Sisterhood has been one of my greatest gifts. I’ve had the luxury of creating sustainable friendships that have outlasted even some marriages. Some people celebrate wedding anniversaries, whereas I celebrate birthdays and friendships. Engagements, marriages or anniversaries, have not painted the outline of my own life, so I take trips. Some of them with friends.
One of my dear friends from high school passed recently and I’m still wrestling with that fact. I have no words for such a tragedy. As I told our mutual close friend the other day, there is simply no silver lining. My stomach is sinking down to my hips even now as I write these words because I grieve. But one benefit of grief is that there is opportunity for something beautiful to be birthed out. I know this to be true because every one of my books was published on the other side of hard loss and trauma. Especially Urban Stories.
Since college, I have the testimony of having close sisters and I know it’s the Father’s gift in lieu of not having a relationship with my own sister. At my friend’s funeral, I reconnected with some high school classmates and both have very close relationships with their sisters. I shared that I did not and they were surprised to know I even had a sister. That just lets you know where things stand. But even as I reflected briefly on the absence that fills the space in that relationship, the bundle of women in my life who have chosen me over and over again, regardless of a lack of natural blood relation, flooded my mind. God will fill the lack.
I so appreciate the tribe of women warriors ready to fight with me and for me at any given moment. I know there is a lot of controversy surrounding this movie, but as I sat staring at the screen of The Woman King, one thing that did not miss me, was the beautiful theme of sisterhood. I have that theme running its own path in the chambers of my heart.
There are women on all sides of me and have been for the past two decades. So many women in fact that I knew I had this gift to share with others, so I created Girl Talk, a panel discussion between various women in my life who I esteem. Each one is a leader in her own right, and each one is pursuing purpose and calling, and destiny. I mean really, how could I roll with anybody who didn’t?
In preparation for our upcoming panel discussion (it will have passed by the time you read this blog) I did a Live on Instagram with one of my sisters of 20 years. She brought up the differentiation between obtaining good friends and cultivating friendships. She shared that obtaining good friends has been rather easy in her life, but cultivating these relationships over long periods of time has required immense work. I wholeheartedly agree.
It’s not easy doing life with someone who is different than you. They communicate differently and have different views and mindsets. Regardless of how much you have in common, there is going to be conflict!
I know married people understand this. That’s why we hear about marriage being hard so much. But that’s also why so many do not have intimate, authentic, life-giving friendships.
I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs with my friends and have no doubt there is more to come. You are simply not going to be the same version of you that you were at 20 when you are 40. At least, I hope you won’t! And you won’t be the same version at 40 that you will be at 60.
When one of my friends asked me how I and my other friends have lasted this long, I thought about it and responded, “We all value growth.” When you value growth that means you give permission for the other person to change and you’re offered that same space. In fact, you don’t just give permission, but you encourage it. You are egging each other on for this change and transformation into each of you becoming the best version of yourselves. The Bible calls it “Ironing sharpening iron”.
Do you have women in your life who you call sisters regardless of being blood-related? Do you have people that you’ve been able to do life with who get you and are a support when things get tough? I understand my experience with sisterhood is not shared by all which is why I started Girl Talk. We are forming a community of women to dialogue about women’s issues if you’re in need of one. If you missed the last one check it out on my Youtube page and tune in for the next one. Sign up for my email list if you haven’t already done so to stay in the know!
And know that it’s never too late to make friends. A friend of mine told me that her ex said she would never make new friends after college. We met when she was 29 years old and have been friends ever since.
In other news, did you know that I have a monthly newsletter? You can email me if you would like to receive it, or sign up on my website! Just click on “Blog”, go to any blog post, then scroll down until you see “Join Our Newsletter”! I share all of my updates on events I am selling books at and the latest happenings in authorship! You can also view the latest newsletter on my linktree.
Are you on Instagram/Facebook? If so, please reach out! I have started a series called “Word of the Day Wednesdays” where I share 5-10 minutes worth of nuggets that are on my heart, which I hope are encouraging to others on IGTV/FB Live! I have these also posted on my Youtube channel. Have you read “Stories for the Urban Soul” and are eager to dialogue about your favorite characters, lessons learned, and so much more? Well, now you can download 20 Dialogue questions available on my website to discuss with your friends! Just enter your email in the pop up box and its there!
As always thank you for your support!