To be honest with you, I was once extremely intimidated by being around women. As an adolescent I was consumed with their thoughts concerning me. The overwhelming desire for approval crept into adulthood and I so often shied away from creating real, authentic friendships with women out of fear of not being accepted or known. The 29th year of my life exposed my desires and insecurities with blinding frankness. My hidden desire to build strong bonds despite my occasional distrust of others, and even my envious heart were hidden in dark places, often growing unchecked until the light of God broke in, slowly chipping away the hardness of my heart.
What was left was vulnerability that flourished in certainty. I began to recognize who I was, flaws and all, and became very clear in what I expected from my friendships with others. I knew that moving forward, my goal was to form Godly friendships anchored by truth, loyalty, and respect. I would no longer feel threatened by the company of strong women. I would no longer make myself smaller to appease others. I would no longer hide my feelings out of fear but nurture relationships built on transparency. I would admit my shortcomings and commit to being a better friend/sister. I would surround my relationships with love and intentionality.
Although some of my friendships phased into strange and unfamiliar territory, others deepened and blossomed unexpectedly. I began to see women I had “known” for years in a new and positive light. Others I had known for shorter periods of time suddenly became close confidants. The tug on my heart to foster healthy and uplifting friendships with women was foreign but worth answering to. And as a result of stepping out in faith to join a community group and later a book club I found myself in the midst of phenomenal women (to add to the ones I already know) that are just as committed as I am to truth. Truth in Jesus Christ. Truth in their stories. And truth in their desire to evolve. Together, the women in my life work through the harsh realities of our past and sometimes present. Though our backgrounds, skin color, and interests may differ we are bound together through sisterhood. We share our triumphs and encourage one another in the midst of soul crushing defeat. We share our lives, dreams, and resources. We are our sister’s keeper.