My Story of Sisterhood
“In a perfect Friendship (sisterhood) this Appreciative love is, I think, often so great and so firmly based that each member of the circle feels, in his secret heart, humbled before the rest. Sometimes he wonders what he is doing there among his betters. He is lucky beyond desert to be in such company. Especially when the whole group is together; each bringing out all that is best, wisest, or funniest in all the others. Those are the golden sessions; when the whole world, and something beyond the world, opens itself to our minds as we talk... Life — natural life — has no better gift to give. Who could have deserved it?”
This image of friendship described by C.S. Lewis in His book, the Four Loves, describes well an experience I had recently when it comes to sisterhood.
Some of my closest sisters came together for a weekend with me. As I am preparing to enter formation to be a Religious Sister, these are some of the girls who would be my bridesmaids if I were getting married. After going to church together we spent most of the rest of the day in the living room of the cabin we were staying in- fireplace blazing, games and music being played, good conversation being had. That evening we were opening the Lord’s Day and afterwards we were taking time share what we were grateful for. It was a surreal moment in which I realized this was one of those 'golden sessions' that Lewis speaks of, a foretaste of the joy, love, and life we will share forever with the Lord in Heaven!
Let me take a step back. During high school I was involved in many extracurricular activities, I interacted with a lot of different students. I even began my “ rapping career” in high school as Em-Schafe- most people knew my name and knew of me but I felt like very few people actually knew me. I didn't really have friends in the true sense of the word.
At this point in my life the most important relationship in my life wasn't really existent. I didn't have a relationship with Jesus, or really know that was even possible. This left me longing and desiring something more in life. I didn't really know what that something was but I longed to know there was more.
Fast forward to my first weekend of college. It was my freshmen year in a new state, at a new school, in a new stage of life. I didn’t know anybody and no one knew me. That first weekend I was introduced to a few girls after church. They invited me to join them for the welcome back activities. That night I was struck by their kindness, their joy, their love for one another, and their openness to get to know me. These were the kind of friends I was looking for!
They invited me to many different activities that were apart of the Campus outreach they were apart of. They invited me into their lives- to share meals with them, to have fun with them, to pray with them. They introduced me to the possibility of having the most important friendship- a friendship with Jesus. It was through this common relationship with Jesus, as well as the life we were sharing, that we became sisters.
Over the next 3 1/2 years of college, and in these last 2 plus years since I graduated, I would dive deep and wide into the waters of sisterhood.
One highlight of this beautiful journey was the summer after my freshmen year of college which I spent in Detroit, MI living, praying, and serving alongside 13 other beautiful sisters.
We came from different states, countries, Christian denominations, schools; we were different ages, and had different strengths and weaknesses, but the Lord in His goodness and perfect will called each of us there to seek Him, to love and serve Him and His people and He gave us one another as sisters to support, encourage,and pray for one another.
Through the campus outreach I was apart of I have had the opportunity to meet and get to know several sisters from across the country. In my own chapter in Columbus I was able to live in intentional Christian Households and be on mission serving alongside and growing with different sisters.
After college the Lord called me back to Detroit. I spent 2 summers and a school year there. In this season I have had the opportunity to reconnect and deepen my relationships with sisters who I had known but never gotten to share as much day to day life with, I met new sisters as well.
Some sisters I have met through other sisters, some sisters I have gotten to share a lot of day to day life with, some only a short season. Some sisters we won't see each otherfor a long time but when we do it is as though not a moment has passed. Some sisters I have naturally connected with, others it has been a process. Some sisters are really similar to me, some are really different. Some sisters are older, some are my age, some are younger. Some I have cried with, most I have laughed with. My sisters have been with me in times of joy and sorrow always pointing me back to the Lord, the source of our sisterhood. But every sister I have encountered on this journey has been important and hand picked by the Lord to be my sister! We have loved, lived, served, and sought the Lord together. And He is at the center of this sisterhood.
“Christ, who said to the disciples, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," can truly say to every group of Christian friends, "Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another, “ -C.S. Lewis
The Lord has and continues to bless me with an abundance of sisters all of whom I am eternally grateful!
Praise God for the beautiful gift of sisterhood!
My name is Emily Schafer. I was born and raised in Indianapolis, IN. I moved to Columbus, OH where I attended Ohio Dominican University and became a part of Saint Paul's Outreach. My freshman year of college I encountered the Lord in a powerful way in which I knew without a doubt I was known and loved by Him. This changed everything! And thus began the beautiful, challenging, but always worth it adventurous journey that is following Christ. Along this journey I enjoy a good cup of coffee, taking in the beauty of a sunrise or sunset, music - including spittin’ some of my own rhymes , spending quality time with my sisters in Christ, and sharing the love I have received from the Lord with those He places on my path!
This journey in the last 6 years has led me from Columbus, to Detroit, MI, and now to Steubenville, OH.
In Steubenville, OH I am a candidate with a Religious Community- The Daughters of Holy Mary of the Heart of Jesus.