If you’ve been following along with the blog for a few weeks, you’ll know that we’ve been interviewing a few of the characters from His Perfect Wife and His Perfect Match.
Today we have an exciting interview as we’re speaking with Brianna and Tonya. If you’ve read any of the two books, you’ll know that the sisters had an acrimonious relationship for years.
We’ll be talking to them to see if we can get some insight into what caused the feud and how they were able to resolve it.
Q: (To Tonya) So in your last interview, you hinted at some tension between you and your sister. Could you tell us a little more about that?
*casts a sidelong glance at her sister who reached over to clasp her hand*
For years, I thought my sister did things deliberately to annoy me. In that sense, we’re not unlike many siblings. But for us, it got to a point where Brianna avoided me at all costs.
*smiles gently at her sister*
I don’t blame her. Every time I spoke to her, it was to point out some flaw—real or imagined—that I found in her character.
Q: (To Brianna) How did this antagonism start?
A: It started when I was born because Tonya couldn’t bear the idea that I was more fabulous than her.
*gives her sister a facetious look*
Seriously though, it started the way sibling rivalry always does—with jealousy. It got worse when I was about twelve after Tonya embarrassed me in front of a boy I liked.
Q: (To Tonya) And for you?
A: When Brianna read my diary and then moved out of our bedroom. It felt like I was being blamed for everything and after she moved out…
It was like she’d left the house. I hardly saw her except at meals. And once she got old enough, I rarely saw her then either.
Q: Why did the two of you see each other so rarely if you lived in the same house?
A: (Tonya and Brianna in unison) Because I was avoiding her.
Q: How would you describe your relationship now?
A: *the women smile at each other*
(Brianna) We’re sisters.
(Tonya) We’re working to heal the pain of the past so we can have a stronger relationship. We have a long way to go…
(Brianna) But we’re getting better.
Q: Something I found interesting: though you each claimed to hate the other, both of you married pastors. How do you explain that?
A: (Tonya) I think my little sister just realized that pastors make the best husband.
*gives her sister a teasing smile*
Or maybe she wanted to follow in her big sister’s footsteps.
(Brianna) * rolls her eyes playfully*
Whatever you say, Tonya.
Truth is, I didn’t set out to marry a pastor. For a long time, I resisted him. I wanted nothing to do with Daniel because of his profession.
I eventually realized that he was God’s best for me, so I had to make some changes in my life so I could get all my blessings.
Q: What advice would you give to siblings who don’t get along?
A: (Tonya) Have a conversation. An honest one where you put your feelings on the line.
(Brianna) Yes. You may need to invite an impartial third party who can mediate if things are really bad between you.
(Tonya) Pray. We can accomplish lots of things with prayer.
(Brianna) Put yourself in the other person’s position. It may surprise you to realize your emotions colored some things you’d assumed were absolute truths.
(Tonya) Spend time together doing things the other person likes.
(Brianna) Yes. You’ll be amazed to realize how many things you have in common.
Q: If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
A: (Brianna) Remember that people are people. Flawed, sometimes awful, sometimes wonderful. They will hurt you, but when they do, forgive quickly so you can move on with your life.
A: (Tonya) Don’t take everything so seriously. Give yourself the room to consider that things may not be as they appear.
Thanks for spending time with us today, ladies. It was a wonderful interview. I hope you’ll continue to work on your relationship.
Dear reader, if you’d like to learn more about Brianna and Tonya, check out their books. When you sign up for the newsletter, you’ll get a copy of His Perfect Wife for free.
Brianna’s story—His Perfect Match—is available for purchase from various retailers.