Elephants and Girlfriends
I was leading a bible study the other day and it just seemed to go from bad to worse. I forgot the speakers so people could hear, I forgot my bible and the trifecta was I didn’t update to the new DVD for the lesson. But here’s the thing, what started out as chaos became complete harmony as I shared a dream I have and others joined in with their passion and ideas. We have the origins of a plan and I am super excited to see where this goes.
I am so thankful for the generous gift of grace from the ladies that day. I left the group feeling energized and ready to move ahead on a new adventure. It could have turned out differently, they could have shared all the things they could have been doing with that time insteadc, and I would have gone home feeling the chaos, totally unworthy of the task of teaching. What a blessing the morning turned out to be, because of girlfriend grace.
In the past week I have heard two of my girlfriends comment on how the biggest hurts they have faced have come from the church. How can this be? In a place that was born out of love, forgiveness and great mercy, how can we be hurting each other? And if we are hurting each other within the church, how can we be the hands and feet of Jesus reaching out to those who don’t know him yet?
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
Are we any different today than those in Ephesus during Paul’s time? As ethnic and cultural differences between the Jews and Gentiles became an issue, Paul reminded them the importance of unity and that God’s people were all built on the foundation of apostles and prophets with Jesus himself as the cornerstone. (Ephesians 2:12-22)
We are still God’s people, built on that same foundation and with the same cornerstone. Yet, somewhere we have gotten away from our foundation and forgotten that we are called to love each other. Paul talks often about how God needs each one of us to use the unique gifts He gave us to tell His story to those who don’t have that personal relationship with Him.
Are we loving like Jesus as we judge each other? Of course not. How is it possible for anyone to hear the message of love and unity through the noise of anger and bitterness?
My heart aches for my friends who have been hurt by God’s children. Having been in that place once myself, I know that pain and feeling of being less than who God wants, let alone who He needs. And let’s face it, we need to love on each other and lift each other up so we can go out and be the light we are called to be. When we do that, we get that Holy Spirit connection that makes us fireworks, telling God’s story with the brilliance of dancing light. And people are so much more engaged with fireworks than the soft glow of a single candle.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
I want to be like an elephant friend to the women I know and love. When an elephant is giving birth the other women elephants in the tribe close ranks and surround her in a protective circle so there is no view for potential predators to see her. They surround her, stomping their big, old feet and snorting through those long tusks to keep her safe from hyenas and lions while she is at her most vulnerable. When the baby is born, they kick dirt on it so those predators can’t track the smells. Then, when they know the baby is safe and the mama is ok, they trumpet in celebration of the new arrival. What wonderful friends they are!
I love this beautiful force of nature. Ladies this is what we need to do. When our friends are under attack, feeling anxious, making changes or just afraid we need to circle them and protect them from the enemy and just celebrate who they are. Because I believe when we are connected to the Holy Spirit and working together, we can be a force of our own, showing the world what happens when God uses His girls to support each other. When other women see those fireworks, we will invite them to see His love and grace and grow our tribe to serve God and further His purpose, glorifying Him every day! Let’s show the enemy who we are and make noise, stomp our feet as we circle our girls when they are at their most vulnerable. We can and will protect them from his lies.