I am starting something new, something bigger than I'm comfortable with, something personal and challenging and it feels all wrapped up in my destiny and calling and purpose. I am scared. I am insecure. So I sent 5 desperate texts to my dear, dear friends this morning. I mean like... the kind of text you can tell the person was dripping mascara on their phone as they typed it. And do you know what happened? I got surrounded. My girls created a circle around me until I felt so safe, so loved, so brave that I could walk on my own again, though I'm never really on my own.
I framed the picture above for my bridesmaids and gave it to them with a letter before my wedding. Today, I want to share those words with you. May you know this kind of community and love:
On this very special day in my life, I want to tell you a story. It's about female elephants---obviously.
When a mama elephant is giving birth in the wild, all the other female elephants in the herd back around her in formation. They close ranks so the delivering mama cannot even be seen in the the center. They stomp and kick up dirt to throw any attackers off the scent and basically act like a pack of bada$$es.
They encircle the new mama and incoming baby in protection, making it clear to predators that if they want to attack their friend while she is vulnerable, they'll have to get through 40 tons of female aggression first.
When the baby elephant is delivered, the sister elephants do two things: they kick sand or dirt over the newborn to protect its fragile skin from the sun, and then they all start trumpeting. A female celebration of new life, of sisterhood, of something beautiful being born in a harsh, wild world despite enemies and attackers and predators and odds.
Scientists tell us this: they normally take this formation in only two cases - under attack by predators like lions, or during the birth of a new elephant.
This is what we do, girls. When our sisters are vulnerable, when they are giving birth to new life, new ideas, new ministries, new spaces, when they are under attack, when they need their people to surround them so they can create, deliver, heal, recover...we get in formation. We close ranks and literally have each others' backs. You want to mess with our sis? Come through us first. Good luck.
And when delivery comes, when new life makes its entrance, when healing finally begins, when the night has passed and our sister is ready to rise back up, we sound our trumpets because we saw it through together. We celebrate! We cheer! We raise our glasses and give thanks.
My darling, darling sisters - this is an exact picture of what you have been to me. When I was weak, when I was vulnerable, when I was fighting for my life, when I was healing, when I was creating, when I was becoming who I was born to be - you stood in formation around me, you kept the enemy off my back, you loved me and protected me FIERCELY and gave me the safe space I needed to become. Today is the day of trumpeting. The day I've made it through the night to daylight. The day we celebrate the brand new life God has given me. And I count myself so richly blessed to have badass, holy women of God around me who will not only fight for me, but raise a glass and cheer with me when the day of celebration comes. I have fought hard for this day in more ways than I can count and I'm so deeply grateful that in the battlefield and at the wedding feast the best, strongest, most beautiful women I know are -always- right by my side.