Sunday, March 7, 2010

Leader by Default?

This Friday I will be three decades old! Crazy to think I’ve been alive for 30 years! As I reflect back on my life I see an ironic twist. As a young child I was dreadfully shy. So shy that people often thought I was a snob because I didn’t talk and most of the time I didn’t even make eye contact while others spoke to me. When I was in seventh grade my parents made a decision to change churches.

The church we had been going to, since I was born, was a small country church and I liked it just fine. I knew everyone, they knew me. It was easy. What church did my parents decide to try first? First Baptist Church of Greenwood—the biggest church in town. I felt a little betrayed by my parents. Didn’t they know I was shy? Didn’t they know how hard it was to make friends? How could they do this to me? The torture continued when they made me go to the Wednesday night youth services. Again, didn’t they know I was shy? I would get to church right on time, sit in the back of the room, and leave as soon as the service was over. More often than not, I would cry when I got home. I don’t really know if I was crying because I didn’t have any friends there or if I just wanted to be someone different. Needless to say, at some point I became friends with older students that were leaders in the ministry. But when it came to school they went to the high school and I was still at the junior high.

Between the transition of junior high and high school I had to make some decisions regarding the friends I was going to keep. I knew what some of my friends in junior high were doing things that were wrong and I needed to find some new friends. However, I was shy so making new friends was not the easiest thing to do. When I moved to the high school I was able to become better friends with the older students that were leaders in the youth ministry at our church. Fast forward to my senior year I was President of our Youth Choir at church, President of Partners in Christ at my high school, organized See You at the Pole, and had even entered a speech competition. It was crazy but God was at work. Years later I married a minister to college students which gives me the opportunity to disciple and teach young girls every week.

I love my life and wouldn’t change it for anything. I can look back now and see how God has guided every area of my life. I remember while in high school a woman told me she thought I was a natural born leader. I’m pretty sure I thought she was crazy, given my previous history, but I can see it now. It seems ironic to me that God keeps giving me leadership opportunities.

Like most leaders a constant struggle for me is lack of confidence. As a result I’m trying to make every effort to keep reading and studying to make me better at what God calls me to do. In another decade I do not want to be where I am now. I want to be 40 years old (ouch) and still learning and still doing.

This week I will have a new post everyday about some of the anxieties I hear most from leaders and what you can do to make the most of those anxieties.

MONDAY: "But, I'm not really a leader."

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