Sister Up: Belonging to each other
Register today for this year's Women's Retreat!
Friday, February 23 & Saturday, February 24
This year, HPUMC is excited to welcome New York Times best-selling author, Rachel Held Evans, as our keynote speaker. If you're in need of inspiration, rest, or spiritual renewal, this weekend is for you. Through worship, small groups, and breakout sessions, we'll focus on the gift of sisterhood and work to strengthen our bonds with one another. Affordable childcare available.
“Her success is not my failure.”
I was scrolling through my Pinterest feed when this quote popped up. Typically I roll my eyes at motivational quotes laid over images of beaches and snow-covered mountains, but this one made me stop.
I read it again and again and again. I never realized until that moment how much of my life had been spent believing that the success of my sister was in some way a failure of my own.
Whether it was my literal sister or my sisters of the world, I had been taught that there were only so many seats at the table of success, so I had better act fast if I wanted one. In some ways, this is true. God knows sexism is alive and well among us, showing its ugly face wherever a woman dares to go.
But instead of learning to lock arms with my sisters and demand more seats at the table, I had learned how to fight for the only ones left.
I’m learning now that the ultimate victory of sexism comes when women turn against women when we choose to believe that one woman’s rising is another woman’s failing. This is the triumph of injustice. It keeps us blind to the power of sisterhood.
Because truth be told, if all women were to realize that we, in fact, belong to one another, then there is nothing we couldn’t accomplish. Imagine the force of a sisterhood of women demanding a bigger table, insisting for more chairs, and refusing to sit until her sister can sit too.
I am a female pastor and preacher. If you were to rank the most male-dominated professions, pastor would be at the top of the list. In this vocation, it can feel as though there aren’t enough churches, enough pulpits, and enough spaces for my voice to be heard. I know insecurity and have befriended the fear that there might not be enough room for me. I know the persistence of the voice that says, “You better hurry up. You may miss your chance. She could get it before you.”
But now I remember: her success is not my failure. In fact, her success is always my success, and here’s why:
When she stands in the pulpit, she defies the degradation of all women, myself included.
When her voice is heard, the opportunity for my voice increases.
When she is seen, I am seen. She is my sister, and, as it turns out, we are each other’s keepers.
It’s a gift, but it’s also a baton. We accept it, and then we offer it. For the women that have carried me, spoken for me, and paved the way for me, I give thanks. And I choose to continue the work, not for myself, but for all my sisters.
Thanks be to God for the beauty of the sisterhood.