I believe God intersects the lives of people with a greater plan than our of-the-flesh little human brains can possibly imagine.

The higher up, deeper in I walk with Him, I see that His ultimate goal is to strip us down, layer by layer, so we can more closely resemble His son.

He understands that resembling His son is the only way we can be fully-healed and walk in peace in this world thus fulfilling His second greatest commandment – love our neighbors as ourselves. It’s also the only way we can say to someone else, “Come on out.  It’s OK.  It’s better to be out of the cage.”

It would be great if we could resemble His son without the stripping but it’s the process that brings us to the ultimate product.  The sacred process that allows us to fall at the feet of the product and accept a love we can’t even fathom.

I’ve always wanted a sister. I would have taken a brother, too.

But oh, a sister.  How I’ve always wanted a sister.

A built-in best friend who understands my history.  Who sees me for who I am and yet loves me anyway.  Who can laugh over mom’s inability to turn on a computer and dad’s obsession with the lawn yet understand at the same time the intense love and gratitude we feel for both.

It wasn’t in God’s plan for me to have siblings but God being God, He knew the desire of my heart.

And while He didn’t plan for me to have a sister, He did plan for me to have a sisterhood.

He has blessed me with sisters of the heart that to my surprise, are exactly like the longed-for sister I conjured in my mind when I was a little girl.

The small group of women I “do life” with on a daily basis are those sisters.  They can’t picture my childhood home or list the names of my eclectic pets, but we grew in one another’s hearts and we continue to do so.

We have walked through some hard stuff and yet each and every one possesses a humility that is the essential building block of safe and healthy friendships.

But a new sisterhood has developed with women I don’t see every day.

Just once a year.

And yet, having the same mission, we connect.

Through writing and the pouring out of our souls, we know.

Jesus intersects and sisters are born.

Iron sharpens iron.

This past weekend, God blessed me with a sweet time at the Relevant Conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

My precious roommates.  A few women in a small group writing critique who stood at the door of my cage and encouraged me to fly out.  Others with wise eyes who look into mine and without speaking, we know there is more to our story than the boots and skinny jeans and lip gloss we wear.

Sisters of the heart who love Him.  And by loving Him with an authentic love through the stripping of our own layers, we fulfill that second greatest commandment.

This week, I’ll be introducing you to my roommates as well as some other new sisters who have blessed me this past weekend.

But most of all, I thank you for YOUR sisterhood, dear reader.  For reading my words and encouraging me to open the cage door.  For putting up with my sometimes neurotic and always-broken self and coming back to read my heart anyway.  You have moved me in a way that can only be explained by the sanctity of God.

And my gratitude for you surpasses any word I could write.

On this beautiful Multitude Monday, I thank you Jesus for:

571.  Sisters of the heart – the ones I see every day and the ones I don’t

572.  A husband who encourages when I say “I don’t want to leave home” because he just knows I need to move

573.  Children who boil my stuff to the surface and force me to look it in the eye

574. The encouragement of Genevieve from Turquoise Gates and Michelle Pendergrass during a writing session that moved me to tears.

575.  The wisdom shared of a blogger nine years younger than me – proving yet again that age is just a number.

576. Roommates who make me laugh:  Stef from Educating Laytons, Jenny from Southern Institute, and Mandy from Pennies and Blessings.

577. An adopted roommate on the last night, a sweet soul I have known for a while and adore even more now that I’ve met her gentle spirit in person – Abby from Fan the Flame

578.  God’s wisdom spoken to me through publishing break-out sessions

579.  Generating a plan that makes a dream seem attainable after much wait and obedience to God’s call to other ministries.

580.  Rising hope.

This week may you look a sister in the eye and see her soul.  Touch her arm and encourage her to get out of the cage.  Lay down pettiness.  Or envy.  Or comparisons.

Unite as a sisterhood.

 Joining in with Ann for “Multitude Monday” and Jen for “Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood”


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