by Leah French
Sisterhood, a complex, yet simple word. For some the word “sister” may stir up past hurts, for some it may bring back fond memories, and for others you may feel a mix of emotions between love, loyalty, loss, bitterness, safety, and acceptance.
Sisters are the ones you can argue and disagree with, but no one else better mess with. Sisters will charge with you into battle, fighting by your side. They are quick to come to your defense. Sisters know when something is going on and check on you, even when you don’t say a word. Sisters are the ones you allow to push you harder than most, knowing when you need that extra support. Sisters are our sounding boards and safe places to confide. Sisters are the ones who hold you accountable and tell you the truth in love. Sisterhood builds our character and makes us stronger. Sisters make us better.
“It takes a grinding wheel to sharpen a blade, and so one person sharpens the character of another.” – Proverbs 27:17 (TPT)
True sisterhood requires vulnerability, which can sometimes feel messy and scary. Vulnerability is the capability of or susceptibility to being wounded or hurt; it is being open to moral attack, criticism, or temptation. Relationships can only go as deep as our level of vulnerability, which is most often earned as we trust others by sharing more of our lives little by little over time. Vulnerability can be especially scary when it requires us to expose our shame. Shame is the fear that tells us that if others truly see, then we will be seen as unworthy of true connection.
“Confess and acknowledge how you have offended one another and then pray for one another to be instantly healed, for tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer!” – James 5:16 (TPT)
Brene Brown, an expert on vulnerability, says “vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.”
The Kingdom sisters in my life have helped me fight through tough situations and circumstances. They push me out of my comfort zone. They won’t allow me to settle for less than what God has for me. They know when I’m giving-in to my insecurities and remind me of who I am in Christ; pointing me towards time in His presence. My Kingdom sisters remind me, sometimes with a little sass, of what God has already spoken to me and of my “why” when things feel shaky and uncertain. They give me tough love and know when to just sit with me while I work through my emotions. My sisters show grace and walk with me in accountability when I share my shame. They live Galatians 6:2 with me, sharing my burdens. Sisterhood is worth the risk!
Brene Brown also says, “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”
It takes courage, grace, trust, openness, and the heart of our Father to walk out sisterhood. When things get hard and when feelings are hurt, remember Matthew 18:22 and forgive seventy times seven.
To my sisters who have been there, who are here, and those who are to come, thank you! I pray I am a trusted sister for you too!