Truth Moment: sisterhood can be messy! I had a little sister for 40 years. And boy, could we
fight. Like knock-down-drag-out, stop touching my stuff, no you can’t go with me to the mall -
FIGHT! But no one could wedge a fight between us. We were sisters! She was also the person that knew me better than a lot of other people. She knew my hopes and my dreams. She knew when I was hurting and when I was winning. She knew I was having twins before I did. And was there to support me when life got heavy. She was my sister.
My sister passed on December 23, 2022, and even though we lived across the country from each other, her departure has given a different weight to the term sisterhood.
So, what does sisterhood really mean...?
I recently was part of a relationship night where people submitted questions for me and
one of my friends to answer.
We got this question that I ended up thinking about a lot. When I first read it, it seemed
like the answer was obvious, but the more I thought about it and how I was going to
answer, the deeper the answer seemed to become.
This was the question….
So often I am completely stilled that the God of the universe would answer my greatest and deepest desire with the story that he has.
From as early as I can remember, I have always dreamed of being a mom. As the oldest of four children, I always felt like I was my siblings' second momma. When I was little and someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was always “a mom”, or “I want to work with orphans and love them as my own.” It's funny how God plants those little seeds in our hearts from the youngest of ages.
However, God's timeline was different from mine, but gracious. It was perfect. The miracles he has worked in my life have drawn me closer to him in ways that I never imagined possible. He took that desire to care for orphans and children and made it my story through adoption. So, THIS is my story and my greatest heart’s desire is to use all for His glory…
You've heard “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” and it's true. A woman is a very dangerous creature. She is a supporter, encourager, nurturer, caretaker with a loyalty to where her investment lies. When something hurts her loyalty, emotions plus a longing for justice ignite the wick in her heart to launch a fireball aimed at the offender.
Do you remember your first break up? I do... The guy cheated on me and I was so angry all I could think about was payback (not recommended). Then there was the gossip. Girls not only beat me up with their words but they would do it to my friends too. There was a part of me that just wanted to scream back at them and I remember daily walking around high school with a burning feeling in my chest. In college, I had to defend my faith. It was one thing for someone to offend me but entirely another when my professor offended my God. I think that was the first time I felt rage. I didn’t quite know what to do with it and I still don’t. The most angry I've ever been though is when my husband and I were very hurt by a church we served on staff with. It has taken years of counseling to unravel what I believe at times was righteous anger (injustices that also hurt the heart of God).
I'm sure you can recall times where you've been angry, furious even. So, what do we do with our "fury" when we've been "scorned," wounded, and provoked by friends, family, our bosses, or maybe even our church?
I’ve found that "mom guilt" is more accessible than it should be and easier to yield to than I am willing to admit...
Here’s the truth. Mom guilt started way before motherhood; this is not something that magically appeared after giving birth to a fun size version of myself, it has always been there. There’s always an array of guilt, we have just done a great job at putting words in front it. Now there's- job guilt, wife guilt, friend guilt, food guilt, shoppers’ guilt.
Guilt is guilt no matter what word we place in front of it.
For me, this started as a little girl who was groomed to meet the unyielding expectations of others. If I dared to not meet them, I would be greeted with rejection, feelings of abandonment and words that affirmed I wasn’t good enough. These repeated moments wrote the words to a novel I was never designed to be a character in.
Through these exchanges, I learned how to easily deem myself guilty. The judge was my unresolved issues of the past throwing down the gavel, validating my charges and sentencing me to guilt prison.
This isn’t new, it’s just matured....
The term "mom guilt" has conveniently given guilt permission to grow with us into motherhood and occupy space in different areas of our lives.
So, how do we choose God's grace over "mom guilt"?
When we got married, my husband and I decided to pour sand into a jar instead of lighting a unity candle. We took turns laying layer upon layer of tiny pebbles on top of each other to declare that our lives were so intertwined they'd be as impossible to separate as those tiny sand grains.
Through moving, decor rearranging, and just general time passing, the layers inside that jar are no longer straight and pretty. They've shifted into each other. They’re wavy and out of place. They're imperfect.
Did you know that...
Friendships. They were easy to create as kids, don’t you think? You go to recess and find someone on the swings and start talking. Viola, you have a friend. Fast-forward to adulthood and swing sets are replaced by desks and fluorescent lights and conversions aren’t as easy.
It was His original idea. All because He recognized that it’s not good for us to be alone and He saw the importance of relationships (Genesis 2:28).
We’re wired to help each other, encourage each other and forgive each other. And we’re also wired to receive help, encouragement, and forgiveness. It’s all over Scripture (If you have time, consider spending a little more time reading these verses Colossians 3:13, Ecclesiastes 4:10, Romans 12:10, and Proverbs 27:17).
If it’s part of God’s original plan for us, why is it so difficult to do?
I'm about to say a bad word... (takes a deep breath).Ok, here it goes.
As the calendar brings the month of February and Valentines Day back around to us once again, I'm stuck thinking about the word intimacy. Why do so many of us struggle with this word? Why is it hard for us to draw close to others, our spouse and to God?
Kaley Rivera Thompson is an author, copywriter, Bible teacher, speaker, and worship leader. When she's not championing other women, cheering on the rising generation, writing or playing her guitar, Kaley loves to sip strong coffee, go on hikes, or take a day trip to the mountains with her family. She takes the most pride in being a mom to three little girls, Lina, Lili and Ceci. You can follow her on instagram at @kriverathompson or find out more on her website at kriverathompson.com.