Girlfriends play a significant role in the lives of young women. This spiritual sisterhood, as I like to call it, is irreplaceable as women encounter the many joys and challenges that come by the very nature of entering adulthood in a broken world.
The women in our lives hold us up when we fall, laugh with us in our joys, and comfort us in our times of despair. We share our hopes and desires, our fears, the moments of great anticipation, and those of our dreams actualized.
Don’t get me wrong. I adore the many men in my life, but for different reasons. That is for another post…
Last spring, I prayed fervently for greater depth in my relationships with the women in my life; the women I live with, my closest friends from college, the girls I shared my first Roman adventure with, my mom, my sister, the Blessed Mother.
Not only did those relationships grow, others entered, through a commitment to prayer, quality time and greater openness with those women I knew and the women I would come to know.
From this process emerged three distinctly important realizations.
First, as young women, talking about God can sometimes be difficult. We don’t want to offend someone with our religious beliefs; the desire to “fit in” still lingering from late adolescence. But, as it turned out, many of the young women wanted to talk about God. They needed to talk about God and know that others were asking the same questions. We started to bring faith into our conversations.
Second, we spent more time in prayer with the Blessed Mother, both individually and in groups. I prayed the Rosary on my own and with friends. We sought Mary’s comfort. We wanted to invite Mary into the stories of our spiritual sisterhood.
Third, we began to share our stories, both the good and the not-so-good stories. We shared moments of pain and suffering, moments of doubt in our faith lives and moments of profound joy. Not every story is one that we are particularly proud of, but it is in the sharing that we can hold each other accountable and help one another work toward living a better Christian life.
Growing Closer in Sisterhood
It turns out many of us experienced similar trials. In sharing more of my story, they shared more of their stories. We grew synchronously in our relationship by embracing one another’s humanity, the proud and the less than stellar parts of each other’s histories.
The more we trusted each other and the more we shared, the deeper our relationships became. We walked, talked, prayed together, laughed and cried together. This happened with Mary, too. As we spent more time and shared more of our hearts with her, we grew closer in spiritual sisterhood.
Women, let us remember that we belong to each other, and let us work – with the help of Mary – to build an ever-more meaningful spiritual sisterhood.
∞ ∞ ∞