Recently at a YOU Lead women’s leadership training, we had a panel of leaders answering questions submitted by attendees. Several past and upcoming posts address those and try to help answer them.
Today’s question: Can you provide tips to remain or reflect joy in leadership while experiencing losses and grieving in personal life.
But those of us in leadership, serving the Lord faithfully won’t experience loss and grief, right? Of course, that is completely false!
I remember not long after becoming full time staff at my former church facing some of the most difficult days personally I’ve ever faced. What had been challenges in our family became crisis. The enemy is always good at his timing and my first thought was, “I must get out of ministry while dealing with this family crisis”. But God did not give me permission to stop serving as a women’s leader. I was reminded that if only perfect leaders with perfect lives were serving in perfect ministries, then we would only reach perfect women. We all know there are not many of those don’t we?
So then, how do we deal with it and continually walk in faith, joy and peace? Here are some practical things the Lord taught me before and during those times:
· Pray honestly and thankfully…till you “feel” it! (James 1:5, Ephesians 6:18, 1 Thessalonians 5:18)
· Claim & memorize scripture. (Try these: Romans 5:3-5, 8:18, 15:13, James 1:2-4, 12, 1 Peter 1:3-9, Philippians 4:6-7, John 14:27, Romans 4:20-21)
· Admit the pain. Share honestly but with discretion with your sister in Christ.
· Accept their help!
· Hear God’s messages for you daily. (Psalm 143:8, Job 33:14)
· Continually praise even when you don’t feel like it. (Psalm 91:1-2, 2 Peter 2:4-10, 1 Thessalonians 5:16)
· Hope because the one we place our hope in is to totally faithful. (Micah 7:8, Job 13:15, Romans 8:28)
Other practical things to do:
· Do not miss your time with the Lord daily. He knows and understands the situation better than anyone.
· Find someone who has experienced something similar but who is on the other side to pray with and hear her story of hope as encouragement.
· Ask an accountability partner to be your prayer warrior throughout the season of pain.
· Journal all that God is teaching you through this experience.
Remember, the enemy does not want you to serve Christ and will tell you that God cannot use you as you face difficulty. But keep in mind that what you learn during your difficulty, God will use for His glory and for the benefit of those you are serving who are also hurting. That is Romans 8:28 in action!
Women Reaching Women
Difficult Times, Encouraging Words, James T. Draper
When Life is Hard, James McDonald
Believing God, Beth Moore
Jonah, Priscilla Shirer
Missing Pieces, Jennifer Rothschild
Malachi, Lisa Harper