So far this year has been a year of new! New things, new roles, new relationships, and all the new challenges, rewards, and learning that follows.
December 30, 2022 I married my wonderful husband. The second week of January we jumped full force into ministry together. Not only that, but my husband took on a new role in leadership as the director of the campus.
The road getting us to where we are now was long and hard, with much back and forth, prayer, wise counsel, criticism, and encouragement. Many thought we were crazy to take on so much at once, insisting that we would fail and should not even try. Others encouraged us that it would take a lot of faith but we should step out and trust God and pursue the calling on our hearts. I myself was super hesitant to jump into all this all at once, but here we are, taking it one day at and learning something new each and every day. And honestly, it has been oh so very hard to be newly married while at the same time new leaders in ministry and all this in a very unstable dangerous country. Through all these new things I have experienced some of my most challenging moments yet and some of the best! You know, we may be crazy and maybe we will fail in some people’s eyes, but that really depends on your definition of failure. Which recently, a really good friend of mine defined it as “Giving up on God!” When you choose to give up on your heavenly Father that is when you failed.
Leadership is hard! I do not believe there is another way to say it, it is just challenging and teaches and grows you so much. Having a leadership position was never something I sought after. I love participating in important meaningful work, but leading a group of people towards that work was not something I ever thought I would do. Teaching, assisting others, or working on behind the scenes projects, seem to be the roles I have always filled and have been comfortable with. I guess what I am getting at here is being a leader is not something I wanted to do however, here I am having got myself thrown into a kinda leadership position I did not necessarily anticipate having. I say kinda because I have not accepted the actual “title” of leader as it scares me. Though slowly stepping into some of those roles alongside my husband. In those roles I have been trying my absolute best to be a good leader firstly for God and secondly those around me. It’s been a few months now and I can honestly say it has been the most challenging position I have ever held.
I think there is a switch that gets turned on once a person steps into these kinds of roles, a switch that changes your thinking and makes it bigger. Before, I used to think things like….
“How will this affect me, my faith, my family, the department I work in, etc?”
Now my thinking about everything and decisions is more like….
“What does the bible say, what is the most God honoring choice, is it safe, just, loving, etc?“
Then I think….
How will this affect the staff, people outside, the ministry, each work department, people who partner with the ministry, the budget, usage of tools and supplies, etc.”
“How will this be received, will this upset anyone, how do I deliver this news well, what words should I use to say it, etc?
“How will this affect my family, the department I work in, my faith, and me?”
So all this to say, so far what I have learned since being thrown into this new job is that leadership is humbling, challenging, lonely, and rewarding. Leadership deepens your dependence on God, and need for wisdom and encouragement. Leadership can be used for so much good or so much wrong. When you are the leader it seems someone always has something to say about your decisions no matter how hard you tried to make the right one. It can be easy to want to quit when things get hard but when the rewarding moments come and God’s kingdom grows there are so many reasons to praise God.
Now switching gears… learning to be a wife is challenging as well, but at the same time so very fun. Getting to learn how to love someone well and unconditionally is something I have grown very thankful for. Then learning and growing from being loved well and unconditionally too, is a really amazing gift. Now learning to do this at the same time as being leaders in ministry is a lot! You know marriage is a symbol of the relationship of God and the church. This being said, Louis and I have to work extra hard to keep ourselves united together with Christ. Because the ministry we are doing will not be healthy and fruitful if our marriage is not. Annoyingly too, satan knows this and will also make a lot of effort to try to tempt us. So you can definitely say we have a lot on our plate. I am thankful for the Bible as our guide and wise counselors who are so willing to be there to help and encourage when needed!
Marriage has grown me so much and I am so very thankful God blessed me with a pretty awesome husband to be my lifelong learner, adventure partner, and person to serve God with. We have a long road ahead of us, with I am sure a lot more joyful times, learning, and trial and error too. I do not know what will happen tomorrow or in five years from now, but I do know God is with me and preparing me for when he comes to get me and take me home.
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. James 4:13-17