I once heard a phrase, “A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves – a special kind of double.”
When I went off to college I was blessed to meet six very important women who would later become the very thing I always longed for, a sister. We are very similar, but at the same time so different. I first met Erica in 2000 at our yearly AG youth convention. The first thing I noticed was her love for the color PINK! She had pink everything, pink shoes, pink jacket, it was so awesome! She and I hit it off instantly. Reminded me of the friends I had in New York, trendy, raw, real, tell it like it is. She may not know this but she became my motivation and the driving force behind my decision to attend Valley Forge. In 2001 I started Valley Forge Christian College. Move in day I met this crazy white girl from Jersey, Jessica. All I remember was her charisma and infectious, cheerful personality. She was filled with the joy of the Lord. Fast forward to today, she remains that constant joy and strength in my life. She has gotten me through some of my toughest spiritual battles. When I didn’t know where to turn, she’d offer godly wisdom and direct me to a scripture for it all. Somehow we always find a way to laugh about it later. That same year I met this beautiful looking young woman. I was into big earrings then and all I remember was Oriella’s dazzling handmade cultural earrings. They completed her indigenous look. I thought, who is this girl? She must be studying abroad. Her compassion is what stood out to me the most though. She became better known as, “Mama O” and it really did fit her perfectly. She made sure we ate, we were on time for chapel and selflessly gave everything she had to us all. While speaking about compassion another wonderful woman comes to mind. I met Laquetta my second year of college, through Erica. Her big blue eyes were so captivating, all the while comforting. What I remember the most, was the demonstration of love for her son, Baylor. Their bond was solid as a rock. I thought, wow how does she do it all? She’s a full time student, and a great mommy. I will never forget how she nursed me back to health after my first panic attack. She was so gentle and nurturing. She allowed me to stay at her place and forget my troubles. Sort of reminded me of the way my mother cared for me. She may not know it, but she has inspired me to become a better mother. While at college, I would accompany Oriella and Erica to church often. Iglesia Sinai in Philadelphia became my home church. That is where I met Keisha and Jamie. Keisha was the pastor’s daughter. I remember meeting her and thinking, “well she’s rude!” She seemed pretty stuck up and unfriendly. But see, God has such a mysterious way of doing things. We later became cordial and although we only spoke in church, we became very close friends in 2005. I went through a very bad break up and Keisha was there to pick up the pieces. We decided to become roommates and lets just say 2005-2007 were two of the best years of my young adult life. If it weren’t for her my life would have taken a very dark and ugly turn. She brought back laughter, optimism and energy to a life that had been torn down by deceit and disrespect. She has always had a way of effortlessly lifting you up when your down, and I am grateful she is in my life. Last but not least, there is Jamie. As mentioned before I met Jamie at church and through the other girls. I remember when I first heard her sing. She had such an angelic voice and an excellent heart of worship. She sang from the heart, she ushered in the presence of God in such a way that made you feel as though you were sitting at the feet of Jesus. I love her very much. Perhaps I’ve never told her since we haven’t had many opportunities to share alone time, but she is someone who I would trust eyes closed. You know she always has your best interest at heart. She is beyond beautiful. Beyond loving, caring & sweet. She is a gem, a diamond of a person.
These six women I look up to immensely, they challenge me, they scold me when I’m wrong, they encourage me, lend a listening ear, laugh with me, cry with me, but more importantly they pray with me. They challenge me to become a better friend, mommy, wife and woman. With them I have learned a different kind of love, forgiveness, compassion and loyalty. Doing this blog is a testimony of God’s faithfulness to us all. It exudes hope and the power of unity in Christ. Together we make seven.. In Hebrew the “number 7 is the divine number of completion. A covenant promise (in Hebrew, the expression literally translated as “to seven oneself” means “to swear a covenant”) These girls have truly made me complete. They are more than friends, they are my sisters. Our friendship has been a delightful journey. A beautiful celebration of diversity, devotion and true connection. The Lord remains our pillar through it all… I can imagine Jesus saying, “To my seven… ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Matthew 25:23