Sisterhood is Eternal

Unbelieving, I held the phone to my ear.
We had always talked by phone every few weeks, but wait . . . how long had it been?
And now a call from her husband with tears in his voice.
I could feel the conversation moving in a direction that I could not absorb:
Organ failure
The easy, relaxed freedom of our ties suddenly appeared to have been foolhardy. Although Joanne had been in her seventies, I truly had thought that she would live forever – or at least until we were both “caught up together with Him in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.”

(We spoke of it often.)

Now she was already there, and I hadn’t even given her a proper send off.

Homeschooled sons, a toddler, a baby, and a five-hour drive make for some challenging funeral logistics, but the patient husband and I managed to attend somehow, because I had been asked to share words about Joanne and our friendship — an incredible gift to me in processing the beauty and the loss.

But it was not what helped the most.

Morbid as it sounds, the empty shell of her; the sick body looking so wrong and so hollow pierced the grieving just enough to make room for thanksgiving that God had allowed her to fly free of it. Here’s where the theology gets fuzzy, but “absent from the body, present with the Lord” superseded the void she had left behind, and with Holy-Spirit-fueled certainty, I knew that something stronger than heredity had been passed along to me during our decades-long sisterhood, a genealogy of spirit stronger than blood that came to me through:

Shared ministry in which we lost ourselves in the communication of Truth;
Witnessing her determination to be ordained during her retirement years;
Hours spent in prayer at a messy kitchen table;
Arguments over obscure Scripture passages when I was a headstrong teenager;
Her unshakeable conviction that God had plans for me.
Although it is untraceable from a practical standpoint, still, I ponder this concept:

A genealogy of Spirit – a sharing of faith and calling that runs back through all my known spiritual influences and beyond memory to the time of Christ.


I’m pondering the eternal sisterhood over at SheLoves Magazine today, and I hope you’ll join me there to read the rest of this post.  And while you’re there, be sure to read the thoughts of others on this month’s topic:  sisterhood.


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43 thoughts on “Sisterhood is Eternal”

  1. Michele, this post touches my heart deeply. I have experienced several deaths of close friends, sisters in the Lord with whom we shared not only ordinary happenings but also extraordinary moments in the presence of the Lord together. One lesson I have learned again through those is the significance of never taking time together with someone for granted. Things happen in our lives and none of us can manage being always attentive, but my strong relational bent nudges me to try to be steadfast in these relationships of the heart. I think I have always felt that way, but it has steadily increased as I have gotten older. Thanks so much!
    Blessings and love,


  2. How very, very poignant! As I read, I began to think of those sisters (and brothers) who are part of my spiritual genealogy. “Blood may be thicker than water”. But the Spirit is thicker than both! Thank you for this precious post!


  3. Not being able to give a proper send off is difficult. I am so sorry. My dear daddy passed just nine months ago. My mother went to live with Jesus in July of 1989. I empathize with you. How precious are the investments you all made in each other lives.


  4. Coming to you from The Loft. The death of a close, dear friend and mentor is hard. You’ve expressed it well here without anger, sorrow or frustration. Thank you. You’ve shown us how to respond when we get “that” dreaded phone call. Blessings. Chris


  5. This post is precious. It reminds me of the hope we have in Jesus. The hope that allows me to look forward to seeing my parents again, my grandparents, and others who have already stepped into the presence of Jesus. What a day that will be! Love that you linked this at The Loft today.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am so sorry Michelle. I have relearnt a valuable lesson. Never taking people in my life for granted.
    Friend you are an encouragement to me. Despite my struggles receiving that email meant a whole lot. I called my hubby about your message. We were both pleased. God bless you friend. I pray that God replenish your kindness tank and fill you up with joys and unexpected helps in all areas of your life.
    Thank you so much. There are few who truly care and you are among the top on my list😀


  7. What a beautiful bond to have with someone! Such a blessing, even in the hardest moments. Visiting from #ThreeWordWednesday


  8. You have been blessed with a beautiful friendship. I would love to have a friend like this, Michele. I’ve prayed for one for several years now and I’m still trusting God will send her. I love this last little statement because it is so true…the Great Commission is not always fulfilled with a passport and a suitcase.

    Thank you for sharing your heart with Thankful Thursdays.


    1. Lord, please hear the desire of Lori’s heart for a friend who will sit at her messy table, who will share life and trust God along with her.
      Thanks, Lori, for your steady encouragement to so many!


  9. Sorry for your loss, but what a beautiful tribute to this special friendship and sisterhood. What an example she set for so many.


  10. So sorry for the loss of your friend, but I’m praying the comfort only the promise of your continued eternal sisterhood can bring. May God surround you in His peace… clicking over to finish your story! xo, Liz


  11. Michele, I loved your title and clicked in, and I’m so glad I did. What a beautiful post. I commented over at the magazine, but wanted to leave a little comment here as well. So very sorry for your loss. ((hug))


  12. Michele, I’m so sorry for your loss. Not being able to say goodbye can be haunting, but what a gift to be able to speak of your friendship at her memorial! A powerful testimony of the love you shared. May God bring you comfort in the days and weeks ahead.


  13. I’m sorry for the loss of your friend but this is a beautiful tribute to your friendship. It is such a comfort to know that we will see our loved ones again and that these friendships truly are eternal.


  14. Michele, what a wondferful way to honor the legacy of your sweet sister in Christ! Your tender words cause me to pause and thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the dear sister in Christ who meets with me for lunch and prayer each week, and all the precious sisters in Christ, like you, with whom I have the privilege of sharing our faith and our lives in this amazing blogging community. Many blessings to you ❤️


    1. Writing about this friendship has heightened by appreciation and gratitude for all the ways in which God has filled that void over the years. Thanks, Beth, for connecting here1


  15. This kind of authentic sisterhood is so important. I’m glad you have experienced that, although I know you must miss her. Thanks for sharing this at #ThreeWordWednesday.


  16. So good, all of it so good. But this is what I’ll keep with me today “something stronger than heredity had been passed along to me during our decades-long sisterhood, a genealogy of spirit stronger than blood”. Thanks for sharing this gem at #GiveMeGrace


  17. I’m so sorry for your loss, Michele. What a gift this life-long friend has been to you. Makes me remember my 78 year old mentor-mother. I missed this post. (Been offline lots because life has gotten a bit crazy. 🙂 ) I hopped over there, but came back here to comment. I agree with Joanne. This is maybe your best post ever, friend. Thank you for encouraging us to leave a legacy by investing in the lies of younger women. It’s so much simpler than we make it. (Canning beans together isn’t so hard.)


  18. You say it so well. Yes, the eternal sisterhood is such a gift of grace. I’m so grateful for my own sisters in Christ. I’m sorry for your loss but happy for you that you’ll get to meet up again someday with Joanne.
    Thank you for linking with Grace and Truth last week!


  19. Michele, this is such a beautiful tribute to your friend, but not only that. It is a tribute to the “eternal sisterhood” that reaches from Biblical time down through the ages to now. You show us the importance of working together to further the kingdom and even for ourselves to grow. Thank you for sharing it at #LMMLinkup!

    Liked by 1 person

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