Sisterhood Allows You to be You

But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body.
1 Corinthians 12:18-20 NLT

I hang out with weirdos for a living.

That statement makes me laugh out loud, but it’s also kind of true. As a designer, I’m surrounded by creative people on a daily basis. It’s a joy for me to watch us come together and create something out of nothing, order out of chaos. But, as you might imagine, it also has its challenges.

When I joined my first design team, I had a sinking feeling that I didn’t really belong there. While most designers held a liberal belief system, mine was more conservative. While most simply wanted to create and dream, I wanted to move things forward. To be honest, I’ve always felt a little out of my own skin in my designer-friend-circles.

I had a similar feeling when I realized that God was inviting me into the Sisterhood ministry. During those first few days, my conversation with Him went a little like this:

Me: I’m not really sure if I should be doing this. It’s just not my thing, God. I don’t get women. They don’t get me.

God: This will be different, trust me.

Me: Yeah, but. I’m not good at playing the good Christian girl. I don’t know the lingo. I don’t raise my hands in worship at the right time. I’m just kind of, awkward. Like, Ricky Bobby awkward. I mean, you know that about me. I don’t like to fake it just to fit in.

God: This will be different, trust me.

Me: Okay. I hear what you’re saying here, I do. And I know you’re right, because um, you’re God. But, I just need you to know that I’m probably going to disappoint you here. I’m just not good at pretending to be someone I’m not. So, I’m just going to be myself this time. And you’ll see, they won’t like it. I won’t fit into what they’re expecting.

God: This will be different, trust me.

Guess who was right?

As I’ve grown with my sisters through this ministry, and gotten to know them better, I’ve realized one thing: we are incredibly different. But, what is similar in our hearts is what matters. As our faith brings us together, we find that the common desires outweigh the differences.

It takes so many unique parts within the whole of the Church to make it work. In fact, I believe that it’s what makes us different that makes us successful. The type of woman that might be able to relate to me may not be the same type of woman that can better relate to another sister on the team. I think that’s beautiful. And so does God. Individually, we may not share identical beliefs in every aspect of faith. But individually, we aren’t nearly as powerful for Christ as when we put those differences aside and come together with Him to serve.

The type of woman that might be able to relate to me, may not be the same type of woman that can better relate to another sister on the team. I think that’s beautiful. Click To Tweet

So, beware, friends. This is the first time in my walk that I’ve felt like I can be myself with women. I suddenly don’t feel the need to put on “my church face” in order to fit in. I can say what I’m thinking without putting it through the “Christianese” filter. And it’s So. Freeing.

In the end, we’re sisters who share the same Father. One who wants us to be ourselves. Just as we are. Because He made us specifically that way to fulfill His purpose. If we alter it, or compare it to another sister, we risk changing what He intended to be just as it is.

And because He loves us exactly as we are—in front of the world and behind the scenes—we can love each other the same way.

Reflection Questions

What is one thing you have felt the need to “hide” when you are around other Christians?

Have you ever worried that you won’t “fit in” with a women’s group you long to be a part of? Why?

What unique part of you can you share with the world, that a woman struggling to relate to others might relate to?

Prayer

Father God,

Thank you for the weirdos in my life. And by that, I mean everyone. Because we’re all so different, it may seem that none of us fit together. But, in your eyes, we are perfect pieces to a puzzle. Intricate parts of a plan that is created exactly as it needs to be in order to work as you designed it. Lord, I ask you to ease the mind of those who might worry that they don’t have a place among other women. Other sisters. I ask you to give them courage to be themselves, and for those around them to accept them just as they are. I praise you for the beauty in our differences. And I thank you for showing us that it is exactly what you intended in our lives. In your mighty name we pray, Jesus. Amen.

32 thoughts on “Sisterhood Allows You to be You

Renee’

I don’t know that I have ever felt the need to hide anything, but I’m like a turtle 🐢 sometimes I go into my shell & other times I come out. I feel more comfortable around some people more than I do others. I have never read the Bible from front to back even though I have attempted to do so on more than one occasion that is why I enjoy Bible study classes, because they help me to get a deeper understanding of God’s word. Life is short so I think you can be. a Christian & still have fun. Girls like to have fun. 🙂

Reply

    Jodie Whichard Barrett

    Life is short, Renee’. It is so good to have those we can be open and honest with about our struggles and our successes. You know I love to have fun and that includes in my bible study time. I am grateful to share time with my “turtle” sister and enjoy that she sticks her head out from time to time to enjoy life together. Love you!

