiration to me and many others. YOU ARE LOVED...and even though I haven't met the sweet bee...I feel the same about her. I look forward to the day when I can visit with her and tell both of you what a special place you hold in my heart. Sounds crazy I know, but lucky me for marrying into such a wonderful family! Love you!

Tarra said...

Dragonfly, such a beautiful post, I am once again blessed by the reading.
Have a wonderful day!