That thing called sisterhood.

The older I become the more appreciative I am of the true girl friends that fill my life.

While I’m not old, I’ve certainly lived long enough to recognize the futility that comes hand-in-hand with senseless competitiveness and desperate struggles to be everything you think your friend (or neighbor or sister or cousin or even a perfect stranger) is.

As I begin my cruise through mid-life I am thankful for the great group of gals that surround me. They praise my strengths and tolerate my idiosyncracies. They cry with me and laugh with me. They know that I’m not perfect and they’re okay with that. My secrets, hopes, and dreams are buried in the vaults that are their hearts. My name is safe on their lips.

It hasn’t always been this way and – because of that – I am so thankful for this stage in my life. It takes a while to see the world and our place in it with clarity. It takes even longer to understand that no one can fill our exact place, just as we cannot even begin to fill someone else’s. We’re unique, God’s own Originals.

The reality is that we, as women, tend to wear veneers, whether thick or thin, that shield our vulnerabilities and present only the ‘pretty’ side of ourselves. The side we want others to see. The side WE choose, not necessarily the portrait of the woman God created us to be.

A few years back I made a very conscious decision to remove myself from the pettiness that we women sometimes fall prey to. I became very aware that most women are not so much unlike…me. We come in all shapes, all sizes, all makes and models, but the essentials are very familiar.

We need to be loved, for sure, and appreciated and respected. But I can’t help but believe that what we need more than anything is TO love. To love without boundaries, without limits, without expectations. To truly love is the greatest gift and women are abundantly endowed with it. We’re nurturers by nature and yet, so often, we fail to nurture and support one another.

We’re a sisterhood and our strongest ally is most likely standing right by our side. But she may too shy, too opinionated, too angry, or too goofy even, to approach. Even so, I have a feeling that her heart beats much the same as mine does. I’m quite sure that her arms shelter someone much as my own do, and that her eyes drip tears of joy and sadness and pain – exactly as my eyes do.

She has hurts and disappointments. Pride and shame. Strengths and weaknesses. Irritating habits and endearing characteristics . She is my sister. My friend. My neighbor. The woman next to me in line at Target. She is the young girl who does my nails. She is the elderly woman that I pass weekly at church.

I may not always know her name.

But I pray I always see her.

She’s not all that different from me.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly (or sisterly!) love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:9-10

8 Responses to That thing called sisterhood.
  1. Susan (5 Minutes for Mom)
    February 26, 2009 | 2:21 am

    Love this post! Wow. So true, Sister!

  2. Carey
    February 26, 2009 | 9:33 am

    Beautifully said. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. Petula
    February 26, 2009 | 11:21 am

    I think I only have one true girlfriend. Someone who is honest and blunt, caring and loving… I guess one is better than none! 🙂 I was just thinking earlier that we women should, at minimum, stop disrespecting each other and join together in the sisterhood you speak of. But, it is important to recognize that pain and similarity in self. The verse you chose is very appropriate.

  4. Janice (5 Minutes for Mom)
    February 26, 2009 | 8:41 pm

    That vulnerability and openness is why I think we are so close to our online girlfriends. It is so much harder in real like sometimes…

  5. Jena Webber
    February 26, 2009 | 10:20 pm

    Hi, I’m new to this site, but it is nice! I could help write articles, if you need it. I wrote a nice article about making friends on my blog today.

  6. Louise Shiflet Koenemann
    February 27, 2009 | 4:40 pm

    Staci, I love this article, and it is so true. Sure made me stop and ask myself have I put away my pettiness? I thank God daily for the girl friends I have–old & new–and believe me, I have made a lot of new ones as we travel around the country from job to job. Also, Christian girl friends are the best!

    Can’t wait for the day we meet, Cuz!

  7. shelby
    February 28, 2009 | 11:47 am

    I love this post. My friends now are the most ‘true’ friends that I’ve ever had. It takes many years of learning how to ‘be’ a good and loyal friend as well as learning to recognize which are your own ‘true’ friends. It is certainly quality over quantity for me!

  8. Angela
    February 28, 2009 | 7:11 pm

    Beautifully written, Staci