The Importance of Sisterhood: A DDIW Chronicles Commentary

2:51 PM Shonell Bacon 2 Comments

They say that behind every great man there is a great woman.

I really think that saying is beside every great woman is a great sister who always comes with the straight, no chaser advice, warm hugs, and a ready-to-take-on-all-challengers stance when things get a little sticky.

Every woman can recall at least that one sister—from birth or from another mother—who has been there to listen to her frustrations over a relationship, her aggravation over a job, her devastation over a loss, and her infuriation over being done wrong. And she can recall that sister railing with her over her man and then getting real to show her where she went wrong. She can recall the friend telling her to look for another job, to find something that will make her happy and keep her living well. She can recall sistergirl sharing tissues with her as they both cry over the emptiness she feels at having lost someone. She can recall sistergirl saying, “OK, where’s my Vaseline and sneakers?” when it time to crack a skull or two open on her behalf.

There are a plethora of self-help books written about how women can find the man of their dreams and keep him, but we often forget about the importance of having a great sisterfriend, that woman who can see you bare, ugly truths, lies, secrets, and all, and who will still stand beside you, like a trooper, helping you to grow into the strong woman you are destined to be. There are many components to a person, and a romantic relationship can satisfy many of those components; however, nothing can replace the relationship of sisterhood and how it, too, can feed your soul.

Jovan Parham-Anderson from Death at the Double Inkwell [Amazon] has a sister like that: her twin, Cheyenne.

These two may look alike, but their personalities are polar opposites. Whereas Jovan is often quiet, reflective, and quick to find fault with herself, Cheyenne is loud, opinionated, and always ready to put blame on the right person.

Despite their differences, the two connect in powerful ways when the other steps up to be there for her sister.

When Jovan thinks her husband Cordell is having an affair, who does she run to? Cheyenne

When Jovan suffers an unimaginable tragedy, who does she run to? Cheyenne

When Cheyenne's temper places her in harm's way, who comes to protect her? Jovan

When Cheyenne catches feelings for someone who seems to be her arch-nemesis, who does she spill the beans to? Jovan

Even when Jovan’s and Cheyenne’s lives are put in danger, they rely on one another to make it through.

As betrayals and lies surface, and the twins find themselves in peril, will relying on their sisterhood keep them alive?

You'll have to read Death at the Double Inkwell to find out.

It’s available NOW at [Amazon].


Sometimes, God Comes to You

1:36 PM Shonell Bacon 3 Comments

I. Am. Tired.

This is a major truth for me these days.

I am physically, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, socially, spiritually (every "-ally" you can find) tired.

The month of May was one in which so many things took place, ending in an ultimate pain and sadness that I know will take awhile to deal with.

I dealt with the end of a semester that was painful and wrong on a few levels, I dealt with my first May Seminar class, which started right as the painfully wrong semester was ending, I dealt with pressures of a personal online project I took on and that kept me stressed, and I dealt with learning that my father was gravely ill and eventually had passed.

Some might wonder why I would put my dad last on this list. Surely he was more important than everything else, and this is true. But what the above is, is a culmination of pain, stress, and exhaustion that exploded with the death of my father.

During May, I didn't go to church. Didn't once open my bible. And I don't remember actually praying or talking to God a lot during that time. I thought there was no time because I was running around crazily, doing everything but what I needed to do: stop, be still, and let God.

When I learned that my father was ill the third/fourth weeks of May, the exhaustion I felt heightened to levels I didn't know existed. It was unbelievably hard and tiresome to act like I cared about anything around me - school, people, situations - because my mind was exploding with memories of my father (good and bad) and how to deal with these feelings and with how to help my family deal with their feelings. Needless to say I did poorly at both.

But I didn't reach out to God for help, for guidance. I kept it all in and tried to deal on my own.

And then May 29th came.

It was to be a good day. Last day of my May class, I would start working on research for two professors while taking an online course. I might even have time to write. Had decided I would go back home with my family to see my father before he passed.

Was at a dinner party with classmates and professors when I learned my father had died. I cried, briefly, while at the party, not wanting to expose my feelings.

And again, I didn't go to God for help, for guidance.

During this last week, I've dealt with the pain of my father's passing and with familial situations and ignorance that left me hurt, empty, alone, forgotten, estranged, and fifty other emotions. I fluctuated from sobbing my heart out over the life I could have had with my father and the sadness that all chances were now gone to trying to "pull it together" so others wouldn't see me weak, so I could keep moving forth.

And again, I didn't go to God for help, for guidance.

And in the midst of trying to understand, trying to right myself during this time, I began a brand new worry; I began to wonder how I was going to make it over the summer if projects thought had, had vanished, which is a real possibility.

So, I sat, a frenzied, worried, sorrowful, tearful mess of a person, trying in her anti-social ways to reach out to people for the hugs and love she needed and not sure how to fix any of the things she was feeling or going through.

And again, I didn't go to God for help, for guidance.

And I guess he got tired of it because he came to me.

Last night, while I suffered from another night of not being able to sleep. It was nearing 5 a.m., and I was about to turn off the TV and go to bed, knowing I would just sit up for another hour or two before finally falling asleep for a few hours.

I was mindlessly flipping through the channels when I came across Joyce Meyer; her show had just started. Over the last month, I had typically rolled my eyes and changed the channel like, "I'm already screwed. Ain't much she or God can say to help me."

But then Joyce recited Ephesians 4:22-24:

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

And I felt it, and knew it was for me. Joyce talked about worry, about people's needs to try to FIX everything, to REASON everything, to think they CONTROLLED everything, and I knew this was true for me. I had been trying to truly understand and figure out what I was feeling, what was going on with me so that I could fix it. And Joyce said, it wasn't for us to fix everything. God said he would be there, that he would take care of us if we asked. That we needed to, when in the midst of the storm and thinking there is no way out, remember all the times we felt like that and God came through at the appointed time. He's never not come through when he needed to, and we needed to realize this, to realize that we don't have to be the ultimate fixer because we HAVE an ultimate fixer, and his name is God.

It made me think of a conversation I had with my mother a few days ago when I was telling her about the latest news that had me worried. Frustrated, I had said, "And I know that I need to let this go and let God show me what to do because I am at the end of my rope. I don't have a solution, and it's killing me to be so desperate in trying to find one."

And God heard that. And though I wasn't coming to him to help, he heard my cry to him through my conversation with my mother, and he came to me through Joyce.

After the show, I went to bed, and I prayed and talked to God, and I told him that it would be hard, but I knew I needed to turn back to him fully and give him the woes of my heart. When I try to handle it myself, chaos and destruction always follows, but when I realize my limitations and go to who I know has the supreme power, things always fall into place.

I know I have to KNOW this. I have to REMEMBER this. I have to ACT through this knowledge so that I can help myself through these uncertain times. And even though the times are uncertain, having God in and around me will keep me moving forward and awaiting the fulfilled promises of my heart that God will bestow upon me.