WHERE DID THE NAME COME FROM?
2020 was a difficult year for all of us. In late summer 2020, I was invited to speak at a Ladies Conference. It was during that time of preparation and at the actual conference that God opened my eyes to the loneliness we were all dealing with. At the conference I asked all the ladies that were lonely to raise their hands and almost every hand went up, including my own. I then began praying about how I could help facilitate togetherness and offer encouragement to us all. That’s when the premise of Dancing With Elephants was born.
Knowing the name for the ministry would come to me as I prepared, I dove into planning retreats by selecting themes, researching studies and even looked at the needs in my own life, specifically where I was in need of encouragement. Being a mom of 2 adult daughters, I was thinking about how different that is from being a mom to children or teenagers. Early on, empty nest was a season of aggravation (for my daughters as well as myself), and it took adjustments from all of us as we each navigated our new roles of life. One evening I was journaling my frustrations and penned the following: “… my relationship with my girls feels like I’m dancing with elephants, not knowing what to say or when to say it.”
Dancing With Elephants. There it was. The new name of my ministry to women jumped out at me, because what a great description of life that is. There seems to always be an elephant in the room as they can show up anywhere, at any time…even at sacred places like church. I might could even say, especially at sacred places like church.
Your elephant can be anything: loneliness, fear, insecurity, busyness, comparison to others, feelings of not fitting in, inadequate. They love to whisper in your ear that “You don’t belong here,” “You aren’t accepted here,” “You are too different,” “No one understands your struggles or burdens” …elephants are really good liars. Their presence is overwhelming with their weight and heaviness and their voices shout to our spirits so loud that it seems everyone in the room can hear them.
And the dance begins. 1-2-3, 1-2-3, right-2-3, left-2-3. It’s the dance of avoidance. The dance of self-preservation. The dance of political correctness. The dance of coping in the moment. Elephants love to dance.
God does not want us dancing with elephants as we journey through life serving, wife-ing, or mom-ing. He desires for you a life more abundant (John 10:10), full of the riches of his grace.
I hope you will silence the elephants that are already whispering in your head that this ministry has nothing to offer you, because it does. Come together with me, and let’s dance through life. Not with elephants, but together with our Father God in fields of grace.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
We need each other. We were not designed to do life alone, and we are challenged to consider how we can cheer each other on and encourage each other. I think this is a missing element for many of us, and my prayer is this ministry will provide an avenue for you to both minister and be ministered to.