    Reply

    Laura Adams

    I totally get that turtle mentality, Renee. But you’re right, faith and fun do (and should) go hand in hand. It’s how sisters grow closer!

    Reply

Suzanne Battle

I too can be a bit of an introvert. I’m always asking God to help me out of my shell by being more compassionate of others. It’s not that I don’t love others, I truly deeply do, I just don’t always have the words. I want close friendships but I often prefer curling up with a book by the fire to social events. I’m always saying no to invites then wishing I went! Gosh do I ever sound like a weirdo! Oh well my husband says if you are different then you are more interesting! And God wants us all to be different, right? He made us all a little different for so many different purposes.

Reply

    Jodie Whichard Barrett

    I agree different is interesting. And time alone is good. Didn’t Forest Gump say something about “peas and carrots?” Today I prayed that I could embrace the unique way that God created me while allowing Him to mold and make me more into His image. Oh, and Laura would give you a great big hug and say thank you for being a fellow weirdo 🙂

    Reply

    Laura Adams

    Suzanne, first, I like weirdos. They’re my people lol. But, I think it’s beautiful that God brings you out of your shell through compassion. It takes all kinds to reach all other kinds, so just keep on being you and let Him show you where He needs you. <3

    Reply

Nancy Silvers

Oh, Laura I can SO relate!!! But before I give my answer I want to let you know how much in awe I am in the work God has done in and through you! I can still remember picking you up at the airport, for that first LFT retreat, and how quiet and not quite sure you were with these loud women who offered to drive you to the retreat from the airport. You have blossomed into this beautiful Sisterhood woman and it’s been awesome watching you bloom! I love you sweet friend!!

Back to your question, I have always feared what people would think of my past and the ways I failed as a mom. There are lots of good things I did as a mom, but the failures are blaring. What woman would accept me knowing my past? Now, as I share my past, God has brought women into my life who have or are struggling with estranged children, guilt, shame and remorse…..and they not only like me, the real me, but they love me.

Reply

    Jodie Whichard Barrett

    Nancy- I adore your heart. First, let me say, loud? Hehe! Laura was in for a treat when you picked her up. Second, I treasure that you shared your heart and past with me. I love that you trusted me to love you and see into your heart. Guilt and shame hold us hostage far too often. I am grateful to have you show me the way to release that and let others love me for me. Oh, and I am grateful Jesus loves us and brings us together as a family.

    Reply

    Laura Adams

    Nancy, you have no idea how you impacted me on that trip. I needed a gentle soul, so God gave me you. <3 I love how God takes the things that we dislike about our pasts and repurposes them to serve others. I too have some very hard things, and honestly don't even want to think about them much less share them at times. But each time I do, God uses it to help someone else. So grateful for you, your friendship, and your continued transparent faith. <3

    Reply

Jodie Whichard Barrett

Only “one thing?” Oh, how I wish I could say that it’s only been one thing I felt I needed to hide. When my children were little I felt I needed to hide my imperfections as a mom around other moms. I didn’t want others to know I lost my temper and yelled. When my husband and I had marriage struggles I didn’t want others to know. Hindsight being what it is, I wish I knew then to open up in safe places so others could help me through my struggles. I actually remind myself and my sisters that it’s ok to fall short. We have a place to take our shortcomings- God. We can invite Him to help us. And we can then ask our sisters for prayer and support. When we do we often find someone else is struggling and needs help too. I’m grateful for sisters who let me be me, but also for those who encourage me through prayer and the sharing of struggles.

Reply

Becky Walding

I am an introvert and I often feel as though I don’t have much to contribute to conversations. For years I had low self esteem from past wounds…feeling worthy enough. I internalize so much and when I do speak it’s like an overload of words. Finding the right group is essential to me to learn to trust others enough to be me..who God created me to be. It’s a struggle.

Reply

    Jodie Whichard Barrett

    I hear your heart. Your words are valuable to the conversation. I have to remind myself to be a good listener so sisters, especially my introverted sisters, can share openly. I am praying you find a special group of sisters here!

    Reply

    Laura Adams

    Becky, I completely understand. I swear I’m an introvert, but God keeps putting me in places where I have to spill the beans, and I often feel like you–that it’s overload for most people. But you know what? I’ve just learned to do it anyway. Because no matter how I think I may have messed it up, He can still use it. Even if I stutter, or talk too much, or share too much, or whatever. I hope you find this group to be one you can share with. I’d love to get to know you more. <3

    Reply

Marybeth

I love the comment “putting on our church face” – I have said that many times and it makes others so uncomfortable thinking “we” are the only one who is not perfect – at home, at work, in the community and most of all church. Woman are so critical of others and we need to STOP and have compassion and love for everyone. I rarely attend church now because being real sets me apart from others and I am not included due to my uniqueness. I really appreciate this group for accepting each other as we are and hopefully this will spread throughout our churches nation wide!

