Tuesday, March 17, 2009

leader

Recently I was faced again with a reality that I guess I've known my whole life but have always had trouble accepting: I am not a born leader. I'm just not. Now, sure, I've always prided myself in being the type who leads by example, or maybe the silent leader. I'm competent and capable (in most things) ;) But as far as being in charge of others, or taking the reigns, I typically shy away from that. Partly because of 'fear of man'- I guess I'm afraid that others will be analyzing the way I'm doing things and wishing I'd do it their way. (I know this because I'm married to one of those analyzers). And partly because I don't want to be held responsible if "whatever it is" tanks. I like the idea of being the leader but don't feel that I'm particularly gifted to do that. I'd much rather be given a task and run with it than have to oversee or manage the whole shebang. So why can't I be Ok with that? Why can't I be content in my role? Why do I still want to be something I'm not? 

I know we're all created in God's image yet wired differently. I married one of those natural born leaders, and I rejoice in how God uses him in my life and in others' lives. So why can't I rest in the fact that He will use my "wirings" in His perfect way too? It's kind of like it says in 1 Corinthians 12: "For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body, that would not make it any less part of the body....But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose." And I would be the first one to speak up to the foot and say - "Hey, your role is important too! Don't you see that you are designed specifically for a purpose?" Yet I can't seem to swallow that as it relates to me. For some reason I don't feel like it's good enough to be part of the team. For some reason I feel like the preferred spot is the one of the leader. Hmmm. I'm sure that if I followed this trail long enough it'd lead me straight to pride. ;) 

My friend Andrea and I were talking about this over our weekly lunch date, and she later wrote me this response in an email. It was really encouraging and something I needed to be reminded of:

Hey Nat…
I was reading Exodus 4 this morning and it reminded me of our conversation yesterday about how you struggle with wanting to be a leader, but that’s not really where you feel gifted. It was good because it reminded me to pray for you..but I thought I would send this particular verse to you and hopefully it will encourage you. This chapter is about when the Lord called Moses to lead the Egyptians and Moses is trying to talk his way out of speaking because he doesn’t feel adequate. And then in verse 11 and 12 it says, “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.’” So, it made me think about how the Lord can really make us however he wants…so although He may not have made you a leader, He can still speak through you to lead…but if He doesn’t ever call you to be in charge or lead anything at any point, He still is calling you to be who He created you to be and He will use that gifting to His glory. It’s just kind of cool that we honestly don’t have to worry about leading or not leading because either way the Lord is going to use us, even though sometimes it doesn’t really look like we want it to. 


Good word. And if I'm really honest, what am I concerned with here in being the leader? His glory or mine? My prayer continues to be that I will be secure in who I am in Christ. That I will be content in who He has made me and then be able to be rejoice in the giftings of others as well (rather than compare myself- why is that such a common theme in my heart? ugh.) Thankfully, He has promised to continue this work in me. 

8 comments:

Andrea Bowman said...

Hey Nat! I'm glad my email was encouraging. I hope you are having a better week...but I guess I'll find out soon. See you at lunch :)

Summer said...

Loved reading this!!!

Tigpan said...

So, FYI, if you check my blog from a couple of weeks ago, you are leading by example in ways you may never have thought.
Loving you, and lifting you to the Father today! Thanks for being honest and open!

Jillian Smith said...

I meant to tell you when I saw you at church, but I'm so encouraged by what you've written here - and definitely by what Andrea wrote to you. She's a pretty smart one, that Andrea. Anyways - so much of what you've said rings true in my heart, and I'm thankful to have found my same fears and hopes in someone like you. Hope you're having a great weekend!!

lauren w said...

what an interesting post! i can relate to so much of this! especially having done 'leadership' things most of my life!! how odd. :)

olivia and henry said...

natalie,

you are precious. i loved hearing your thoughts about yourself concerning these things...
there are a few verses that came to mind as i read this and thought about how i view you. you lead, natalie. and here's how i see your leadership:

1 timothy 2:2 ..."that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way."

1 peter 3:4..."but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious."

1 thess.5:11 ..."to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands."

you are loved, admired, and appreciated by so many! ;) angie

The Lancasters said...

Loved this Natalie! Love you :)

Nat & Annie said...

So sweet...
Nat, time for a new post! I'm beating you:) Love you!