I grew up without a sister. My mother said that she wasn’t having any more children after me and that was kind of devastating. I have an older brother but as a woman, having a sister is just a different feeling. I wanted a confidant, supporter and someone who I could steal clothes from to be honest. Lol.
DISCLAIMER: Christina is using her sorority affiliation as an example of sisterhood and how it can provide a non-traditional avenue of discipleship. These same sentiments can be attributed to numerous relationships and should in no way be construed as disparaging towards Greek organizations. Okay, grab a seat and let’s chat with Christina!
Having always longed for a sister; when I began college I sought friends who I could form lasting relationships with. Amazingly, most of the women I met during my freshmen year are still my friends five years later. Definitely a great feeling to say the least. But I still felt like there had to be more out there. A deeper relationship and bond with women from all walks of life beyond what I was presented with on campus. So I decided to join an international organization called Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority Incorporated. The principles of this organization are sisterhood, scholarship, and service to all mankind. These principles resonated with me.
Prior to joining, I did extensive research from both a worldly vantage point and a spiritual perspective. I was given a lot of advice about cults, not straying away from God and to always keep Him first. I didn’t understand why people were trying to press the issue because I felt strong enough in my spiritual walk to not let anything take my eyes off God. However, I found myself pouring more into the organization and spending time with my sorority sisters than I did reading my bible, going to church and having true relationship with God. It’s funny how we say things aren’t going to happen but God shows us that we are not as strong as we think we are.
Now don’t get me wrong, THERE IS A WAY to balance being in a greek letter organization, going to church, staying in the Word and growing in your relationship with Christ ☺. But for me, I didn’t keep the promise I made with myself and God. I needed to put active effort behind my words. Slowly, life caught up with me and I began to distance myself from the Sorority because I wanted to grow back closer to God. For months I questioned why was I given the gift of sisterhood but to only find myself straying from God. I began to intentionally seek after Him and His direction. I prayed, fasted and remained in constant meditation. Then God began to answer in the most unexpected way. Young women who I haven’t spoken to in years randomly started calling me asking about joining greek letter organizations and if it’s the right thing for a Christian woman to do. I immediately realized that God’s humor is just far too funny and couldn’t help but laugh. I had the beautiful realization that God was going to use this Sorority as a discipleship platform. What an incredible turn of events!
Every time these young women would call me with a question about sorority life they would leave with the Word of God. Now, they call just to laugh, pray and find ways to grow deeper with Him. Some of them are still going to pursue joining a greek letter organization but now they are going to approach it with an additional perspective. I’ve realized that the void I had since I was younger could only be filled by God, not people. It’s now apparent to me that when things didn’t go as planned it’s because He wasn’t the center or foundation of it.
So, I’ve learned that sometimes what we pray for requires more preparation than we first realize. I prayed for a sister and was in return blessed with MANY sisters, but God had to grow me through the process. Having the opportunity to be a part of a greek letter organization and re-prioritizing its place in my life, showed me that sisterhood is beyond sharing the same DNA as someone. Anyone who encourages, motivates, uplifts at all times, and is free to check your behavior or mindset (for the better good) lol can be your sister. It also requires that we return those things to the women we call and identify as “sisters”.
According to Webster there are three definitions of sister. Sister: a female person or animal related to another person or animal by having one or both parents in common, a member of a religious society of women, and a woman related to another by a common tie or interest. Blood or status doesn’t define someone as your sister. The feeling of comfort, confidence from trust and enjoyment of a relationship can be grounds for someone to be considered your “sister”. It doesn’t matter how they look or what life choices/decisions they’ve made that you may or may not agree with. You form these sisterly bonds by communicating and connecting through common goals and ambitions.
As I spent time meditating on these things, I began writing more. I would write down my goals, interests, new things I wanted to try and my fears. I even made lists of pros and cons about myself. These list were to help identify the areas that needed improvement. I turned to my sisters for support and insight. My sisters from church, the sorority, nursing school, and even as far back to those from elementary school. As I reached out to people I noticed how much I’ve grown as a person (especially those who’ve known me since I was a little girl). Exercises as small as these showed me how God had blessed me with sisters even before I realized it and reminded me to continue to form and maintain lasting relationships. It is so satisfying to serve a God who meets our needs and equips us with the tools to properly maintain the gifts received, when we allow Him to lead.
Trust that all things happen as a learning experience and it’s so much more enjoyable when you have sisters, blood or chosen, holding you up along the way. Here’s to sisterhood!
Christina Redwine is currently a student in the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at the University of Florida College of Nursing. She has a previous Bachelor’s degree of Health Science with a concentration in Public Health. Christina completed a medical mission trip in Costa Rica where she developed a newly found love for global health. Not surprisingly, she now aspires to become a travel nurse. Her passions are nursing, spiritual uplifting, traveling, and family strengthening. Christina’s motivation stems from the nurturing of her grandmother, Cassandra J. She also enjoys writing, singing and helping at-risk youth. In all things she strives to give and receive love in the healthiest form.