Growing up, I was always the girl that did not have many female friends. Girls just irritated me. Don’t get me wrong, I had friends but not many. I just didn’t have the patience for the nonsense that I would see girls engaging in. I think I have just always been past my time. Looking back, I recall girls my age having the tendency to be a little mean, jealous, insecure, competitive, all those things and that was never a part of my character. Not saying that I never experienced feelings of jealousy or didn’t have my mean girl moments, but it wasn’t a part of my makeup sooo for a long time it would bother me, and I was definitely convicted of any behaviors that I knew were wrong. So, seeking friendships with other girls wasn’t a thing I did. Any friendships that I developed throughout my life are definitely friendships I cherish because they were organically cultivated. I knew that they were genuine and really liked me for who I was at the core.
I used to think I was just weird because even though I was a female, I just didn’t do well with seeking out those friendships. I was weird. I was awkward. I was just different. But you know what I have learned. God made me that way, intentionally. He made me to stand out. He set me apart, and I accept that now. Last week, I attended a women’s retreat, and at this woman’s retreat, I realized that as I have gotten older, my appreciation for women has changed. When I was a child, there was only a select few girls that meshed with, and that was because we were in some way like-minded and set apart. Now, as a woman, I realized being set apart puts you in a position to meet other women who are set apart. Being set apart is in no way a bad thing, but a blessing. It is empowering.
I was somewhat nervous when I thought about attending the retreat because I remember the times I had been around a group of females and they either irked my soul or was just up to no good. I was also afraid that the ladies had already formed a bond because I joined toward the tail end of the planning and so I thought I would find myself feeling alone as I often have felt in rooms full of women. But once there, all those thoughts immediately went away. I can sense that we were all there for growth and healing and to be each other’s keepers. I didn’t feel odd. I didn’t feel insecure. I didn’t feel judged. That’s it!! I didn’t feel judged.
Growing up, I always felt judged because of my weirdness, as if girls were always talking about me for whatever reasons, and that has carried into my adulthood. What I know now is… that is NOT the behavior of women who have been set apart. Women who have been set apart understand they have a purpose, even if they are unsure of what it is. They know they have a purpose.
At the retreat, I experienced the beauty of women allowing themselves to be vulnerable amongst other women and not being judged by it but being supported by it. I saw how the power of God moves when women come together to be their sister’s keeper.
Being your sister’s keeper means sometimes being an intercessor. It means sometimes being an ear and giving sound advice. It means being an accountability partner and making sure she is always operating at her fullest potential. Being your sister’s keeper is assuring her that you have her back and won’t let her fall. It means when you see her down, help lift her up. I guess that is why in my younger years, I just didn’t fit in all the time because many girls my age weren’t trying to be my keeper. I didn’t fit the mold, and I realize now, I wasn’t supposed to. Not saying that I was better than anyone, but I was just different and that is OK. I am sure some of those girls now have grown to be lovely ladies but had I tried to seek out friendships that I knew wouldn’t fit who I was, I may have been steered in the wrong direction.
Now as a grown woman, I want to always make sure I am my sister’s keeper. However, because I am still weird, I still don’t intentionally seek out friendships, but I am blessed that God always puts like-minded people in my path to help me continue to grow. God has placed so many beautiful women in my life that have taken me under their wings and helped me go to the next level of my life that I can do nothing but pay it forward. I have to be my sister’s keeper. Her victories are my victories and vice versa. If she is thriving, I am thriving. Why? Because I learn from her, and she learns from me. It is just a beautiful thing. So, tell me, are you your sister’s keeper?