In honor of March being Women’s History Month, the topic of this post is dedicated to an area of my life that God has moved in tremendously. Sisterhood and friendship. I encourage you all to read this fully and take away from this what you can. I want to make it clear that having friendships with men is just as important, but sisterhood is a unique entity of its own. For any men that may be viewing, I pray that you gain a better understanding of the importance of sisterhood and encourage the women in your life to prioritize it as well.
In terms of friendship, I feel that we have become too consumed with thinking about who is worthy to be associated with us. Filtering through who offers the most entertainment, the most connections, the most clout or loyalty. It is as if we create mental resumes for those whom we might consider a friend. I am not saying that being selective of who we are close to is wrong. In fact, I know that this type of selectivity is essential especially when considering how vulnerable and impactful friendships truly are. However, I feel as if we have put ourselves on a pedestal that fosters the mindset of only being in relationship with those who serve us but require very little from us. A mindset that puts us in opposition of one another instead of in relationship with each other.
Your friendships should often make you think the following: How can I make things easier for them? What can I do to let them know I appreciate them? In the midst of conflict, how do I let them know this tension does not negate my love for them? These questions are intimate, vulnerable, and intentional. They sound a lot like the questions you’d ask in romantic relationships. If I am being honest, verbalizing these questions in terms of my friendships made me cringe at first. I did not understand that my friendships needed the same deep compassionate love that romantic relationships needed. Of course the boundaries and nature of this type of love looks different between something that is romantic and something that is platonic, but still present nonetheless. My friends have genuinely made me question how I could be better to them and how to be better to myself.
Relationships with our families are one thing. We are born into those bonds and cultivated by them. Familial relationships are important, but our friendships speak to our identities more than the bonds that helped create them do. Friendships are mirrors to what really dwells within us. As much as I dislike the saying, birds of a feather REALLY DO flock together. What do your friendships reveal about you? What do your friendships require you to bring to the table? Are your friendships helping you grow (Prov 27:17)? These are serious things to think about and consider.
Relationships among women have often been minimized to gossip and/or competition. We have seen so many portrayals of women despising each other that many think this is how women generally are. Yes, these things do happen, but friendships among women have real substance. We build each other up and support each other through hard times (1 Thes 5:11). We create safe spaces for one another to be vulnerable and spaces where we can correct each other lovingly. I am here to tell you that there are compassionate, bold, and humble women of God who are out here loving and genuinely supporting each other. There are plenty out here to love and support you. Your desire for sisterhood and friendship is beautiful, don’t be ashamed of it. God delights in our friendship, in our sisterhood.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken."
In a time when society tells us that we need no one but ourselves, we REALLY need each other. I say this with a pleading heart; don’t abandon the women that God has placed in your life because they push you. They may push your buttons, push you beyond your comfort, or push and challenge your idea of friendship, but who said your friend pushing you in this manner was forbidden?
Share with me a story of someone who developed positively in the presence of yes (wo)men only. Show me someone who has had lasting relationships without ever being challenged within them. From my knowledge, those things do not exist and it is a huge disservice to yourself if you seek out friendships that are like that. I can acknowledge that some situations are hurtful and surely there are people we have no business of being in the company of, however that does not mean every friendship will hurt us or that everyone has an ill intent. Please do not let your past keep you from the sisterhood God has reserved for you.
You will not find anything else like the sisterhood we foster. God is in the midst. Culture is in the midst. There is meaning within these bonds and they will not be severed by the petty things of this world IF we protect them. If we nurture them. If we are intentional, dedicated, and committed to them. Take on the burden of friendship. Yes you may experience loss on the way, but what you gain is so much greater.
God did not put us on this earth to be alone. I’ll say it again for my sistas in the back; God did not put you on this earth to be alone! You need more than your man. You need more than your kids. You need more than your cousins and siblings. They are essential to your life, but so are your girls. Don’t be intimidated by the (s) at the end of friends. As I stress the importance of having them, I am not saying you need a dozen or even five. However I am saying you need real ones. Ones that are christ-like and are willing to carry your burden (Gal 6:2) and intercede on your behalf.
I encourage you to be intentional about finding your women if they are not already in your life. The women God has destined you to grow with. The ones who will push, love, correct, and support you. Make the choice to be a woman’s woman. There is so much value in a sister that you have chosen, just as much value as the sisters that you may have been given. God has an assignment for your life that requires you to have a group of warrior women alongside you. Seek God first, so he can lead you to them. We all need friendship. We all need sisters.
There are too many influential women in my life that I call my friends to include in this post. Some of which I spent a memorable night with before going our separate ways this semester. You all know who you are and these words are meant for you too.
To The A-Team: We chose this name at random, not giving it much thought. But, oh how fitting it is. I know I say this a lot, but I can’t say it enough, I cannot wait to do life with you! I was told that college friendships hit differently, but now I know what that means. We went from chilling in our dorms to making our apartment into a home. Things haven’t always been easy. We’ve had our ups and our downs, but we always come out with each other. My best friends, sisters in christ, sisters in life, future bridesmaids, and aunties to my future children, this is to you.
Thank you for believing in the woman God has destined me to be and for continuously speaking life into her. Thank you for your shoulders that I have not used enough for my tears. The shoulders that have selflessly taken on my burdens. Often , you have pulled me to my finish line while I ran a race that had nothing to do with you. Thank you for making me feel light in your presence and loved in your absence. Thank you for loving me the God way. Our friendships, our sisterhood, has been the breeding ground of vulnerability, trust, compassion, accountability, joy, adventure, faith, and resilience. God knew what he was doing when we crossed paths, we just didn’t know where he would take us. I could write three volumes worth of thank yous, and that still would not convey the depth of my gratitude.
My appreciation has no end, but lastly thank you for being patient while I learned how to be your friend. While I learned how to be your sister.
The A-Team; Group of main characters who seem to always survive everything, whilst all the other characters around them die out.