Sisterhood is Not Bound by Blood

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A_Kathy

I didn’t grow up with sisters. I have two half brothers, five and ten years older than me. I did always want a sister.  When I was in the fourth grade my mom got remarried to a man with two girls and a boy (we looked like the Brady Bunch, but didn’t act like them and never lived in the same house together) and I ended up with two step-sisters for a few years. I am grateful that even though our parents didn’t make it in the end, I am still close with one of my ex-step-sisters.

But I never knew the feeling of having a true-blue sister in my house.

When I was in college, I was part of a sorority and learned more intentionally what a type of sisterhood could be like (yeah, it wasn’t anything like “Mean Girls” and we really loved and supported each other in amazing ways.) To this day, after all these years, we still try to stay connected.

However, it wasn’t until I started having babies and becoming more honest about my own personal story of pain and shame and began to heal from my past that I learned the true value of sisterhood. An honest, safe place to truly be me—with all the ugly and all the beautiful—saved my soul.  Now, I can’t imagine living without the dear, brave, honest, wise, beautiful, powerful, kind, amazing women who are in my life.

They help me make it through the day.
They help me stand back up when I am crawling on my hands and knees toward Hope.
They remind me of the truth of who I really am.
They help put wind in my sails when they are dead in the water.
They support my soul and call out the good in me that I sometimes cannot see.

That’s really what I think true sisterhood is—being wind-makers and soul supporters for each other.

So many women I know have dreams. Beautiful dreams. Wild dreams. Big dreams. Small dreams.  And it’s painfully easy to let life supersede our dreams. Responsibility, practicality, reality, and a host of other obstacles can make our dreams stay dead in the water, sometimes for our entire lives.

We begin to think just existing is enough.
We begin to question our dreams.
We begin to doubt our motives.
Worst of all, we begin to doubt ourselves, believing we’re not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, strong enough, worthy enough, ________ (you fill in the blank) enough to move toward our dreams.

So we stay stuck. We stay protected. We stay where we think we deserve.

But sisters won’t let our dreams die. They make wind to fan them into flame.

It makes me think of that famous classic Bette Midler Song, “Wind Beneath My Wings” from the beautiful sisterhood movie, “Beaches.”

“You are the wind beneath my wings.”

That’s what sisters do—make wind.

They remind us of the truth.
They stand alongside us so we don’t have to do it alone.
They cheerlead.
They encourage.
They pray.

Oh, the amazing wind-makers I have had in my life over the years. My sisters who have told me:

Your dreams matter. Don’t give up. Don’t let them define you. The world needs you. Your voice matters. It’s worth the risk. We’ve got your back.

And one of my favorites: “Do it anyway.”

There are so many obstacles to wind that will make our dreams come to life, so many risks and costs and liabilities. However, our sisters will tell us—”Yep, I hear you, I know those are all real, but do it anyway.”

Do it anyway.

However, my favorite part of sisterhood is that they don’t just make wind and leave it to me to find my way.

They support my soul, too.
They hold my hand.
They send me texts.
They check in.
They wonder about me.
They advocate for me.
They stand alongside me, shoulder to shoulder, eye to eye, heart to heart, protecting me, walking with me, not leaving me to fend for myself.
They make me take breaks and play and take good care of my soul.

One of the saddest things is when I see women tearing down other women instead of supporting them. It’s a travesty, really, and reveals something dark and deep that we need to address in so many circles, especially Christian ones.

Our work should be to do whatever we can, whenever we can, however we can, to make wind and support each other.

We’ve all got enough wind-stealers and soul-crushers in our lives without it coming from our sisters, too.

One of the reasons I love being part of SheLoves Magazine so much is this is precisely what it’s about—making wind and supporting souls. Calling each other to mercy, to justice, to love. To dreams. And then not just saying “good luck, now go fend for yourselves” but providing ongoing soul support, too.

I know I couldn’t survive anymore without my sisters—my wind-makers and soul supporters.  Each and every day I thank God for their gift in my lives.

Thank you, dear Sheloves sisters, for all you do to make wind and support souls.

It matters.

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Kathy Escobar
Kathy Escobar co-pastors The Refuge, an eclectic faith community in North Denver dedicated to those on the margins of life and faith. She blogs regularly about life and faith at kathyescobar.com and is the author of Down We Go--Living out the Wild Ways of Jesus in Action. She lives in Arvada, Colorado with her husband, Jose, and five kids. Her most recent book Faith Shift can be found on Amazon.com
Kathy Escobar

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  • Beautiful..nothing like women who walk in truth side by side!

  • HeleneBurns

    Oh my Cathie…. every word speaks volumes. I would never be who I am without my amazing sisterhood and how you express it is why I am eternally grateful for my sisters. Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful. xoxo

    • thanks helene. yes, that’s it. “i would never be who i am without my amazing sisterhood.” amen.

  • Sandy Hay

    I’m forwarding this to all my “sisters”. Your words run so true for me.

    • Sharing it as well! This is not only a heartwarming tribute to what IS, but also a bracing challenge for what can and should be!

    • thanks, sandy! love that you will be sharing in it together.

  • Nicole A. Joshua

    This post resonates deeply with me. Thank you for articulating truth that warms my entire being.

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