A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. 
Ecclesiastes 4:12, NLT 

Who is holding on for you? Who are you holding on for? 

The contemporary poet Naomi Shihab Nye writes about two siblings who share a bedroom in her poem, “Supple Cord.” At bedtime, they hold a cord between their two beds, tugging their respective ends to signal they were still awake.  

She writes, 
but the soft cord 
with its little frayed ends 
connected us 
in the dark 

I love this image because of the comfort it represents. A dark room and all the scariness that lurks at bedtime, and a connection to a companion there in the disorientation. This hits to the heart, doesn’t it? We all have the human need to be connected, especially when the threats are looming and our palms are sweating and our minds are racing, which is at least once a day if you live in my nervous system. 

Stop and make a mental list of the people you can count on to hold the other end of the cord for you.

Maybe it’s not the people you see most often or have known the longest. Maybe it’s actually someone you wouldn’t have readily assumed, someone who has been able to really hold space for your life and your complexities and your nuances.  

Maybe your list only has one name on it. That’s OK. But do me a favor, will you? Be sure there is at least someone in your life who you will allow to hold on when you can’t, someone who will hold on to hope and faith and possibility and humor when you completely run out.   

And if there’s not? Well, that just means it’s time to start looking and going first. Strike up a conversation with a mom you admire, plan a park meetup with a few moms you’d like to get to know better, allow someone to see your need for a split second longer than you feel comfortable, share a struggle. 

Every single one of us need this, even those who act like they don’t. We need cord-connections, we need grace-holders, we need to know we’re not alone, especially when the darkness descends.  

Take a step in the direction of someone you can hold on for, someone who can hold on for you. Take a step closer to them. One text. One hour. One coffee. One hug. Say, when you’re ready, “Thanks for holding on, on my behalf, when I didn’t have the strength to hold on for myself. It has really mattered.” 


  • Do you have someone who has held on, on your behalf? How can you thank them today?
  • How can you become someone who holds on, on the behalf of others?

Leeana Tankersley (leeanatankersley.com)