Last weekend, I had the privilege of reuniting with about 13 girlfriends from my college Alma Mater, Franciscan University. This reunion had been in the works for several months and I was counting down the days. These ladies were part of my “household”, in simple terms, a christian sorority that I had joined during my four years at that college.
These girls were the ones that lived on the same wing of the dorm as I did. We passed each other in the bathroom, and we stayed up late eating cheap pizza together. These same ladies ‘glammed up’ with me for dances, and I threw them the ball in intramural football. They allowed me to cry on their shoulders when I broke up with my first real boyfriend, and they took me to prayer when I was struggling with student teaching and graduating. They held a valuable piece of my heart.
They were a big part of the tapestry of my life.
Not only did some of my fondest memories include them, but we have the bonds of spiritual sisterhood. They were my “sisters”. The ladies whom I had shared my heart with during those four growing years….that beautiful time of learning who I was, and where I was going. These ladies sat next to me in the pew at Mass, and held my hand in our weekly prayer nights. When Ohio couldn’t contain us, we moved on to a semester in Europe where we continued our journey together as sisters exploring foreign countries together.
As time went on, I sat in the pews and stood on the altar for many of their weddings. I cried big tears as I learned of pregnancies and miscarriages. We mourned the tragic death of parents, and the hardship of divorce.
And as we gathered in that lake house cottage in New York, we once again shared our hearts. We came together to share not just our hearts, but our struggles, our hurts, and our loved ones.
Because women need other women.
Ask the SAHM of an infant or toddler, and she will tell you that she craves adult conversation. …she would gladly exchange an hour of a nap for a solid hour chatting with a girlfriend.
We need to tell our story. We need the support of other women who can give us counsel and share their wisdom. We need other women who love us and seek our happiness.
Let’s ponder the story of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth. I believe that Mary spent the better part of that journey trying to think of the best way to share the story of the visitation. Would Elizabeth believe her? Would she challenge this message from God? Would she believe that God had chosen her to carry the Christ child? She needed a “sister” to whom to share the great news with. What a surprise when Elizabeth already knew!!!!
“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord* should come to me?” – Luke 1:41-43
We hear in scripture that the baby in Elizabeth’s womb (St. John the Baptist) lept with joy at the presence of Mary. What a beautiful confirmation of the beauty of this friendship between Elizabeth and Mary….two ladies who had chosen to give their “yes” to God!
God was allowing them to experience this amazing journey together. They both understood the awesome privilege that they were given, and found comfort in their shared journey.
How many times have you sought the counsel of another women? or felt such comfort when another woman just “gets it” without a need for a long explanation?
My husband is my best friend….this is not a knock on men. My husband will always be the first person that I run to with good news, when life is tough, or just to wrap his arms around me. However, just like I encourage him to seek the counsel of his brothers, he does the same for me.
My girlfriends walk the same journey of motherhood and wifedom that I do. ( I know…..wifedom sounds good…but I think I just made that up…haha) . I laughed as the posts flooded our facebook group as these “moms” prepared for the weekend. There was the usual “do I need sheets for the beds?” or “how much alcohol should i bring”? but I laughed at the comments about “wearing sweatpants and pajamas” and what “nice clothes” did we really need….haha. Posts from true mommas who just needed a cocktail, an abundance of sleep, and to sit comfortably in a “nonjudgment” zone for the weekend.
It was so funny when one mom suggested that we attend Saturday night Mass so that we could sleep in on Sunday morning, how quickly everyone agreed that that idea was pure perfection.
Women need to be understood by other women.
As we sat around drinking cocktails in pajamas, we laughed reminicencing about old times. We mentally surfed through facebook posts that we had recently “seen” of each other, and delved deeper into our lives. We were able to share the truth behind those vague facebook posts, and drop tears over what is really going on in our families….the good, the bad, and the ugly.
And trust me…the tears flowed…from all of us.
But there was also gut-wrenching laughter that brought it’s own set of tears……..
Then…..we bowed our heads and prayed a rosary for our families.
And the beauty of a spiritual sisterhood is that Saturday night, just a few hours after we unpacked our luggage, and stretched our legs from our trips, we entered this tiny church and began our weekend with the Lord.
As I sat in that little church, I listened carefully to the beautiful sound of my girlfriends’ singing. What a gift. I closed my eyes and took it all in. These ladies were such a gift to my womanhood and to my journey as a wife and mother.
My “yes” to God had brought me to this little Catholic college in Ohio where God had plans for my life. He had blessed these friendships, and helped each of us to be instrumental in the development of each other.
He was our center……he was that strong “connection” that made the long distances bearable.
Those three days went too quicky….but as I pulled off to make the journey back to my family, who eagerly awaited my return, I felt renewed.
For those three days, I was just the daughter of a king, along with those other 12 ladies. I had sat at the banquet table of the Lord, and we had feasted.