Discovering the Gift of Sisterhood
It has been said that women are life-givers and truly they are! It is in their very nature to nurture and to love with all their hearts. As for me, there is something refreshing about being in the company of women. Most especially with those whom I can share my interests, views, values in life, innermost thoughts and aspirations. Really, sisterhood or friendship with other women brings joy and warmth into our lives. Sometimes, though, it is to our detriment that we are in a society that puts competition, popularity and physical beauty on the pedestal. Instead of pursuing good friendships, our weaknesses and sins sometimes get in the way.
But don’t we all aspire to have true friends who stick closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24)? I used to want to have that kind of friendship before. It is like a dream that the Lord Himself has planted in my heart. Though I was blessed with good friendships, I did not really get to share anything about my faith to them. God fulfilled this dream when I met friends, lots of them, in a youth group in college and most of them are now my sisters in Christ in Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon Community. I must admit though that building sisterhood with these women was not that easy for me. It took grace and the power of the Holy Spirit to make these relationships stood the test of time. Let me share some of my realizations over the years as I discovered what a gift these sisters have always been in my life.
A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, you must love one another (John 13:34). I knew nothing about unconditional love before. But when I decided to follow Jesus Christ, he did show me the how-tos of brotherly (sisterly) love. Jesus Christ taught His disciples how they ought to love one another. He loved and served them. He forgave them when they committed mistakes or when they sinned against Him. In my friendships with these sisters, I learned how to express my love as well as to receive love. One expression of love I learned from them is forgiveness especially when I offend them or do not live up to their expectations. Like Jesus, my sisters in Christ, are always willing to give me a fresh start.
Being with sisters allows us to be vulnerable without being judged. The special connection we have with sisters are based on our God-given identity i.e. daughters of God. In 1 John 3:1 it says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” Our love for one another is founded on the truth that we are God’s daughters and just like in a family, no mistake or sin would ever make us less than what God has created us to be.
As it is with other relationships also, sisterhood requires hard work. There can be times when extending friendship with other sisters is not so easy. When that happens, be reminded that the Lord has been patient and understanding with you too. In the same way that you are a work in progress, God too is molding these sisters into His very own image and likeness. I learned over time to entrust these “underway” friendships to the Lord. It always gives me peace to know that the Lord will make all things beautiful in His time. While still on it’s way, I tried to see this “waiting time” as an opportunity for me to grow in Godly character.
Sisterhood is God’s precious gift to us, His daughters. It is therefore extremely important that we pray for each other. Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain (Psalm 127:1). When we pray for each other, the Lord intervenes and protects our friendships with our sisters. I met my best friend and sister in Christ when I joined that youth group in college some 20 years back. Aside from being a good company in so many of my life’s adventures, she is also my prayer buddy!
(This is a picture of me with my best friend and sister in Christ, Jhoanna)
Truly, God knows how to give us good gifts and sisterhood is one of those gifts that God does not want us to miss. It just takes a willing heart to try and surely, His grace will lead us through. May our hearts cry “Oh how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity (Ps 133:1)” as we continue to discover the blessing of sharing our lives with our sisters in Christ.
Sharon Villaflores is a Filipina working for a local bank as an Economist. She is a covenant member of Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon Community and happily serving other young women of her community in their journey with the Lord. She likes to read inspirational books and dreams of becoming God's prolific writer someday.