i was 4.
i think that's about right, because i remember the house that we lived in, right around the time i was in kindergarten.
My sister Jessica, was my constant companion, my "key thing buddy", my playground protector & my teacher in the ways of the world. Only 19 months my senior and very tiny for her age, so quite likely smaller than me at that point, she was larger than life in my little world. She was 2 years ahead of me in school & along with my older sister Steph, she was already fluent in French, wise beyond belief, and incapable of doing wrong. In my eyes - my sisters were Queens to be revered and adored... & adore them i did.
My memories of them in childhood seem to get all bungled up & it's hard to remember exactly the stories and circumstances that have become so foggy with time... but some things stick out...
i remember Jessica teaching me how to skip on the way to kindergarten on a day when they were off school. That same day she taught me to whistle. Every single day from then on, i skipped and whistled all the way to kindergarten until the snow got too deep. i remember her sneaking me a piece of hubba bubba when i was crying in my room because my cat got run over. i remember her trading crafts with me because i wrecked mine - & then trading me back once she had fixed mine & i decided i liked it better after all. i remember all manner of forts, imaginary castles & clubhouses, faerie ponds and toques...
But i also remember the day we were hiding out together & she told me i needed to ask Jesus into my heart. i don't remember exactly what she said - or how we prayed... but i do remember her holding my tiny hands in her tinier ones & praying with me as i began the most important relationship i would ever have.
i have always remembered that moment as the moment that i "became a Christian". & i know - it sounds like a childish story... but isn't it beautiful that in those moments of simplicity - a truth was told to a small child - the smallest amount of faith was found - & my life was changed?
The words that we prayed were something like this,
"God, i know i'm a sinner... (how true this was, i probably didn't even know then...) i know that you sent your Son to die on the cross to save me. Please forgive me, and come into my heart to stay. i love you."
Over the years, i've never stopped looking up to my sisters & loving my Saviour.
No... my sisters weren't perfect... & yeh, i found out that they could actually do wrong... but ultimately their lives point to a Father who loves them & has forgiven them & who is shaping & molding them, just like He is me.