Sisters come in many different forms, & I am very grateful that my own life has been blessed with many of them. No piece I could write about sisters could ever be complete without mention of my biological sister, who passed away at the way too young age of 20 on my 24th birthday. Oh, the life in that young lady! If you think I am lively, you should have known her, for she was a pistol. Only about 5′ tall, she made up what she lacked in stature by her personality. She was once very popular at school, before we changed school zones, & always the Life of the Party. She was quick witted, intelligent, & as smart as they come. Cute as a button, she had an enviable figure, gorgeous smile, & undoubtably athleticism. She had low self-esteem, though, and was forever lamenting the many freckles that dotted her otherwise flawless face. We shared biological parents, a dysfunctional home, memories both wonderful & terrifying, & a love that the addiction that took her life & not even death could break. I am always saddened that my own kids missed out on getting to know their only biological aunt, but I do believe that our many visits to the cemetery to pay respects may have impacted them as I warned them about the dangers that taking drugs entail, & perhaps that is enough for my promise to her that her death not have been in vain is fulfilled. But that is a story for another time, because this is about Sisterhood.
When I got married, I got two marvelous women whom I was proud to call my Sisters-in-law. Each had very different personalities, but the three of us share many bonds that can also never be broken. Recently I had dinner with one of them, & she affirmed that she still thinks of me as her sister-in-law, & that meant the world to me. These 2 women & I celebrated so many birthdays & holidays & graduations together. We mourned the passing of family members. We sat in Sunday evenings at our in laws home & chatted about everything from childbearing to housekeeping to jobs to marriage. Ordinary & extraordinary memories forged in the binds of legal matrimony, but which shall forever remain embedded in my heart, though my marriage has ended. And our children, we each have 2 each, are bound by that thick cord of DNA, so in my mind, they are still, & always will be, a part of my family, & my sisters, though maybe not “in law” anymore. After all, I did not divorce them, just their husbands’ brother.
In addition to my biological sister, & my sisters-in–law, God gave me many, many, Sisters in Christ, & while I do not like every one of my fellow Christians, I do love all of them! Just being honest here. We do not always like everyone that we go to Church with, or all of our fellow Christians. But I can honestly say that I do love all of them, because while they fall short of the glory of God, just like me, & every single person on earth, they at least attempt to live by the Golden Rule. The good news is that I DO like MOST all of them, though, as people. We have raised our voices together in beautiful songs of praise (okay, so mine was probably only beautiful to God, as I cannot seem to carry a tune no matter how hard I try, but theirs was beautiful, nonetheless), taken Bible studies together, taught little children about Jesus, & rocked babies together in the nursery. These ladies have left imprints on my soul by their love, service & devotion to God & others that cannot be erased by time.
Then there are my Prayer Warrior Sisters. These women are fierce! They are the Christian sisters whom really & truly get down in their knees & battle the unseen enemy. If ever I have a prayer request, I only have to message one or more of them, & within mere moments, they have lifted that request high with diligent & intent prayer, & vice versa. We have prayed each other through divorces, job changes, heartache, heartbreak, children’s issues, health problems, deaths, births, financial lack, & every single imaginable thing you can think might be of concern to a woman today. And I am here to tell you that the tenacity, perseverance, hope, & most importantly the faith of these fine ladies is unparalleled. The bonds one forms when one prays (I mean really prays, not promises to pray, or says that they will pray) is something that Satan himself cannot destroy. I am forever indebted to them with a debt I feel insufficient to repay, & I am proud to call them sisters.
Finally, my favorite sisters of all are my Soul Sisters, the ones that are adopted sisters, I am not talking legal adoption, as I have none of those. I am talking about those women whom I have taken on as my sisters not by birth, marriage or baptismal certificates, but the ones I have chosen to be my forever sisters. God has blessed me with a few of those too. One of them is someone whom I though was going to be my sister-in-law, but fate dictated otherwise.These women are the ones I just “click” naturally with, who get my stories, who laugh at my jokes, & who let me into their own hearts so I can do the same with theirs. They are the ones with whom I do not ever have to worry about backstabbing or jealousy. The ones who allow me to see their houses when they are less than spotless. The ones that treat me like family, though we do not share biological parents or spouses who have the same DNA. The ones who let me love on their children when my own are far away from home. They are the ones I feel a kinship for that cannot fully be explained, but which exists, nonetheless. We are comfortable together. We love each other regardless of changing circumstances. Like my other sisters, we share experiences, make memories, swap stores, & pray for each other. But there is something deeper, & it is a bond of the soul that will survive no matter what happens.
No matter which kind of sister, I am so very grateful for each & every one of these women whom God has blessed my life with being a part. I can only hope that’s perhaps I am able to offer each & every single one of them a tiny measure of the joy, happiness, love & kindness which they have so generously brought to me. Here’s to Sisters: biological, by law, in Christ, Prayer Warriors, & my favorite, Soul sisters! May each of you be blessed by them.
– Lou Lehman Sams