By Oliver Tusiime
I remember growing up I used to hear different stereotypes like; girls don’t make best friends, girls can’t work together at something, girls are jealous of each other, and many statements that cast doubt on whether girls relating is something, or more so if collaboration is ever possible!
I know of some girls me inclusive that were grasped with such fears of what was said, which denied us the freedom to collaborate with other girls, to love on other girls, to celebrate other girls.
Such fears and stereotypes are so rooted in our culture which has deeply penetrated into our being, that we get to a time and stop asking questions, but rather receive whatever we are served, and ride to wherever the world is taking us.
Many years ago when girls had no voice, and no inheritance was accorded to girls in the Israelites traditions, we see 5 girls rising up to not only change the history of girls’ INHERITANCE, but also to reveal the nature of God – what I like to call God’s Heart for girls.
In the books of numbers 26 we see God telling Moses to carry out a new census of all congregations of people of Israeli by their household. Now the people that were counted in a house were men, fathers and sons, wives and daughters weren’t counted. Fast forward in number 27, a certain family wasn’t counted because their father had died in the wilderness and he had no son, but rather 5 girls. The law at that time was that if a man died and he had no son, that inheritance would be transferred to his immediate brother. And this would have been the case – if 5 individual brave girls, didn’t hold hands together, to do what could have been the unbelievable at that time.
These 5 sisters, the daughters of Zelophehad collaborated and approached Moses asking that they receive their father’s inheritance, and guess what? they did receive it. I have a feeling these girls knew the nature of God, they knew God as their father, they showed their faith, and held hands together, each with their uniqueness, but with the same goal – to get their Father’s inheritance, to save their Father’s household, to be counted.
In his nature, God being so just, and the one with the final say, he said, “the daughters of Zelophehad are right, they should be given their father’s inheritance.” Look, their collaboration didn’t just have their request granted, but it impacted generations, the impact of what they did still lives to date. “You shall speak to the people of Israeli saying, if a man dies and he has no son, then you shall transfer his inheritance to his daughter” (number 27 vs 8.) – a rule was changed because of the bravery of these women, because girls stood together, because girls held their hands in bravery; which I believe is born out of collaboration.
God’s will for us is never changing, but we need to act on it, if we are to get the fruits that we so desire, if we are to bring about the good change that the world needs.
I believe girls today can have as much impact as the daughters of Zelophehad had. We can’t close our eyes to the challenges that still linger and close our ears to the many girls’ voices that are still silenced. With collaboration we don’t have to wait for the time to be right, with collaboration we make the time right; by adding our voices together, by bringing our ideas together, by building together, that when we have to raise our voices to make our request known, we are not just in one accord – but what we have are voices brought together, that become a voice that is so strong, so brave, so ingrained to be denied.
Collaboration is so powerful that it unlocks our blessing and yields answers. I want to think it’s God’s way of uniting and bringing his children together, God breaks our selfish nature and personal praise by blessing that which is done in unity. I believe God yearns to see us collaborate so we can grow together, so we can know we can’t rely on ourselves, so we can support each other, so we can thrive together. This is supported in scripture that, ‘where two or three gather in my name their I will be.’ (Matthew 18:20).
We can agree that a lot is happening now, girls are stepping into education, careers, family, leadership, girls are rising up as women of influence which is all so encouraging.
But, there are heights that we can’t reach at on our own, at least not until we collaborate, there is an inheritance waiting for us and we have got to bring our hands together to hold it.
The more I dive into women collaborating, Ruth and Naomi come to mind, such a powerful story, that rhymes in this modern era. A story that brings to mind how limitless women can be, how women can offer solutions to each other. Naomi is in a foreign land and there she loses her husband and sons, what she is left with is two women – her daughters in law. Like that she lost what she had, but she still had a home town she could go back to.
Despite Naomi pushing her daughters in law away, she needed someone in her corner, she needed a friend, a confidant, and there Ruth was; standing with her through thin and thick.
When we collaborate we will find that we both have something to offer. At that moment in her distress, Naomi thought there was nothing she could offer to Ruth, but she had! It was through her that Ruth would reach her inheritance, through the advice she shared with Ruth, Boaz redeemed Ruth, married her, and they bore Obed, who bore Jesse; Jesse bore David, and from this lineage we see the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who redeemed us all.
It’s not too late for us to collaborate, we shouldn’t give up on our dreams and purposes because they are too big to achieve, we are never meant to walk this world alone, we are all people who need each other, and like it’s commonly said; the more the better! So, let us collaborate, let us bring together, let us grow together!
Oliver is a Communication Specialist, a transformative writer, and a blogger at olivegirls.org