This is a post about sisterhood; it's also a post about waiting well.
I'm going to be really honest here. A lot of times, I catch myself feeling like my life is just in a "waiting" season. So often, this leads to me feeling like everything is on "hold" and I tend to check out, wasting days and this precious season in sort of a bored trance. This is not how I want to live, and certainly no manner of thriving. I wrestle against it because I think at its core, this posture comes from a place of distrust and ungratefulness, and that bothers me a lot. That's not the woman I want to be.
I want to be a Godly woman who is never one foot in, one foot out, just waiting on things to look the way she planned. I want to be a woman who is rooted deeply, fully trusting, heart wide open in the hands of a God she can trust.
The truth is, nothing in my life has gone according to plan and that is the GOOD news, and the proof of a God who loves and guides my life better than I ever could. Perhaps the best example of this is that my business was not in my plan - in fact I fought against the idea of being a full-time artist for several years before it happened. I wanted a life that looked like other lives, that stood up against the comparison of "grown up" careers, I wanted to be considered "successful" by other people's standards - but God wanted a life that was built against no other measurement than whatever it took for my unique soul to thrive and flourish and in doing so, would reflect the Father's heart and usher in His kingdom in unique and needed ways. God has never built my life on the world's perspective of what is good, but always on what He knows is good for His daughter, this daughter, who He knows personally and uniquely and gives her what she needs when she needs it.
So in my ongoing battle against Lukewarm Zombie Shan, this year has looked like me being intentional in developing and enriching the relationships that the Lord has given me. And thus, a post about sisterhood ensues. This dear one, Laura, is a friend I ran to in January of this year and said simply, "I need sisters, and I feel like you could be one to me." An offer to which Laura rose to the occasion and became a dear and trusted friend. Our friendship refines me and it nurtures me, it builds up the Jesus in me and gently tears down the other parts along the way. We pray together, read together, worship together, cry together. When I come to her, I know there is a foundation of safety and trust, that even when she offers challenge, I can receive it as love.
This year, the Lord has used friendships like the one I have with Laura to rebuild my trust, to teach me what healthy relationships are like, and to help my heart to warm up again. It's been a tender and sometimes painful process for my heart, much the way a limb feels when it has fallen asleep and the blood flow starts to come again. Painful at times, but right and needed.
The beauty of this year has been watching my life flourish and my heart grow through friendships like the one I have with Laura, and with so many other siblings the Lord has given me. For an only child, the Lord has made sure that I have a big family of peers to run to. This year has been SO full of brothers and sisters who have linked arms with me and walked me through some sticky entanglements. I am so grateful to the men and women who have not shied away from challenging me to my best self and my best life.
God meets me in each of you, and for your willingness to be a vessel in my life, I could never begin to say thank you. This giant ragamuffin family of brothers and sisters wasn't in my plan or on my radar, but it's everything I have needed in this time and through it, the Lord is restoring my soul.
Special thanks to Seth at Ivory and Iron for snapping some sister shots for us!