Sisterhood Rising: But What If They Don’t Like Me?


There was a fleeting moment, two weeks ago, when a small voice wanted to come sit on my chest: What if they don’t like me? What if they hate my guts?

I was sitting in my office, preparing for the women’s retreat I was leading that weekend for the sisterhood at Cedar Grove Church. Four sessions of one hour each. Friday night through Sunday morning. A lot of me there.

What if they think I’m ridiculous? Purple and blue hair. Two-storey shoes. That hint of an accent. My ideas?

And then I laughed. I really did. And I took a deep breath, because I remembered this work we are doing. I remembered what I am advocating for and the very thing I stand on: That we would be Women Who Love.

For goodness’ sake.

We are laboring for this different atmosphere: a radical Love and acceptance of each other.


Women who love each other, even in our messes.

Women who love each other, even when we fail.

Women who love and cheer each other on, out of darkness into light.

Women who see each other not as competition, but as companions. Sisters on the way.

Women who see the best in each other and when it’s been squashed, stand there right next to a sister and call out the glory.

The glory and the light.

I laughed, because that old story of womanhood is old. It may not be dead yet in every place yet, I know, but it’s old and there’s a movement of a lot of us, encouraging each other to a different Way.

Wednesday night I came home from Sweating for Sisterhood and I could feel it. I wanted to stretch out my hand and touch it, it felt so real. It’s coming. I could sense this shift towards this other Way. There we were–several of us girls from one church and we were sweating with the girls at this other church and still more girls from other churches and women’s ministries and pockets of faith-loving women were cheering us on and there were no boundaries there. No lines drawn in the sand. No territorial markers. No “us” and “them.”

Sweating at CLA

There was just this bigger, deeper, more generous sense of Sisterhood.

Like glory rising …

We laughed and joked and we sweat together.

What Freedom to walk into a room–the one at the retreat, the one we were sweating in or any other room–and not have to prove yourself, but to enter in, knowing that God is doing something new. It feels so different and it feels so good, because there’s strength right there. No time and energy wasted on proving ourselves, but time spent on doing the things that need to be done.

Like sweating. For girls in Uganda.

We are giving of ourselves and opening up our hearts wide.

And these words that Helen Burns, one of my heroes, sows into our sisterhood, is reverberating and becoming flesh: “If there ever comes a time when the women of the world come together purely and simply for the benefit of (hu)mankind, it will be a force such as the world has never seen.” -Matthew Arnold.

I want more, more, more of this.


This month on SheLoves, we are standing with my sis + SheLovely Megan Gahan to raise enough money to sponsor 250 girls at a school in Gulu, providing them with sanitary supplies for a year, so they don’t drop out of school.

– Here’s Megan’s post about the project: Sweating for Sisterhood: Keep A Girl in School in Uganda

– Here’s where you can donate to be a part, please. I will be talking about this more here and on SheLoves, as we stand together and ask our friends, like you, to come alongside, because girls and Africa and education, well, that’s a very sweet and crucial spot for me.





  • Julie Cochrane

    Reading this is such a lovely way to start my day Idelette! I came into my study early, opened the window and sat down at my desk. I spent some time journalling, then opened up this word from you. As I did, the breath of God drifted in through my window and wrapped itself around my heart, and my soul. It carried a deep sense of freedom and joy. I’m so glad I came across this blogging site. I love connecting each day with the many women who take the time to share themselves here – we’re all so different, yet all so the same!

    • idelette

      Thank you, Julie … Now your words did the same for me, in turn. Love that.

  • Cara Strickland

    Thank you for these wonderful words against insecurity and for love. So easy to fall into that trap. Such a comfort to know that I’m not the only one who does.
    Love you! xx

    • idelette

      Thank you, Cara! xo

  • Esther Emery

    Idelette. Seriously. How do you make a vision for vulnerability and acceptance so beautiful? I feel invited to a feast.

    • idelette

      Esther, I like you. And thank you!

  • My Inner Chick

    Like glory rising …
    I do! I do! xx

  • Aj

    YES THIS. My past week was a struggle, I run a red tent, and felt torn between worlds when I feel it’s the same and that this work I’m doing is the most important thing I can do at the moment. Just feeling out of place with my Christian sisters, too much, too loud, too excited to talk about how our cycles affect our body and how we react with God and how we can let him flow with us and our flow. This was like reading a soothing balm for my soul. Thank you lovely. Stoked to have just joined the dangerous women tribe :-) I called my dad crying, and was like THERE’S MORE LIKE ME, SHE’S A BURNING CHRISTIAN WOMAN TOO! Thank you for stepping up and speaking up, because yeah, that voice gets itchy and can burrow deep without grace and love from God. Keep on doll.

  • Aj

    I submitted my request! Stoked to get involved!