“Just then, a religious scholar stood before Jesus in order to test his doctrines. He posed this question: “Teacher, what requirement must I fulfill if I want to live forever in heaven?” Jesus replied, “What does Moses teach us? What do you read in the law?” The religious scholar answered, “It states, ‘You must love the Lord God with all your heart, all your passion, all your energy, and your every thought. And you must love your neighbor as well as you love yourself.’”
Jesus said, “That is correct. Now go and do exactly that, and you will live.”
Hi! My name is Lindsey Nelson, and I am a regular woman trying to do the best I can, just like you. Just because I am writing this blog or occasionally may hold a microphone in my hand, does not mean that I am any more “holy” than you. It does not mean that I have it all together or have arrived at a further destination point that you need to catch up to. Nope. Not even in the least. But I am a daughter of the King, who fully recognizes that she has sisters all around her that need and desire a true sister friend. So here I am, open book, attempting to do my very best in telling you what HE has shown me in the years of desiring a true sister friend.
Growing up, I always found myself in the position of being the shoulder and listening ear to a girl that was going through a rough time. And when I say rough, I mean abnormally rough. I had multiple friends at a very young age, who shared things with me that I ended up having to report to an authority figure. This started even as young as first grade. I’d find myself in the library reading a book and the girl sitting across from me would begin to cry and tell me what was going on at home. This pattern continued over and over again, yet after the moment of being there for the moment of need, they would disappear. I would either not ever see them again, or they would play/hang out with a different girl or group of friends. I was not the girl that was welcomed into many friend groups, but I was the one that consoled or was there when the group kicked one of their members out. I remember sitting in my room saying to myself, I wish I had a real friend. One that stuck around and didn’t leave. One that accepted me for me and didn’t just need me to do something for them or used me for a moment. One that I could feel safe with and know that even if something bad happened, or I made a mistake, we would still be friends. As I got older, I began to just accept that this was my lot in life. I was the “designated friend” for whatever nefarious issue one may find themselves in. I kept my heart tucked away knowing, that at any moment, my table would be empty. It wasn’t until I turned 17 years old, that I met the one friend that would never leave me. Jesus showed me a comfort that filled my longing heart on so many levels. His Holy Spirit began to be my very best friend. My true comforter. Holy Spirit and I… we were tight. We went everywhere together. Talked about everything and anything. Finally, I found the friend that I had always wanted! Before I knew it, this beautiful exchange began to happen. The more time I spend with the Lord, the more I began to love who He created me to be. The more those thoughts of, “I must not be _____ enough and that’s why they never wanted to be my friend” began to wash away. Thoughts of confidence and appreciation in all my little quirks began to blossom. As time went on, I found myself more and more confident in who I was. I was a daughter of the King!! I so loved this revelation, that after being let down by others for so long, I didn’t even feel the need to tell others about this development because I was so content with it being just us. Me and Jesus. Obviously, that’s not how it works. Holy Spirit began to show me that our table was not exclusive, but inclusive. From that point on, I wanted to have the largest table around! I was so ready to have a sisterhood I always so desired. Boy…did I have a journey ahead of me.
As I started this journey of Kingdom sisterhood, a journey I didn’t even realize I was on, the first thing that began to hit me head on, was the reality of what kind of friend I was. No more throwing my own pity party of one, no more excuses. Simply beginning to walk out the slow process of – SELF AWARENESS and RESPONSIBILITY. In all of His mercy and kindness, the Lord began to open my eyes to how I was coming off to others. How my tone sounded to the listening ears. What message my eyes were giving. What my body language was saying. He so gently began to whisper to me, “Linds, you just knicked her with your tone.” My response would have been to Him, “But Lord! I was only telling the truth?!” But because He saw my present moment and destiny all in one, He gently began to teach me what it meant to truly speak the language of Kingdom Sisterhood. That language is spoken unlike any other language. The words are laced with tones of grace and truth. Every syllable is spoken with kindness in mind. The sentence structure is built on the character and nature of Jesus. And the motives behind all that is spoken, is to build up and never to tear down. I needed to learn to speak this language, and then put it into practice just like any other language. The wonderful thing was, I had the best teacher of all time. HE created it, and was walking me through it, one encounter after the other.
Now, in all honesty, this is one of those all nighter-stay up late with junk food-comfy jammies-tissues in hand-wake up late the next morning type of journeys if I were to tell you it in its entirety. But what I will tell you, is that the Lord began to send me different friendships in my life that He would give me one choice to make, “You either love them through this my way and say yes to being my hands extended, or miss what I truly have in store for you. Love your neighbor as yourself. Without selfishness. Without expecting to gain. I’ve got you. Trust me.” Thanks Jesus. No mincing words there. So, I began to say yes. And what I found in the midst of these friendships He was bringing me, was that a cycle began to emerge! The more I chose to love them the way that HE loved me (authentically, through the quirks and personality differences) the more I fell in love with Him! And in turn, loved who He created me to be even more! It happened every time. Without fail. I would choose to obey, speak HIS language and not my own language (that I had learned my whole life), and the cycle would begin again! Now don’t get me wrong, this was no easy walk in the park. I am convinced, the only friendships He sent me there for a while were with women that had serious complexes and didn’t even LIKE other women. But what it felt like was as if I had been studying Spanish in high school for four years and doing well in the classroom, and then having to go to Mexico and realizing that the classroom is MUCH easier than walking it out in real life. When a language is not your native language, it’s never going to fully take the place of your native language. And if you don’t practice it often, you become dusty and not as fluent. No one arrives in this Kingdom language, because it is not of this realm. It’s higher. We all must put it to practice and allow ourselves to grow in its dialect.
I want to tell you sister, there is no such thing as exclusivity with Jesus. There is no such thing as cliques and closed groups in the Body of Christ. We need each other. I have learned, that when I MAKE time for Him, choose to love Him with all my heart, mind, and strength, He speaks that same language to me. Through my mess ups and thousands of failures, He speaks that language to me. It’s full of kindness and grace. Mercy overflows every time and I’ll truly never get over it. But it provokes a response, and that response is to love your neighbor with that same love that has filled you with awe and confidence. It is truly unique unto itself, to have a sister friend that accepts you for you. Through the ups and the downs. The tough conversations and belly laughing moments. The friend that you don’t see for 3 months and then picks up right where you left off…yeah, that kind of friend is priceless. Sister, if you are willing to first BE that friend, speaking from experience, HE will begin to surround you with the true Kingdom Sisterhood your heart desires!