Reply

    Jodie Whichard Barrett

    Lord, Let the spark spread. Help us embrace one another the way you embrace us. May we live with loving and compassionate hearts. Help me look for the one sister that feels she has to pretend. Soften our hearts to include one another. Let your love shine through our words and actions. In Jesus name, Amen

    MaryBeth, Thank you for sharing openly and honestly. I am praying for you along with our sisters. We are each uniquely made by a wildly creative Maker.

    Reply

    Laura Adams

    Marybeth, it’s hard being honest in the church sometimes. There’s a delicate balance between being truthful and going beyond what people can stand to hear. I’ve gone too far sometimes, and other times I feel like I held back too much when someone probably needed to hear what I had to say. I think as time goes on, the church is having to become more transparent. Anything less is not genuine. Like we like to say around here, you be you boo (shout out to Michele!). The church and people on the fence about the church need honesty. I’ve been in and out of churches for similar reasons, but it eventually comes down to this: that’s my Father’s house, and I’m welcome there by Him. Always. I go there to meet with and worship Him above all else. We’re glad to have you here and I hope you’ll find we have all kinds in our mix. xo

    Reply

Wendy Weido

First, let me just say that if you were to ask me how to spell my last name upon initially meeting my response is “Spell weirdo and drop the R” – so I obviously know I’m a weirdo…and proud of it! 🙂 I’m going to attempt to answer the reflection questions, just for kicks and giggles:

What is one thing you have felt the need to “hide” when you are around other Christians? My battle scars. I have had experiences that many still feel need to pass judgment over. What they fail to realize is that their judgment hurts almost as bad as the experience that gave me the scar to begin with. Never mind fact that I’ve always felt like a square peg being made to fit in round hole.

Have you ever worried that you won’t “fit in” with a women’s group you long to be a part of? Why? Uh, yes! See my first answer above. Women, though perhaps not an intentional action, are quick to raise eyebrow or give a stink eye when faced with something they feel will smear the image that they want to portray. I’m sure nobody gets up in the morning thinking that is the goal to achieve, but it is the human nature in us that springs up like a snare. My hope is that we (women) strive to realize that and recognize the signs so we can be more loving and gentle with others.

What unique part of you can you share with the world, that a woman struggling to relate to others might relate to? Well, that is a bucket of stuff – I am a survivor. Simply that. My scars are: survivor of rape (three times); survivor of suicide attempts (multiple); survivor of domestic abuse; survivor of brokenness by the grace of God. I’m sure many are familiar with this statement: “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” – I have changed it to “what God allows in trial makes you stronger in faith”

Reply

    Laura Adams

    Wendy, I love your quote, “what God allows in trial makes you stronger in faith.” It’s so hard to not fight the trial when in reality, it does offer us a closer relationship with God than any other time in our lives. Your story is a hard one and I can see how people might misstep and not handle hearing it well. But I’m so glad you keep trying. Reaching out. I pray that you find sisters here that can listen with kindness, share their struggles too, and grow to rely on each other. And I’ve always wondered how to say your last name lol. Glad you’re here. <3

    Reply

      Wendy Weido

      Laura,
      My last name is pronounced WEE-DOE…lol

      Reply

        Laura Adams

        Well, who could forget that lol. :):):)

        Reply

    Kelly O’Dell Stanley

    Wendy, I’m sitting here in tears… so grateful that you feel safe here. So proud of you. And so sorry for what you’ve felt when people haven’t responded well to your story. I feel and hear your strength in the part of your story you shared. God is powerful and He is faithful. I’m so glad you’re here.

    Reply

Darlene Thompson

So thankful for the openness and honesty. I don’t feel the need to hide because I feel hidden/unseen already. I grew up in the shadow of a sister that could do everything right so I retreated into the shadows with books. I’m so thankful He didn’t leave me hidden.

Reply

    Laura Adams

    Darlene,
    One thing I know for sure without knowing another thing about you: You are seen, you are known, and you are loved deeply by our Father. You’re right, He’ll never leave you hidden. Besides, there are sisters out there that need you! So happy to have you here. <3

    Reply

Sarah

I read the blog post this morning and have been thinking what I would write that I feel the need to hide. I would say I’m not comfortable opening up about struggles in a group setting. I’m hesitant to share what I’m feeling because I don’t want people to know I struggle with doubts, believing lies, and not always doing things I “should” in the Christian walk (such as prayer, devotions, etc). I’m sure there are others I know personally that are in this same place but I’ve found it much easier to be open to strangers on the internet rather than people at my church or in my life. I find it embarrassing I guess!
I’m doing a hymn study through Daily Grace Co and today was on “In Christ There is No East or West”. I thought the lyrics were so fitting with the Sisterhood theme and wanted to share them! I hope it means something to a lady today!
In Christ there is no east or west,
in him no south or north,
but one great fellowship of love
throughout the whole wide earth.

