Growing up, my only friend was my older sister. Like most kids growing up in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, one of our favourite pastimes was watching T.V and movies. During the school holidays, my mom would take us to Video Town or Blockbuster and we would rent movies on VHS and, later on, DVD. Looking back, most of my favourite movies and T.V. shows almost always had a heroine, who either had an amazing group of friends to share in her adventures, or would make friends on her epic adventure. I couldn’t wait to make my own friends. My sister and I eventually made friends or, rather, my sister made friends and I tagged along; we were a package deal.
Eventually, like most teenagers I wanted – no, I needed – to step out of my sister’s shadow. When it was time to go to high school, I lucked out and went to a different high school where I was determined I would make my own friends and we would have epic adventures, and I did – sort of.
Spoiler alert: friendships are not like the movies; the friendships I made in high school did not last and it was really difficult making friends as an adult. I found myself crying out to God, but my cry was more like a whine. I was listing everything that was wrong with the friendships I had. Every time I went on one of these tirades, there would be something new to add onto the list of woes. Halfway through one of them, I got so frustrated that I stopped and became quiet. In that stillness, I heard God tell me: “You are not lacking real friends; you are looking for more.”
At the time, I did not understand what exactly “more” was; I didn’t have a word to describe what “more” was, but I knew I wanted that “more”. I would love to say the Lord gave me a detailed treasure map with pictures to go find “more”, but He didn’t – what He did give me was grace, and a lot of it. Months after this revelation, I found a word for what “more’” was: it was community, more specifically, koinonia (Christian fellowship or partnership).
This forced me to look at my life and who I was doing life with. This little introspection shifted my perspective: I learned to look at the people in my life as they were, and not as I wished them to be. When I did this, I found that lots of the people I called friends were acquaintances, a few of those were friends, and that I should manage my expectations. What shook me to the core was that within that circle of friends, there was a small number of women who were a little more than just friends; they were part of my sisterhood.
A few things that I have learned:
1. What is sisterhood?
Sisterhood is the women in your community who run this race with you; they stand with you as you navigate life.
2. Why sisterhood?
A sisterhood inspires you to be the best version of yourself. Sisterhood give you a sense of belonging and community.
3. Sisterhood is not aways friendship
Now don’t get me wrong here; there is friendship in sisterhood. But in a sisterhood, you have a mentor – normally, she is a little older and has seen a thing or two. Her role is to guide you with love and wisdom through similar situations. And you may find yourself in this role at the same time. These women are in your corner, but do not necessarily fill the role “friend”. They have tough conversations and guide you through difficult situations.
4. Change is inevitable.
Your sisterhood may not always look the same, but the love is always there.
Sisterhood is not like the movies; there is no script to tell you what to say or when to say it, no director to yell, “Cut!” when you make a mistake and no editor to cut out the bad parts or amplify the good. We need go into sisterhood knowing that we are only human; we need to have grace for one another.
Women of Reverence welcomes Mbali Sibiloane as a guest contributor.
I am single
I am a daughter, a sister and an aunt.
I am a claims consultant in the financial sector by day and a novice writer by night.
I am a creative who is passionate about writing and all the weird and wonderful forms it takes; be it poetry, books, plays, movies or even music. I believe story telling can be used as a tool to teach the world about God; to inspire and challenge people.
I fellowship at Cornerstone Church Johannesburg; I enjoy reading, hanging out in coffee shops most importantly I love working with people and believe one of the biggest privileges in life is being apart of someone’s journey; that being said I am heavily introverted.