I spent last week pulled into a sisterhood so fiercely supportive, loving, and kind that it took my breath away. I have been awestruck by their generosity, encouragement, commitment to growth and to community. Their beautifully audacious boldness to chase their dreams and to encourage others along the way. I have returned home changed in ways that I could never have expected and choke back tears just thinking about it. ￼
Most of my life I felt like the awkward odd ball out that no one would want in their group. Not cool enough for the cool kids. I believed the lies, yes the lies, that I wasn’t enough and that I had little to offer other women.
And so for many season in my life I hid. I would slink to the back of the room, and avoid eye contact. Some of my hiding was warranted, past experiences had taught me pull back but some of it was just the old assumptions of not being enough.
But over time, I have found that I am not, in fact, alone. That sisterhoods have formed around me and enveloped me in incredible ways, and even in the seasons when I didn’t recognize them. There is power in sisterhood, there is strength, and comfort, joy, understanding, and so much more.
I choke back tears for every sisterhood that I have been so blessed by … sisterhoods near and far. Sisterhoods in different areas of my life. Some that have been there for the long haul and others that have touched my life ever so briefly, yet profoundly.
I am grateful for the sisterhood that meant I could be away from home last week. A sisterhood that meant my children were taken care of, shepherded, seen. A sisterhood of women who braided hair that I couldn’t, put children to bed, and were there to look out for them as they went about their activities in my absence.
I am grateful for the sisterhoods that have tirelessly reminded me of my worth and my gifting. Sisterhoods that span several states, countries, and time zones but that encourage and uplift and hold my feet to the fire when needed.
For the sisterhoods that are family, and for those that now feel like family. To the women who have guided and nurtured me in my faith, in my writing, in my creativity. The ones who have helped me be a better mother, a better wife, a better friend, and a better woman.
The truth is that the sisterhoods that nurture us are actually never about us … they are and will always be about showing up for each other. Being real and genuine and saying, “I see you and I want to see you thrive.”
When we forget about whether or not we fit in we have the opportunity to build the communities and the sisterhoods that we long for. We stop worrying about who will include us and we begin the healing work of including others. Of creating safety in the company of women again. We stop competing and instead we begin lifting one another up.
When she succeeds, I succeed! As she rises, I rise. Because I’m not racing her, I’m racing myself but when she succeeds it shows me what’s possible. When each of us helps lift the other there is strength in numbers. We are the wave that lifts all the ships in the harbour. We are the wave that brings change, that brings hope, that alters the way that we think about growth and purpose. When I realize that I play a crucial role in building the world that I hope to live in, I stop hiding and waiting to be included … instead, I step into the power that was mine to share. Fear of not belonging shifts to the fear of missing our chance to live fully and with passion.
And let’s face it, we’re women … we know how to take charge, how to get stuff done! And so I hope that as a new year approaches, and a new decade, that we embrace our role in building sisterhoods and community. That we stop hiding and start embracing the strength that comes from lifting each other up.