Dear Sister by Paula Dannielle
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...?
For some, it is reserved for a biological family member that’s a woman. For others, it is saved for those with whom they share a faith community. And even still, others use it for anybody that is a female they know in any capacity.
For me, sisterhood is a dynamic word, but that generally applies to those who share in my joys and my heartaches, the things that give me energy, and those that are burdensome. Sisterhood is more than relational or religious. Sisterhood is a choice to enter into the caring shared space of being.
Life can make it hard for sisterhood to be a thing between people with different experiences. How can someone who has never known racism share in sisterhood with somebody who
experiences it daily? In our society, where White and Black, Non-Hispanic and Hispanic, POC
and Non-POC, influence our daily experiences, how can people from these different groups
The good news is, the true news is, we are not bound to the limitations that this life puts on us. We can engage in each other’s experiences under the banner of the same Savior - Jesus Christ.
Our faith crosses all the walls that our culture would like to erect. We can bear one another’s
burdens and become truer sisters in Christ’s family. We can look at each other, across the room from people who may be different from us, and say, “Dear Sister! You matter.”
The “you matter” is for us individually. You matter to God. Your pain. Your joys. Your gifts.
Your talents. Your questions. Your concerns. All matter to God; therefore, it matters - or at least should matter - to us.
The “you matter” is for us collectively. There is strength in numbers. As Jesus’s followers, we
have the power to establish God’s kingdom here on Earth and bring shalom to our communities, but this is a collective work. It becomes a job too big to hold when we try to take it on solo.
Individually - you matter. Collectively - we matter. And we want to help do that better. Over a
year ago, a project was started to help other women understand what Black women want them to know. This is more than information sharing. This is information for changing. This is about listening for understanding, being open to telling and hearing the truth, and using our strength and fortitude to push through uncomfortable moments to make a difference collectively.
Your Sister in the Collective,
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Kaley Rivera Thompson is an author, copywriter, public speaker, and musician. She serves as the Director of Communications and Donor Relations for the student sports-centric nonprofit she and her husband, Gage, run called Twelve. 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 two little girls, Lina and Lili. You can follow her on instagram at @kriverathompson or find out more on her website at kriverathompson.com.