|A portrait - Coffee, Tea, and Sisterhood|
I am wracking my brain right now for good stories about my life in Northern California that don’t feature at least one of these girls. I don’t have many.
This is for three reasons:
- I met them 6 weeks after I got here.
- We’ve spent an insane amount of time together.
- They are always God incarnate to me. And if I surely have to be where God is, I go where they are.
And I mean sisters.
As we sat at breakfast the other morning, we were reflecting on how different we really are--how surprising and wonderful it is to be so close. There is a lot to suggest it shouldn't be that way. Our friendship spans almost ten years-- from 31 down to 22. The four of us are very, very different in how we communicate, how we see the world, and how we love. We are dreamers and doers and writers and artists and athletes, split evenly introverts and extroverts, evenly thinkers and feelers, administrative and relational, passionate and reasonable. These differences make us a really powerful unit, but they can also make close life together pretty hard. We have had days where we thought the bond would break.
But we know better. We don't have to be afraid of the mess.
I'd like to say I knew better all along. Days when I doubted it were only days when I wondered if we were friends or sisters.
You see, my first set of sisters taught me about the bond of sisterhood.
Bad days, sharp words, woundedness, weakness, poor planning, selfishness, annoyance, messiness, forgetfulness, frustration, and insecurities don't break that bond. In fact, they strengthen it. At the end of a day that involves all of it, you know she's still your sister. And it's all of those that remind you you're sisters. This is no ordinary friendship. Only sisters see that stuff.
No matter what happens, she's still your sister.
Sisters see you no makeup, in your gave-up-on-life pants, crying about the self-induced misery from your own folly, and they get right to work:
1. Put on the kettle and grab the oreos, (or coffee and ice-cream, or tequila and chocolate)
2. Call for backup.
3. Smack you and tell you to get it together.
4. Make a plan. (WITH you. Starting with your drink and lipstick)
My moments (or days, weeks, months) like that is when God used my sisters, both blood-related and adopted, to reveal His grace. No matter what happens, she's still your sister. At the end of every bicker, squabble, disappearance, or flat-out fight, she's still your sister. They are the grace that celebrates your strengths, covers your weakness, and finds you the scarf (from OUR collection) that finishes that outfit.
There's God's gift of Hope in that kind of sisterhood.
Its been my greatest gift to be on a mission with these girls for the last two years. We have worked hard together to love God, each other, and our community better each day.
The closeness and dailiness of the sisterhood this time around is as life-altering as it was to have my first set of sisters.
In fact, it was Life -altar-ing.
It was the place I came again and again to make sacrifices and worship God. To dwell richly in His Presence.
The sisterhood and daily routine of it gave us the opportunity to be ever as we were doing.
Relationships like these were not about the lists (though we we are champion list-makers)--it's not about the finishing and the accomplishing. Our work here is never done. It's about living. And living together. Where together is what makes it truly living.
As we're present to each other, we're fully present to Jesus who is Present to us.
When we are together, God is in our midst. Where we are, He is.
And if you can see past the piles of books, clothes, scarves, sports gear, lip-gloss, photos, empty teacups, misplaced keys, chiming cell phones, long hair, and high-heels--if you can hear yourself think over our blaring "summer soundtrack"--you'll find Him there, abounding in Love and Celebration.