In Christ shall true heart everywhere
their high communion find;
his service is the golden cord
close-binding humankind.

Join hands, disciples of the faith,
whate’er your race may be.
All children of the living God
are surely kin to me.

In Christ now meet both east and west;
in him meet south and north.
All Christly souls are one in him
throughout the whole wide earth

Reply

    Laura Adams

    Sarah,
    I understand the hesitation, but I want you to know something: I’m one of those people who has doubts. I don’t always do what I “should.” I don’t even believe that God has placed all of the “shoulds” that some claim. And, I argue with God when I don’t understand things. How’s that for being honest? lol. Just like everything in life, we are never alone in our struggles. Not only is God in it with us, but there are others out there that are suffering the same but are afraid to point themselves out. For whatever reason, I’m over that for myself. You may wish I’d go back to hiding someday. But, I feel that God is leading me to get real, so I’m getting real. I love the hymn you shared and remember being in complete awe the first time I understood the concept of God removing our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. How freeing. And how utterly beautiful. I’m so glad you’re here. <3

    Reply

    Kelly O’Dell Stanley

    I love your honesty, Sarah, and I’m so grateful for it. You are not alone. I relate to what you said—as a writer, I find it much easier to bare my soul on a screen than in person… but in my experience, the responses when I do it in person are so much more real. I’m always amazed by the empathy and kindness and the way doing so allows others to open up, too. But it’s hard to be the first one to “go there.” Love this line—”all children of the living God are surely kin to me.” Thanks for sharing with us!

    Reply

Marci Kay Nobles

1. I can so relate. I feel like I have to hide my true self from everybody. I am a blunt person, and I don’t read between the lines. Expect others to tell me the truth, and answer me truthfully.
2. I don’t worry about not fitting in, because I already know I don’t fit in. I use to join all types of women’s groups at our church, and a couple I really enjoyed, and when they ended I was really sad. But anymore they just seem like gossip sessions.
3. My uniqueness I can share, that even as weird as I am God still loves me, He loves me whether I fit in this world or not. Because I fit in with Him. He made me who I am, and in knowing that I know that He made me for something special. I may not have figured that out yet, but He will always lead me where I need to go.

Reply

    Laura Adams

    Marci, I’m so glad you’re here. Believe me, if these girls can welcome this weirdo, they can welcome anyone lol. But seriously. I know the feelings you share. I’ve always felt on the outskirts for whatever reason. But God is starting to remove that barrier for me. I don’t know why. I don’t even know how. But since He’s moving I’m following and you’ll see straight up honesty and transparency from me. I hope you relate and feel like you belong, because you do. <3

    Reply

    Michele O’Leary

    Marci, you are my kinda girl. I rather take a blunt person, than one who isn’t authentic. Welcome, friend! I am glad you have joined us here.

    Reply

    Kelly O’Dell Stanley

    Marci, I relate to what you wrote. And I’m there with you—isn’t it freeing and beautiful to understand that God adores our quirky selves and we always fit with Him? I love that so much, and it’s helped me embrace the weirdness and awkwardness that is me 🙂

    Reply

Michele O’Leary

A couple of years ago, I walked into a meeting and was assigned a seat, which I didn’t prepare for emotionally. As an introvert, I do not do well in meetings. I ran to the hills, well, to the bathroom and hid. I slipped out of the bathroom and didn’t return to the meeting. I struggle with meeting new people, especially if I feel I may not fit into the scene well.

Sisterhood Ministries’ sharing real-life emotions allows me to be me without questioning myself.

Reply

    Laura Adams

    Michele, there was a time I would have fought you for that bathroom stall lol. But now I think we’d both take the other by the hand and pull them back into life. I’m so thankful for you. And I love you exactly the way you are. <3

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Connected

Sign up for occasional emails, giveaways, info on upcoming retreats, and more! And no worries, we won’t share your personal information or fill your inbox with spam. Eww. We hate spam.

Featured Product

Sisterhood Journal

What is sisterhood? It’s not a club or sorority, but a special kind of soul connection—I can call you sister because you call Him Father.

Read More »