I spilled countless tears as a young girl about one fact: that I was girl.

To my tomboy self, it felt like boys had all the advantages – both physically and socially.

They weren’t taught to downplay their independence, smarts, or directness. They weren’t told to carefully measure their words in a conflict to avoid coming across as witchy instead of assertive.

And, of course, spending the day in the woods was no problem when every tree offers a potential bathroom.

Yep, my younger self just knew that boys had it made.

Fast forward a decade or two, and I wouldn’t trade my “girl” card for the world.

Despite all the articles and talk about queen bees and women-on-women competition, when I stop and survey the women in all of my various circles, I find myself surrounded by the most amazing tribe of women you could ever want to meet.

These women choose to cheerlead instead of compete. They are leaders (whether they own that label or not) who are honest and vulnerable and don’t cut another woman down in her moment of weakness but, instead, quietly come along in solidarity and support.

They are moms and singles, career women and SAHMs, homeschoolers and public school advocates. They are Boomers and Xers and Millennials. They are artists and Type A’s and everything in between.

And it gives me HOPE for my own daughter. Hope that we are finally getting it right, that we are finally realizing that women in community are stronger than women alone, that we have voices and skills and strengths unique to us that can accomplish great things, especially when we fight together instead of fighting one another.

American women are among the freest, best educated, most resourced group of women to ever walk on Earth, and I cannot help but smile when I think of what would happen if we focused all of our strengths on a common goal.

And, of course, Jesus knew it all along.

In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.  Romans 12:4-6 (MSG)

We are part of the most amazing chapter in the history of womankind, and I so look forward to seeing how God is going to use women in big ways, in small ways, and a million in-between ways to change the world.

Jesus, thank you that we are born of this generation, in this place of opportunity. Open our eyes and hearts to understand that we, just like Esther, have been placed here for such a time as this. Help us, each one, to use our gifts and talents to change the world around us in a million different ways. Remind us of our strength in community rather than as solo artists, and continue to build a tribe of women who seek community by building one another up. Help us, Lord, to fight like girls. Amen.