Elephant Girlfriends Unite
By Nita Wilkinson
Hurt in the church is becoming too prevalent. In the past weeks, I have heard three of my girlfriends comment on how the most significant wounds they have carried were made worse by their church family’s reaction. Sadly, I could empathize with my friends; I felt the pain of my church’s judgment when I went through my divorced.
How can this be?
In a place 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 of the importance of unity. 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 often talks about how God needs each 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.
Do we love like Jesus?
Love and unity should be our daily message to everyone, especially those who don’t know Him.
My heart aches for my friends who have been hurt by God’s children.
Having been in that place once, 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 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,. Soon we are 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
This makes me think of being an Elephant Friend.
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. 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, facing grief, making changes, or overwhelmed, we need to circle them and protect them from the enemy and 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.
My motto is everybody needs a little bit of sparkle and a whole lot of Jesus in their life. Jesus is the light of my world, and I strive to shine that light on the people around me. I love sharing the Bible as the #1 tool in our toolbox of life. Besides In the Whisper, I am a founder and board member of Gifts with Grace, a ministry for women facing trauma and feel they have no voice. I also offer devotions and walking to a group of women as a means of spiritual and physical wellness. I find so much joy in being loud and bold for Jesus. I have several devotions in various publications this past year.