“Hey Summer, what’s the bitterness in your heart and what brings you joy?” Winter asked Summer as they walked into the kitchen.
It couldn’t be by chance that they both noticed the same verse in their Proverbs reading today, it meant something. It also made her realize that all this time she had been trying to help Summer without ever asking her sister what she really wanted.
Each heart knows it’s own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.
What made her cry herself to sleep at night? What made her laugh? Was she happy? When was the last time she had felt joy?
They stood across from each other at the kitchen table but no one said anything. Sure she always thought having Jesus in one’s life and being close to Him brought joy to a person but what if she was going about it the wrong way? What made her such an expert at any of this that she would try to control her sister’s life.
Was she even happy herself? Did she have that joy? What of the bitterness and fear in her own heart?
“You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to, it’s just that it would make my life so much easier if I knew what I pray for whenever I want to pray for you,” she added.
Praying for her was better than trying to control her life right? At least God knows the amazing plans He has for her.
“My art I guess. I haven’t made anything in a long time, I haven’t been creative just for the sake of being creative in a long time,” Summer responded.
Winter nodded and thought about it for a second. It was something she had considered before, especially knowing how much she couldn’t live without her writing. It often make her feel sad to know that her sister wasn’t herself anymore, she had to change fast to take her of all them. She had to let go of her dreams to be there for everyone else.
“But I think the worst part is the promise I made to dad before he died. He made me promise to take care of you guys no matter what, to be the mother and father you guys need … and I just can’t. I feel like such a failure everyday and I don’t know what I am doing. Sometimes I just want to give up, but I can’t. And here I am depending on a 15 year old because I have no one else.
“What kind of a person does that make me? Burdening a 15 year old I am supposed to be taking care of with my bitterness? And yet I can’t be quiet anymore because it’s killing inside. And the truth is, you are wiser than I am. You knew I needed God in my life even when I did not.
“So you want to know what brings me joy? It’s you, you bring me more joy than anything else in the world. Your smile, your accomplishments and your love. I struggle a lot with Autumn and Camellia, but every time I think of you, I get a slice of joy. Because no matter how much I have failed you, you are always there, supporting me at every turn, even when I am borrowing money for gas,” they both laughed a little at that.
“It’s because of you I don’t give up, because of your love and support. Thank you for loving me,” Summer added whispering that last part.
With tears running down her face, Winter threw herself into Summer’s arms, and for the second time that week, cried her heart out. In that moment she understood the joy part of that verse, her sister would truly never understand the joy she had just caused with that confession.
The joy, and the sadness.
Winter wasn’t even sure which one was causing the tears.
“I hope you are crying with joy Winter, and not for me. You know every time I miss all the plans I used to have for my life, I usually look at you and everything you are doing. One of us has to make it Winter, and I am glad it’s you. Please promise me you won’t let Camellia and this whole situation steal your smile and passion.
“Promise me that when we walk into that office tomorrow, you will opt out of that research and choose to be happy instead. I think God can provide more for us than we can provide for ourselves. You told me that once. Don’t do this because you think you have to step away, trust He will make a way. In one of those sermons you gave me, I learned that God leads us by the absence of His peace, are you at peace right now with this situation?” Summer asked.
Winter cried even harder as she realized that Summer was right. In all this drama, she hadn’t stopped to ask what God’s will is. She hadn’t stopped to check her peace meter. Instead of being supply focused, she had been so focused on the demand before them.
So what if Summer had lost the project that paid their school fees, it was never the assignment, it was always God. Maybe it had been part of God’s plan for Summer to lose it. Either way, God would turn the situation to make it work together for their good.
And the God who had been taking care of them this whole time, would do it for them again. The battle was His.
Wiping her face, she laughed and smiled at Summer, feeling as if a weight had been taken off her shoulders. She had to stop fighting a battle that wasn’t hers to fight, she had to leave to the One who could.
“Thank you,” Winter said to Summer, “I needed that reminder. When did you even have the time to learn all that with how busy you have been?”
“One thing is needful right?” Summer replied pulling her back into a hug. “Now, I think we need some food, someone convinced me last night…or early this morning that midnight snacks were bad for my health and now I am hungry. You need to feed me!”
Winter laughed and turned around to start making some breakfast, but froze when she saw Camellia and Autumn standing in the kitchen door. She looked back at Summer, to check if she had seen them and managed to catch Summer’s look of surprise.
So Summer hadn’t seen them arrive either. How long have they been standing there?
Saying a quiet good morning to them, she decided to start on breakfast instead of trying to figure it out.
As she reached to grab some eggs, she realized she didn’t know how many people she was cooking for. For everyone or just Summer and herself? She turned and looked at Summer asking for help.
“You two staying for breakfast?” Summer asked coming to her rescue.
When they both nodded, Winter turned around and opened the fridge to get some more stuff. She was surprised to find some new stuff in the fridge and the leftover food gone.
“I brought home some things last night that I can help you make a quick breakfast with,” Autumn said behind her.
Not knowing what to do Winter nodded, starting handing the food to Autumn.
“And maybe after breakfast we could all sit and talk about what’s been going on? I am sorry for my actions over the past week, and I would really like to know what is going on,” Autumn said.
Winter felt a flush of anger at the reality that Autumn had been treating her badly all this time when she didn’t know the full story, but she pushed it away and nodded.
Keeping a grudge won’t get her anywhere, she had to let go of everything if things were going to get better.
She would forgive, because she was forgiven.Find me on Social media: