I grew up with two sisters. I grew up with having to share things with others. I grew up living in the shadows of my sisters. “You know, when your sister was your age she was doing ____.”
While I love my sisters to the moon and back, the second we were no longer sharing a living space, they became my best friends. We survive best in limited doses. After too long, we start to gnaw at each other and push each other’s pressure points.
We’re sisters. That’s what we do.
But I love them. But we can’t live together. But I love them.
So imagine my surprise when I became an adult and decided to join, not one, but TWO all women organizations. You would think I would stay clear of sisterhoods and any groups with women only. Obviously, this was not the case.
In fact, being in a sorority gave me a whole ‘nother feeling of sisterhood. These women and I all made a choice to join this organization and it shows in all that we do. When I was granted the opportunity to become a member, I dove in head first and began working immediately. There was so much community service that needed to be done and I just wanted to be apart of the change. Being a member of a sorority as an adult came with a lot of responsibility and a lot of work. And I was just happy to be in the numbers.
Life was going well for me. I was happy. I became Recording Secretary of the chapter, I participated in events, and then LIFE hit me. The depression stole my joy, my sunshine, and my soul. I had quit all activities and I wanted to quit life. Not slowly, but immediately I stopped communicating with my sorority sisters. I was not present- emotionally or physically- for any of their live events (or my own). I was just living a shell of a life. It was miserable.
One day my line sister had invited me to yet another event that I, of course, declined. She said to me “you are pulling away from the very people and activities that give you life.” Or something like that. Let’s be honest, her words went in one ear and straight out the other. I mean, she gave good advice but I wasn’t ready for it. The Dark Place was comfortable. The Dark Place allowed me to eat cookies-n-cream ice cream everyday. The Dark Place was life.
After many months in The Dark Place, I thought my life was improving. My relationship with GD seemed better and we were moving to our own place. While I thought things were looking up, I still stayed away from my sorority sisters. I wanted to be “whole” before I saw them again. I wanted to have my life in order and be as well put together as they were. I wanted perfection before I returned.
They would text me, FB/IG me, and even mail cards (yes, they sent me literal mail). They loved and cared about me just that much.
So why couldn’t I love myself that much?
Why did I continue to allow myself to be apart from the women who cared about me?
Because I was broken.
In my brokenness I did not know my own worth. In hindsight, I realized that this is why GD and I stayed together- because I was afraid to love myself enough to know what was good for me, versus what was bad for me.
Flash forward to today…
I moved back home this weekend. God literally touched and anointed every aspect of my move. He gave me every penny for the move through a random school survey. He allowed me to find affordable movers (who showed up on time!). He allowed my items to fit in the cheapest U-haul truck. He allowed the movers to pack all my items in the truck and storage unit in exactly two hours (the amount of time that I paid for, EXACTLY). Everything went according to His plan. He is so phenomenal! I thought I was going to be so exhausted but then God also gave me the strength to attend a sorority event (ok, I’m listening God).
I realized that everything that I was afraid of (them mentioning the weight gain, them asking where I’d been, etc.) they never did. They didn’t care about the past; they just missed me. And I missed them, too.
Today my sorority sisters literally welcomed me with open arms and I was instantly reminded why I wanted to be a member. Yes, I wanted to be a part of the service and the scholarship that the sorority participates in, but I also wanted to be in the sisterhood. These women pray like there is no tomorrow and when they see another sister in a spiritual or emotional bind, they pray even harder. These women love with their whole hearts. They believe in the idea that blood doesn’t make you sisters, love does. When I stepped into the event hall today, I immediately felt love and warmth. Every second there made me want to work all the more harder. My desire to retreat to another Dark Place-type of situation was thrown out the window when I saw them. Oh how I love them!
As if I needed another sign that this was where I truly needed to be, God sent His confirmation through the presentation of the keynote speaker. What did she talk about, you may ask? She talked about Domestic Violence. Wow! Come through, God! Domestic Violence was the first field that I entered when I decided to pursue nonprofit work. My family has been affected by Domestic violence (sister as a victim, brother as an abuser). Domestic abuse is one of the two areas where I have a strong passion for work and service (with the other being sexual assault/rape). Violence against women is my passion and my core.
And here was a speaker that I did not know, at an event that I had just decided to attend on Friday, speaking about my passion.
Work, God, work.
I have no clue (like none) what God has planned for me but obviously He needs me here and He needs me with my sorority sisters. They are another source of my strength; strength that was given to me by God.
God’s ways may be mysterious to us but please believe that He has everything under control. I am forever grateful for sisters that He’s given me- both through blood and through love.
I am my sister’s keeper.
And she is mine.
We are iron; we strengthen each other.
Do you have sisters? What’s your relationship with her like? If the relationship is shaky or hanging on by a thread, I encourage you to PRAY. Pray for her. Pray that God would work on whatever separates you two. Pray that God would help you to work through your differences. Let God be the glue that repairs your brokenness and the broken relationship. Seek Him. He is always the answer. Always.
*The picture is a bracelet that my aforementioned line sister gifted me with today.*