As I have learned in my own life, in order to create true unity with other women, we first have to be willing to truly embrace who God has made us individually to be….and then be willing to get real.
We left the States in 2005 to travel to Indonesia to serve as missionaries. You might be able to guess at some of the things that were difficult to adjust to:
-Leaving family…..knowing that I was taking grandchildren away from grandparents
-Learning a new language and humbling myself enough to be laughed at when I got it wrong again and again
-Cooking everything from scratch when up to that point I thought that chicken automatically came into the world boneless and skinless
-Adjusting to being gawked at everywhere we went and having my kids cheeks pinched over and over again
-Or, perhaps the snakes….
I’ll admit the day we found this one right near our house was a bad day, one that found me on the bathroom floor crying out to God and telling Him I wasn’t cut out for mission life after all….because I really hate snakes!
But, surprisingly, these were not the things that were most difficult. The hardest thing for me has been to learn to live in community with other women. I had to learn to get real. I am truly thankful that the Lord, in His amazing grace, sent me to the mission field to heal me and force me to be real with other women….and build a sisterhood.
You see, I made a pact with myself at a young age to never trust a girl ever again. I started school a year early and was an energetic 5 year old with a group of older sixes. It was a small Christian school and once those girls decided I wasn’t “in”, I was forever “out”. They teased me ruthlessly and there was not a day that went by that I didn’t go home in tears. They made up “days” like “braid day”, “pink day”, and “ribbon day” and they would all discuss it amongst each other. And sure enough, the next day, everyone would come wearing the appropriate attire….everyone except me. Finally I decided that I could not take it anymore and begged my parents to let me stay back with my original class, and they finally agreed. It was when I joined the new class that I decided that I would never be unpopular again, I would be the perfect friend, and no one would EVER see the real me.
What’s more is that I was the daughter of a pastor of a large church with several pastors, among them being two well-known authors. Growing up in the midst of these other, more “famous” pastor’s kids, I felt like I had to be extra perfect to prove that I was worthy. I wanted everyone to see me as perfect, never having a problem and never needing anything. So I spent my life having lots of friends, being popular, but when it came time to risk or get real with other girls, I would just quietly slip away and move on to other friendships.
More again tomorrow….
How about you? What is your story?
Past posts in the series: Sisterhood…The Call