It was a weepy morning for all of us. One of the women in the program had experienced a deep loss. The kind of loss that had her wailing out loud from the bathroom floor. We had all been there. Our hearts were heavy.
Fallon, a graduate, texted six of us to ask if we could all get together to show our sister some love.
Our girl gang/sisterhood is tight, like we-would-die-for-each-other kind of tight. For real.
All 25 of us women, some from the program and some grads, met in a room and surrounded our soul sister. She had no idea what we were doing. We never explained. We just darkened the room and played ‘Rise Up’ by Andra Day. We laid this brokenhearted momma back in our all our arms & held her as the song played and tears streamed down her cheeks and ours. We prayed. We whispered in her ear, “You’re not alone. We’ve got you. Let us carry you through this.”
You could feel the power and love in that room, like you could cut it with a knife. God was there. We were committed to her and each other. Without words, you could feel us carrying one another’s burdens. And there is nowhere in the entire world I would have rather been. Loneliness is a killer. Heartache carried alone is too much to bear, especially if it’s about our babies.
We’re not designed to be alone. We don’t talk about that, really, in our culture today. Women are pushed to be powerfully independent more and more, and we are assumed to be weak if we believe in the values and traditions of yesterday. We are pressured to be feminist. Equality is important, yes. Let it end there. What if gentleness and kindness are a part of the fabric of our being? We are women. We can be soft and strong at the same time. I struggled with that. Being blunt and harsh had become some kind of identity I proudly took on as a young woman. Over time it isolated me, pushing away the kind of women I needed in my life. The political divide among women is also killing us, ever so slowly. Can we be conservative and liberal and just be open to a conversation and walk in love for one another?
That beautiful morning in that room, as we held our sister in our arms, we weren’t thinking of her background. She had a past, alright, darker than most. She has walked on both sides of the road, politically and morally. It didn’t matter, it doesn’t matter, it never should. The only thing that matters is a desire for change, forgiveness (from those we hurt or for those that hurt us) and passion to never give up again.
That isn’t easy, not in the world we live in. Hopelessness abounds. Suffering manifests in so many ways. We need a tribe. It does take a village. Our hearts cry out for connection because our souls require it. It’s the reason why we turn to something to fill the void…that is, until we find each other, finally.
If you don’t have a girl gang like this, go get one. At Crossing the Jordan, this is who we are. In a world that is all about self-help and empowerment, I wonder sometimes if we even know what we need. I don’t want self-help. I need my sisters. I need God. Empowerment to me means I can be weak in the strong arms of my girl gang.