I am re-posting a wonderful blog post written by my friend, Stacha Ashburn from @transformingloveministries.org
This is such a powerful and encouraging post about maintaining our peace within the relationships we have with others (not just our sisters, but it can even be powerful with any relationship we have with others.)
For a long time now, I have been a huge advocate for sisterhood. However, I am still very much learning just what healthy and unhealthy relationships look like and how to navigate through them. We all know within any real relationship women have with one another there is going to be emotional highs and lows that will trigger drama. Let’s call them peace robbers!
I believe within the body of Christ it gets a little bit more complicated because we are not to conform to the world’s way. I am going to unveil and share some scenarios I have walked through within my sista girl circle –what I did right, what I did wrong, and what I learned overall.
Something I want to share upfront, though you are a believer that doesn’t mean you’re anybody’s doormat!
Holy Spirit will lead and guide you in Peaceful Relationships 101 when you respond verses react. When we react, we give away our power. When we respond appropriately, we stay in control of ourselves and secure our inner peace. Keep your overall peace by choosing to not allow another party to provoke you into losing your Jesus!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have mastered this choice at times, and other times I have failed epically! But God ain’t done with me yet!
I recently found myself in a situation with one girlfriend in which we simply could not agree to see eye to eye. So, what do you do in these scenarios?
By the grace of God, I was at work and had to keep all the fruits of HIS Spirit during this encounter. I finally got to the place where I called it out for what it was. I told the other party that “This isn’t me against you or you against me, it is the enemy we are warring with.”
Ephesians 6:12 says:
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” NLT
With that, we were able to agree to see it differently. We were hip to Satan’s tricks. We hugged it out and moved on.
Then there was another situation where my sista wouldn’t respond via call or text, which only added fuel to the enemy’s fire in my mind. Ephesians 4:26 says:
And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry. NLT
I totally see why now, because in the silence, your mind tries to make sense of it and creates its own conclusions, which essentially robs you of your peace. When we finally did speak, we discovered lies -all lies! I learned I am a “let’s handle this right now” type of person; whereas, she is a “I need to be still and pray for a few days” type of chick. After discovering this, we agreed to use a code word that my husband and I often use – processing. Now when we have a disagreement, she just texts the word “processing” to let me know she needs her space. With that, I know she just needs a moment and then we are going to come back to the dispute at hand.
Then there’s this example that recently presented itself. It is another great example of how I need to seek to understand my sista better before responding to her.
I was on the phone with a friend when chaos broke out in my home. I had to get off the phone abruptly and handle the immediate situation. This friend knew what was going down, but she hadn’t reached back out at any point in the day to make sure I was well. So, I reached out to her the next day and let her know it hurt my feelings because she knew I was in crisis and didn’t follow up. She immediately apologized and shared that in her family when there is chaos, you don’t bring it up. She assumed based on her experience that if I wanted to talk about it, I would have reached out to her. Huge epiphany! If it wasn’t called out in open communication, we couldn’t have come to that understanding.
Communication is so key in any relationship but is essential within the relationships of believers. The enemy currently has domain over this world, and he wants to rob us of our peace by keeping us entangled in relationship issues. It’s evident that’s one of Satan’s best tricks. This keeps us distracted from living life fully alive.
Matthew 18:20 says:
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them. KJV
We are better together than we are apart, and we already know the power in that!
At the same time, we must learn discernment and balance as we walk this walk. There will be times when we will need to let go of those God hasn’t called us to keep. It took me way too long to realize we don’t have to remain friends with the toxic people in our circles. We are free to walk away from people who hurt us. We don’t owe anyone an explanation for taking care of ourselves.
There will be times that we need to erase messages, delete numbers, and move on for the sake of our well-being. It doesn’t mean we will forget who that person was to us, but we come to accept that they aren’t that person anymore and must simply set ourselves free. If someone hurts you once, they most likely will do it again. Don’t let toxic people make you feel like you are holding a grudge when you are establishing well-placed boundaries.
Whew ladies! When it comes to finding peace in the storms of sisterhood, I have shared just a few moments from my personal collection of experiences. Maintaining healthy relationships in our community of sisters is important because God says love HIM and love each other!
Besides being members of a local community, we have wide relationships with family, including extended families, co-workers, sisters, and friends. We have friends across spiritual communities and generations alike. This creates courage for women to face the future in faith and in hope. Courage comes from the power of our sisterhood, the energy that women have together. And there are so many spheres in which the courage of women has shifted the arc of history toward justice. Our sisterhood is powerful. Protect it!
Written by Stacha Ashburn