Hi, my name is Tessa Acevedo. I am 19 years old, I live in Orlando, Florida, and I am the founder of The Sisterhood. The Sisterhood originally started around September of 2017. After dealing with the insecurity of rejection, to being in a season of loneliness and isolation, to my parents who are on their way to their second divorce, and a ton of health issues; this ministry that I launched didn’t stem from a very fruitful place. Those things happened be the things that tore me apart completely. So much to the point where I wanted to change everything about myself. I went through this identity crisis, one that is still a battle for me today. It’s a constant fight of not allowing these situations to change my identity which is a lot easier said than done.
I remember being inspired by Taylor Swift(and by inspired I mean influenced) and how she went M.I.A for 2 years and then dropped her “Look What You Made Me Do” single along with her music video as she called out all her haters, bad situations, and people who hurt her. So, logically, I wanted to do the same because Tay Tay knows best, right? I wanted to change my hair, and my attitude, and my look, and then mysteriously drop this brand new website with a blog to empower ladies out there who felt the same way I did(and by empower I mean misery loves company). But God sure has a way of dealing with us before we do the work he’s set out for us to do. After talking with a mentor of mine, she was able to figure out what was really going on in my heart to make me want to go rogue. Together, we decided to trash that idea and just allow God to work in me in privately. I clearly had some unresolved hurt going on inside which was creating this wall that was blocking my vision to see what God was trying to show me. I was completely oblivious to the fact that I was made to write and share my real emotions with other people who felt like they, too, were alone in this thing called life. What the devil intended for bad God intended for good but I first had to abandon the fears and insecurities I had with the situations I was in.
I didn’t officially release The Sisterhood until January of this year because I needed time to figure out how to make a website being that I am, in fact, an amateur. I only let a couple people in on my burden just for accountability purposes and started from scratch. I think one day I just got into thinking about what my purpose was and what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. After my first year of college, life started to appear more real so I knew I had to figure this out soon; so I started with my passions. I love to sing and I love encouraging people or giving wisdom. I also love to talk and write. Originally my major in college was “Worship Ministries” but I recently changed it to Psychology. It was tough and scary, but a brave decision on my part because I had come to a crossroads in my calling. God had instilled so many different gifts and talents that I could possibly use for him but I just didn’t know where exactly it was that he wanted me. But I came to the conclusion that I wanted to be a counselor and motivational speaker for teen and college aged women.
Throughout my life I never really had solid friends or leaders who would pour into my calling. Life always seemed like I was on one side of the road and everyone was on the other side; and it was always me struggling to get to where everyone else was and then God calling me to be set apart and stay where I was. Eventually, I just had to accept that where everyone else was going God wasn’t taking me there. That is a concept that is still hard for me to understand, even today.
As the end of the year started to approach I was able to finish the website and launch it in early January of this year. The heartbeat of The Sisterhood is simply a platform for women to be open and honest about what’s really happening in their lives and hearts. We live in a society that is constantly telling us not to feel or to hide our emotions away from the world so that we don’t offend anyone with our honesty. It even exists in the church. Considering that most women are emotional and insecure and overthink every situation, listening to this kind of garbage keeps us from saying what we mean or what God is speaking to us, making us fake and not relatable to those around us. So then how are we really reflecting Christ when we are so ashamed of who God has created us to be?
My favorite quality in a person is a genuine heart. Being able to sit down with someone and hear the real things going on in their minds and hearts fascinates me, even if it’s not pretty and presentable. It reminds me of how God chooses to sit with me when I’m not pretty, presentable, or any other fill in the blank. My writing consists of that and so much more. I created this ministry and write for all the women and young ladies like myself out there who feel they cannot speak up, because there was a time in my life recently where the enemy stole my voice too. My life is not something I sugarcoat and I choose to be open about anything and everything that goes on inside. Not to show people how bold and brave I am but because it’s how I fight my battles. I do not consider myself strong but actually weak. But it is through Christ’s power which is made perfect in my weakness that gives me the freedom and ability to be strong, as said in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. “Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
So, I don’t mind admitting that I’m shaky on some ends or that I’m still young and don’t have it all figured out. But it’s not a desire of mine to wait until I’ve figured it all out to make a difference, which is why this ministry has bloomed now instead of in the future when I’m more “qualified.” The Sisterhood is here to encourage and uplift women of all kinds and backgrounds so that they too can be honest and open about their strengths, weaknesses, burdens, and how God still loves us and cares for our wandering hearts in the midst of life’s curveballs. The Sisterhood is for all of the God-fearing women who have suffered a couple battle wounds but are still standing to say that life is worth the battle!
Today, The Sisterhood is still growing and more and more women are starting to join in on the journey. At the moment I am currently forming a team to help with the ministry and we are brainstorming for the things that are coming in the near future! So far it has been an amazing growing experience for not just me but women all over the country. My prayer is to see this evolve into not just a ministry but a movement of women from everywhere to rise up and be all that God has called them to be!
To be apart of the journey follow The Sisterhood on Instagram and check out their blog.