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Sunday, October 17, 2004

Daughter #1 Coming Home

We would never have guessed when she moved out almost a year ago, that she would want to come home. At least not so soon. But, (yay!) she is doing so today! It has been a long journey. We are still not talking about the things that upset us or things about which we do not agree. But at least we are talking.

She is really the glue that stick everyone else in the family together. Everyone of her siblings looks up to her, even though she was a little bit of a rebel. When she was fifteen, the youth pastor called us up and told us that she was caught drinking and that she had come into the Youth Group drunk a couple of times. There must have been something else going on in that Youth Group as I later heard about questionable authoritarian techniques used by the youth leaders. But by then she was already out of the group. She had been asked to leave the Youth Group for disciplinary reasons. Unfortunately, at the time, I was not around and her mom was not in a state to talk to the youth leaders. We were so alone during that time.

Then Daughter No. 1 showed her outward rebellion further by getting herself a belly button ring and later on a tattoo, even though we said no. By that time she was over eighteen. The final straw came with her open defiance against us and God and her "declaration of independence." Yet, in spite of all this, I can see all her siblings look up to their Big Sister.

Over the past year, although she had moved out, she had been driving everyone of her brother and sisters around - picking up from school whenever she could, to the store, to music lessons and taking them on shopping trips. She has been a good Big Sister. They are so happy to have her come home again, although she might be leaving soon when she transfers out of Junior College. Even so, they have relied on her for emotional support and she has been able to connect with each of them.

Today was an example. Our son had a little accident. He was skateboarding when he skidded and the skateboard went under a car. He came back home to ask one of his older sisters for help, but by the time they went out, the car had run over his skateboard. He was a mess. He couldn't be consoled by mom or dad. We hugged him for the longest time. He cried until his Big Sister came in, hugged him, listened to his story and consoled him enough to calm down.

I am so thankful for my No. 1 daughter, and I pray that in the days ahead, we will be able to draw closer together as a family. May I be able to model to her, and the rest of the kids, what it means to trust God and enjoy the mercies and grace of Our Heavenly Father.