A Note from Chris Adams: Maybe you thought that as you serve the Lord, life would be all fun, easy, and free of chaos. But as you’ve probably discovered, leaders can face the same things anyone else can. Thankfully, as followers of Christ, we have a hope that transcends ANY situation. And, as you face crisis in His strength, you become hope for another woman who is in a crisis too. Read this article by guest writer, Sheila West, as she shares from her crisis point of view as a leader following Christ in faith.
We hear so much talk about how to minister to women in crisis. But, how do we continue to minister when we are the women in crisis?
I don’t know about you, but my faith journey has had many unexpected bouts of chaotic situations, and they have never been at opportune times. Most often, it seems they are while I am in a real ministry crunch filled with demands. My first response has more often than not been, “Lord, I can’t do this anymore!”
It doesn’t surprise me anymore that His reaction to me at these times has been, “Okay, Sheila, remember My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (This is my version of 2 Corinthians 12:9.)
So, what does it look like to rest in His grace and power when we are facing a crisis of our own?
- Participate in a reality check. This requires being honest about where you are, what you are feeling, and giving yourself permission to experience those God-given emotions that are meant to help you deal with the chaos of life.
- Accept the truths that the Holy Spirit brings to remembrance. Believe the truths that you have learned through God’s Word and those you have learned through your experiences of Him walking with you.
- Trust that God is always working. Believe that His grace (His unmerited favor) is working in you, through you, and for you. Your choices are the only thing you control, so choose what is right when it is up to you. Pray for the choices of others when it isn’t.
- Dig deep down for a willingness to respond in obedience. Choose to take the next necessary step without having all the answers. Sometimes there is absolutely nothing you can do about the boomerangs that come your way except to keep doing what you know He has asked you to do. Choose to stay confident that He is doing what He says He will. And, if He asks you to participate in the solution, say, “Yes” to Him.
- Enlist your most confident prayer warriors. Ask them to pray during those moments you don’t feel like you know what or how to pray. I don’t know about you, but it is hard for me to pray for myself during chaotic times because I am often focused on interceding for others. Thank God for those warriors who are banging on heaven’s door on my behalf.
- Recognize the work of the Holy Spirit in your life right now. For me, the most difficult part is remembering that “His grace” is the Holy Spirit working up close and personal. I don’t have to try to find Him in those times. He is already within me.
Remember: As you live, so shall you lead! That doesn’t mean you have to be a person who has it all together all the time, but you can be transparent about the reality that you do get to the end of your ropes too from time to time. Your authenticity and transparency as God works in you and for you is a powerful life lesson for those you lead.
Sheila has been involved in women’s ministry for over 25 years, serving as Director of Women’s Ministry for over 20 years in the local church. She is presently on staff at Heritage Community Church, Fruitland Park, Florida as Director of Spiritual Growth and Ministry Mobilization and Women’s Ministry Coordinator. She is the founder of Real Living Ministries, a speaking, teaching, and leadership development ministry to women. Sheila is also a contributing author toTransformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level, Revised and Expanded edition. Sheila has appeared on numerous Christian radio and television broadcasts, including The 700 Club, and 100 Huntley Street. She is the author of Beyond Chaos, published by NavPress and is a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier. She and her husband, John, are the parents of two and proud grandparents of seven. Follow her on Twitter @SheilaWestSez.