I would like to share a story with you. It is told by Ann Voskamp in the foreword to Jo Saxton’s book The Dream of You:
There’s a brilliant family of people in Africa, called the Himba. When a Himba woman is expecting a child, she goes out into the wilderness with a few of her sisters, and together they wait till they hear in their hearts the song of the coming child.
Himba women wait as long as they need to; they wait under stars; they wait until the dream of the child begins to beat like a singular rhythm under their hearts. Because these sisters know that every heart has its own unique beat – its own wild and blazing purpose. And when the Himba women attune to the song of the coming child, they circle around and together they sing the miraculous refrain of the expected child.
Then they return to the gathering of their people and teach this child’s unique song to the waiting community.
When the anticipated child is finally born and taken into arms, the Himba family enfolds her with their presence, and their voices rise, singing the child’s own song to her breathing in first air of this earth.
Later, when the child begins her schooling, the villagers gather and boldly chant the child’s song. And then when the child passes through the initiation to adulthood, the Himba circle round and sing hopefully and bravely. At the time of marriage, the young woman again hears the assuring notes of her very own song, carrying her forward to meet her hopes.
But there is one more occasion upon which the Himba sing.
If at any time during her life the sister loses her way, falls short, forgets who she really is, or lets anything steal the dream of who she is meant to be, she is gently beckoned to the center of the village. And, there she stands, her people forming a safe, ringing circle around her, like her own galaxy of stars.
Then the villagers sing, letting the beat of her drum, the rhythm of her own being rouse her to wake the dream of her soul again. They sing her own soul song to her because Himba sisters believe that change happens most when we remember who we are and whose we are.
This story brings tears to my eyes for many reasons.
The idea of a sisterhood this strong, I long for that. For the women around me to know me so well and for me to know them that we can point each other back to our true selves when we find ourselves lost.
But also, the idea of my own individual song. Something that is me. Isn’t that something we are all looking for?
Years ago when I was struggling with “who am I?” question, God very clearly let me know that I would find meaning and purpose in my life only when I fully found Him.
It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had His eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone.
Ephesians 1:11-12 MSG
We have worked on that together for some time.
But there is something else that has begun to bubble in my soul. God made me with a specific personality and character traits, how can I use these for His glory? How have I strayed from those traits because I have been hurt or because life is hard? How can I live authentically?
Authenticity, I think that is the crux of where I am. I want to live authentically. I want to live in the joy. For me, at this moment, it is making peace with how God made me and accepting that it is ENOUGH.
I think it is time to ask God to place my song in my heart. Teach me the rhythm. So I will know when I am giving up, giving in or listening to the voices around me instead of His voice.
I am just starting this journey. If you would like to walk it with me, grab The Dream of You by Jo Saxton and let’s meet for coffee and discuss what God is doing.
Teresa Neal is a Christ follower, wife, and mother. Her passion is to see women grow in their relationship with Jesus and understand how great His love is for them. She is attends LCBC Church in Waynesboro and leads a women’s life group. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.