I stand at my locker, the bright blue of the metal mirroring the emotions common to a sixth grade girl. Rummaging through my books, I tell myself I can do this. And I remember my mother’s suggestion to go to the guidance office if it becomes unbearable. At least there’s a plan.
I muster the courage to walk to my next class. Yes, exhale. I can do this.
I turn to face my tormentor, a girl two years my senior, but twenty years ahead of me in worldly knowledge.
“Well, there she is. Little Miss Thinks-She’s-All-That,” she mocks. She’s alone today. The others must already be in class.
Facing straight ahead, I walk to my next class with a few friends by my side.
As always, she’s persistent. The taunting continues — and continues.
Unfortunately, for most of my first year of middle school, I was just trying to survive. A year of confusion. A year of wondering what on earth I ever did to cause this posse of girls to pick me as the recipient of their taunts.
Luckily, my family moved to a larger city after that terrible year, and I looked to my new school with hope. Surely, I would be safe in a larger school with more anonymity.
The next two years of middle school were indeed better. I finally felt safe, and I actually enjoyed going to school.
But then it started again. At the beginning of my freshman year in high school, two other girls and I were chosen to be the target of “the mean girls.” Chris,* Jen,* and I were the lucky winners.
Accusations of things that didn’t happen ensued. Someone poured orange juice over the top of Chris’ head as we waited in the common area before school. The senior girls suggested Jen and I eat more salads in the annual “Senior Wills” because apparently, we weren’t thin enough. I was followed around our school for weeks by a group of girls wielding scissors, threatening to cut off my long hair — and we could go on.
The mean girls giggled at their bullying and pranks but didn’t think of the girls who were left crying.
Eventually, we became old news and Chris, Jen, and I were able to have a normal high school experience.
But the impact on my heart was profound. Thankfully, I was blessed with wonderful friends who walked with me during those seasons of bullying, but I still found myself leery of friendships with women. In my mind, women threatened me. Women humiliated me. Women treated me cruelly.
Women could not be trusted.
Years later, I became a Christian and allowed God to begin working on my heart in regards to female friendships.
First, He led me to forgive the girls who had bullied me. God revealed their own hurts and insecurities behind their real motivations. I also learned that forgiveness isn’t for those who mistreated me but for myself. An unforgiving heart produces bitterness, anger, and resentment. Unforgiveness is like battery acid to the soul.
Second, God began to place women in my life who were authentic and trustworthy people. They didn’t confuse me with friendship one day and manipulation the next. They didn’t threaten to cut off my hair. And they knew my ugly faults and loved me anyway.
I never had a sister growing up, but God blessed me with close girlfriends who are like sisters — and we are. We’re Heart Sisters.
No, we don’t have a shared childhood. We don’t share the same blood, and we don’t have the same parents. However, those Heart Sisters are a portrait of redemption. They’re proof of how Jesus can step in and work on a broken heart and offer hope.
Have you been hurt by women in the past?
Do you find yourself leery of female friendships?
Do you long for closer friendships but are scared to open your heart?
Allow me to encourage you, friend. Forgive those who hurt you. Next, pray for God to bring trustworthy women into your life. Lastly, open your heart to the possibility of new friendships — friendships that can lead to your dearest Heart Sisters.
Because Heart Sisters are the best sisters.
Related: Tell a dear sister in your life how much she means to you with this beautiful figurine by Willow Tree: Sisters by HeartLeave a Comment