Sisterhood -- Martha Balmer

BalmerMarthaCommunity life in The Word of God has always fostered deep relationships among women. The monthly Women’s Breakfasts are one of the ways those relationships find expression and grow deeper. Sisterhood is a blessing I haven’t always been capable of enjoying. When I filled out my housing forms as an incoming freshman at U of M, nothing could have persuaded me that an all-women’s dormitory could be anything but a catty, cliquish, shallow nightmare. Even though I was a Christian, junior high and high school had all but ruined me for genuine, supportive relationships with other women. But as I became increasingly immersed in The Word of God and began to participate in the women’s households on campus, I began to heal, my perspective changed and I became capable of loving and being loved by women.

Rootedness Sisterhood has become a habit of life because of the patterns that community created in my youth. I learned that without the bonds of sisterhood functioning in a regular way week in and week out, I would begin to drift toward isolation and the self-pity and distorted perspectives that came with it. So whenever a change disrupted the resources of one season—such as when my family moved from Ypsilanti to Ann Arbor—I found myself seeking out new connections.

Even before we moved into our new house, I had checked the directory for my nearest community neighbors and been delighted to find four other women living within a couple of blocks. When the business of life didn’t allow us to connect without effort, I made some calls and we began to invite each other to tea parties — a sisterly habit that has continued to keep us connected and enabled us to reach out to other women as well.

Sisterhood01Enduring relationship Over the last 34 years, a continuously deepening abundance has been pouring into my lap through my relationships with women in the body of Christ. Although I have lived through many changes that altered or even disbanded my various women’s groups, I can honestly say that there have been no ultimate losses, as even those women who have moved away or whose paths seldom cross mine any more remain connected to me by the deep sisterhood that our common life established between us.

Refreshment for the journey This is the context in which the monthly Women’s Breakfasts continue to nourish my soul. As we share casually over our coffee and bagels, we support and enjoy one another. As we tell our stories, we identify with one another in our trials and help one another on toward greater faith and love. As we worship and pray together, we draw life from the Lord and convey his life to one another.

In a world where women have suffered deep wounds and are applying all kinds of misguided remedies, the Lord has created a true sisterhood among us in which our simple breakfasts offer refreshment for our journey and sanctuary to our guests.

If you are not in the habit of attending The Word of God Women’s Breakfasts, consider putting them on your calendar. If you haven’t considered bringing a friend to a breakfast before, look around among your neighbors, co-workers and relatives for a woman in need of refreshment. God provides so much for us in one another, and when we come together we open ourselves to an ever increasing blessing.