My little sister is a very special young woman. Corrina joined our family when she was 3 years old, and has since overtaken our hearts. For some reason she and I have connected in a unique way. I am ten years her senior, but Colin always says that when she and I are together I always seem to enjoy her company as much as my 20-something old friends, which I would say it absolutely true.
Corrina is gorgeous. She is adopted, so her genetic make-up is different then Bethany’s, Peter’s and mine, and it certainly shows. She is tall, has to die for full, beautiful, curly hair, and when she smiles it lights up a whole room. No one wants to stand next to Cori during family photos because you risk looking like a troll next to her.
The best things about Corrina have nothing to do with her external beauty, but more her sweet spirit. She genuinely loves people. Whenever she and I are driving in the car and we see a homeless person on the corner, she never fails to ask if I have anything we can offer to them. Her compassion is compelling. Cori is a pleasure for adults to be around. She has no cell phone, so isn’t constantly texting her teenage friends; she knows how to truly engage in conversation with people, which is a rare thing in girls her age these days.
Being a freshman in high school is tough. I pray for Cori every single day. My passion for her success in life is more what one would feel for a beloved daughter, not necessarily a younger sister. Moving to Bellingham, Washington during this fundamental time of her development has not been easy for either of us. I am filled with thanks that Cori always feels safe to talk to me about anything. Having gone through some very extreme high school trauma when I was just a year older then her, I think she knows that I will never judge her, and only want to help her learn from my mistakes.
This weekend there were some “confessions” made from my dear girl, not anything bad per say, just normal high school silliness. She told me everything while we were together in person, and then proceeded to inform me that she wanted me to tell mom and dad everything. I sensed a fear in her to talk to mom and dad about it, she never wants to disappoint anyone, which, I think, drives her to secrecy. I considered her request, but then in the end had a very unique opportunity to encourage her to come forward herself and share what is going on with our parents. I explained to her that she had not done anything overtly wrong, other then guilt by omission when she chose not to have full disclosure with our parents.
When I think back on my own story it is very clear to me that my spiral down began with secrecy and sin that took place in the “darkness”. John 3:20 says, “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” My craziness in high school did not begin with evil intentions, but was more a result of my own naïve nature at the time and a deep seeded fear of having my sin found out; being exposed for who I really was. The deeper into sin I dug, the more I would try to hide it, and the more callused I became to my own sin nature. I was no longer sensitive to the whispers of the Holy Spirit gently steering me back to Jesus.
Needless to say, my sin did catch up with me and the pain that ensued is something that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. So, I think it’s very natural that everything inside of me is in high gear to keep Cori safe and never fearful to tell the truth, I never want her to fear exposure of sin. Proverbs 28:13, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
Whenever my parents would tuck me in at night as a child and into my teenage years they would pray with me and in their prayers they would never fail to ask God to let my sins come into the light. That my “sin would find me out.” I HATED such prayers at the time, but as I get older I am more and more compelled not only to pray that for my own children one day, but also to pray that for myself, that my sin would be exposed so that I can have an opportunity to experience the fullness of grace and mercy that can only come from Jesus.
Cori.... I love that girl. She brings me so much JOY. My prayer for Cori today is that she will never be fearful of being honest, having full disclosure, that the Holy Spirit would continue to reign in her heart and be heard clearly in her mind. Let her see that our parents care so deeply for her success in life, and have her best interest at heart. They would never want to hold her back from anything in life, but rather, want to protect her from the things in this world that she does not yet comprehend in her 15-year-old mind and limited life expereince, even though I remember being that age and thinking I knew EVERYTHING there was to know. May she never experience the downward spiral that I had, or the pain and loss that were a natural consequence to my sins.
...BUT if she does, I pray for the grace and love to continue being a listening ear and a vessel of the Holy Spirit in her life.