I remember the first day I felt alone.
We were all giggling around the lunch table, the popular girls and I, and we were looking at our other classmates, laughing and telling jokes and mostly just being kids.
And I remember laughing — I have a ridiculous laugh sometimes, one that stops people in their tracks — and snorting and making all sorts of bizarre noises … and then I remember the tables turning.
My best friend leaned over to The Most Popular Girl and whispered in her ear, staring at me all the while.
She whispered, they both looked my direction, and they both just died in a blow of giggles that left me feel bludgeoned.
I sat there and stared right back at them, as I couldn’t avert my eyes from the train wreck happening right in front of me: the one that was taking away my spirit, the one that was taking away my innocence, that was quickly chipping away pieces of my vulnerable self.
They snickered and cackled and pointed and I couldn’t stop watching them just be mean.
It was the first time I felt alone. I felt abandoned by the ones I let myself love.
I realize now that children can be mean, that it’s not just in the Popular Crowd, that it’s not just in high school or in clubs or in college. I realize it happens all the time.
I realize that I am, even today, tangled in the messy weave of gossip and of “I just have to tell you this story,” and of “Did you see what she’s wearing??”
It’s all so insanely catty and ridiculous. It hurts my heart to think of the things that I’ve said out loud about another woman, another person on my team, a fellow soldier in the ranks.
And because of this awareness, I am caught up in the beauty of this community.
I am caught up in the honesty.
I am caught up in the vulnerability.
I am caught up in the laughter.
I am caught up in the avoidance of gossip.
I am caught up in the expectation of good.
I am caught up in the faith, the love, the generosity, the care.
I am caught up in the solidarity, the unity, the bond that we women share.
And with every single ounce of my being, I want this sisterhood to creep into every crevice of my life.
I want this online, virtual space to become a reality in my own soul.
I want to continue to have an expectation of good and holiness and generosity and love in every area of my being.
This past week, nine of the writers and I got together for the first time via Google Hangout on Air (meaning we chatted with each other on video and then we broadcasted it live).
It was eye opening.
It was me really seeing these women, some for the very first time; it was me hearing these women, again, for the first time; it was me listening to them speak, that really revealed to me: this is where I am supposed to be.
I am supposed to work hard on a women’s ministry that gives voice to all women.
For the woman surrounded by people but who feels alone, for the woman who sits unaccompanied and wishes for friendship, for the woman who needs a friend who can speak truth into her life, for the woman who can be an example of patience and love and kindness to others.
The Lord created this community for those women. For you, and for me.
I remember the first day I felt alone. The laughter, the pointing, the cattiness.
And I rest in this sisterhood, and I sit back, at peace, and praise the Lord for the friendship and the fellowship and the love that He has embedded into my soul.