Ears blushed red.
Head bowed low.
An innocent attempt at finding my place in the soft-ball line up led to this awful moment.
The moment when I decided girls were not good friends… and never to have any again.
The moment when all of the boys took pity on me… ushered me into the shadow of their wings and offered all that the brothers I’d always wished for (but never had) could…
And I became one of them.
For the next ten years (at least) guys were my best friends. Then in college, my dad began encouraging me to find a girl-friend. I was ready to try it again… and did! I ended up with all best guy-friends… and one girl-friend. It was a start!
Life carried on… and for the sake of not appearing “boy crazy” (I’d never dated one of my best friends… or any friend for that matter)… I began to spend more time with girls.
Then I got married.
Then I needed women.
In a way I’d never experienced before.
This man… my husband… just couldn’t relate with me on every level… and I needed a woman’s heart to confide in.
Well, beautifully enough, my dad has adopted LOTS of children… and I have a great number of sisters. He began to introduce me to them… and, well, I love them.
Drama and all.
Well, I don’t love the drama… but I love the women behind the drama. Because my dad has taught me how to love in spite of discomfort, pain, frustration, personality differences… and to hope for the same from others when I’m the one being difficult to love.
Confession: Because I took the risk (it sure felt like a risk when my dad asked me to get to know and love women)… I have some of the best relationships with my sisters I could ever ask for.
And they are all over the world.
Some I see daily, some on Skype, some only on Facebook… but I love them as much as I did during the seasons of life when I lived with them.
Joanna and Christine in Canada.
Sofia in Sweden.
Liz in Paraguay.
Hava, Christina, Kara, Laura, Heather, Brittani, Dawnette… in various states around the U.S.
Sisters 🙂 Dorina, Chris, Heather, Maari, Lisa, Jamie, Debbie, Bethany, Amy, Cori, Bergann, Stacie, Leslie, Jessica, Lisa, Sarah, Regina, Katie, Beth, Trae, Allison, Mindy, Rachel, Niki, Raquel, Devon, Colleen, Jill…
My little sisters: Laura, Wendy, Promise, Stephanie…
My big sisters: Michelle, Serena, Caroline, Kim, Lucie, Susan, Kathryn, Chris, Gail…
Newest sisters: Susan, Kara, Debbie, Cammy, Melissa, Nina, Lesley, Staci, Melody, Jennifer, Allison, Ashley, Elva, Elena, Brandi, Viane, Lara, Valerie…
This list is by no means exhaustive… and it’s late so I’m probably missing some of the most obvious ones… but the point is… I have the most amazing circle of sisters because my dad knew I needed them in my life.
And I took the risk.
The risk of being shamed, slandered, abandoned, betrayed, separated (by distance), deceived, hurt…
And found love.
And love sometimes hurts. But if it’s true… then it doesn’t depend on being in the same place at the same time.
And it can love through pain.
Until healing comes.
And it’s worth it.
I would do it all over again. Because they make me smile. And cry. They hug me when it’s hard. They trust me with their deep places. They let me help when I can. And they are generous with their time, resources, and energy when I need it too. They love my children like only aunts can do… and have provided “sisters” for my own daughters… delightful little friendships that make my heart smile deeply.
They invite me in.
And it’s a precious trust. To be handed the key to one’s deepest fears… and not use it.
This is the joy I have.
And one I hope for you.
That as a woman who has felt the searing pain of a broken friendship, the betrayal of another woman’s unfaithfulness to friendship and the thing that makes it sacred, the deep loss and grief of goodbye…
I pray you find the strength to try again. To love relentlessly. Laugh contagiously. Soak the shoulder with your tears when you need to.
Take the risk. Choose well.
Sisters make our time on life bearable.
Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.