Hands raised, tears streaming down my cheeks, worshiping in a sea of women at the Lit Conference, I saw a vision in my mind’s eye- all 740 of us ladies linked arm and arm, moving forward, a rushing wave.
The power of it floored me and the solidarity of it convicted me. If you read my blog at all, you already know that linking arms and keeping in step with other women is not my best game. Using my anxieties and insecurities as an excuse, I have kept myself isolated from other women for too long. For that, I am truly sorry.
I jotted some notes in my journal on a possible blog idea, “Red Rover, Red Rover,” and left it there to simmer. I’ve got hasty notes for dozens of possible blog posts. Most of them never come to fruition. And this one seemed a little presumptuous, really. Who am I to lecture women about banding together? When I play red rover, it’s generally as a team of one.
So this morning, I prayed, read my bible, then gave myself permission to stroll through Facebook before working on my weekly blog. Facebook has been a joy for me in the last few weeks. It has been there, in the virtual world, that a group of women from Lit has come together using a Facebook group to compare conference notes, encourage each other in our callings, pray, and hold one another accountable. Woman after woman has opened up there about her own insecurities and anxieties. And how ferociously brave of them! It is hard enough to be transparent with a handful of ladies that you know well. This group consists of almost 200 women who are all aspiring teachers, speakers and writers. We should be in competition. Two hundred women from all over the country who, a month ago, had no connection save Christ. We should be wary of such frank honesty. Suddenly, we are a band of sisters.
Scrolling through my feed, a few posts deep, I saw a comment on a thread in the Lit Group that floored me. The original post was already on point, encouragement from the group leader taken from Anne Voskamp’s The Broken Way that real women revive, empower and champion one another rather than rivaling, impaling, and comparing. She commended the group for being an example of real womanhood and I heartily agreed.
But it was a comment by another group member, Dana, that shook me:
Had Dana been reading my journal!?!
Or was God using Dana to reaffirm this vision of mine?
I decided it was the latter.
So here it is, from the woman least qualified to preach it. Feel free to call me a hypocrite, you’ll just be agreeing with the little voice in my head.
Ladies, the Lord has called us to a game of Red Rover. Do you remember the game from elementary school? Two teams form, arms linked. Two walls of children face each other, stretching across the playground, and one team calls out to the other, “Red rover, red rover, let Sally come over.” At their call, Sally breaks free from her line and hurtles towards them, bent on breaking their bond. If Sally is smart she looks for the weakest link, the child whose grip cannot be trusted, the child who, when faced with an oncoming battle will let their hand slip, and let go.
There is an opposing team, and it’s not the women around you. The devil and his entourage are rushing us. Every day the darkness comes pushing against us, trying to break bonds, loosen grips and get through our defenses. A team of one has no chance in Red Rover. The links that form our wall are our relationships with one another. We need to grow them, strengthen them, and reinforce them. Isolated, we cannot keep out the enemy.
Satan would like nothing better than each of us playing our game as a team of one. That’s how his team takes ground.
Stand strong. Hold the hands of the sister on your left and right. When the enemy comes pushing at us, maintain your grip. Sister, do not let go.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. ~Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, ESV
Photo Credit: Red Rover, Red Rover by Patrick Slaven on Flickr; used under Creative Commons License.