My life is blessed by a small group of amazing women. Some I’ve known for 30+ years, others are recent additions. All special and unique in their gifts and the love we share. All I call sisters.
These women come from varying backgrounds, are in different stages of life, some married, others widowed but all are lovers of Jesus. All offer unconditional love, life-sustaining support, and much-needed accountability.
During a recent illness, this group of women provided tangible support. Meals arrived at the door. The garden watered daily and weeds pulled. Our dog taken on long walks, river swims, and amazing car adventures.
The support would just show up. I never had to ask, they knew me well enough to know the needs. They knew how to intersect the discouragement, the pain, the frustration lifting my spirits and giving me the needed time to heal.
My sisters, biological and chosen, fill me in a way that my husband can’t. Don’t get me wrong my husband is an extremely loving and empathetic man, reared by a single mom and surrounded by older sisters. He knows women and he knows me.
But, there is something powerful about the love and relationship of sisters. We share a common heart, a common mind, a common spirit that feeds the soul.
As a child and young woman, I learned that you don’t ask for help. It may not come or if it does – it may not be helpful. I practiced not showing weakness or vulnerability – exhibiting either may make you susceptible to ridicule or worse unwanted intimacy with others.
A wall was a safe barrier protecting me from a world I did not fully understand and could not control.
But what I learned as a child, what I practiced as a young woman, I soon recognized didn’t actually work. Instead of filling me, the resulting isolation caused the wall to grow higher, stronger, impenetrable.
I am learning that our journey on this earth was never meant to do alone. This journey takes the nurturing love of true relationships. Found in the arms of our spouse, the loving words of our biological sisters and brothers, the accountability of our grafted siblings, the protection of community.
Solomon, in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, writes about trying to navigate life alone. He shares in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12a,
(9) Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: (10) If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. (11) Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? (12) Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
New International Version (NIV)
As women, as humans, we were not made to do life alone. We function best when surrounded by those willing to walk with us through the challenges we encounter, the joys we experience, the pain we face. We need each other; we need sisters.
Solomon also adds in Ecclesiastes 4:12b,
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Another way to state this verse, relationships founded in Jesus are not quickly broken.
We must learn that true relationships, lasting unions are ones that include the author of relationship – Jesus.
With Him, our relationships stand strong, stand against the erosion of time, stand uncompromised.
Sisters, I encourage you to look around your world and find a woman that needs a sister.
Take a few minutes to acknowledge her, see her – not the image she projects but the one buried under the burden of the day.
Take a few minutes to listen, absent your cell phone or your personal agenda, really listen and then respond from your heart.
Look around ladies, we need each other. We need to encourage each other, pray for one another, and serve the often unspoken needs of our sisters.
A friend (a sister) loves at all times…
Blessing His BeLoved,
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2 thoughts on “A Common Heart, Mind, Spirit”
Allison~ This so beautiful and powerful! You description of your wall is something I identify with. Thank you for this encouragement to both ask for help and look for ways to help our sisters.
Stacia – it is sooo hard to ask for help. Somehow asking equates to weakness but I am finding asking brings boldness and freedom. Please raise the white flag when you need to and you may be surprised the strength and confidence that result!