Women In Leadership Roles – Lets Get It

Women. We’ve been counted out. We’ve been thought of as less than. We’ve been told we are not smart enough, good enough, funny enough. But what is enough? The Holy Spirit works in and through all of us, men and women, making us better and more like Christ. So, if God is in us, we are enough.

When we talk about the roles of women in Christianity, we usually talk about women in marriage. Being a submissive wife is great, but I do not believe it means an end to our roles as leaders in society. Just look at Mrs. Proverbs 31. Boss lady! Let’s hop on over to Ephesians 5 for a bit. The way it talks about how a man should love his wife is powerful. If a man loves his wife that way, and she is submitted to that man, she should be setup to let every gift in her flourish. Of course, submission isn’t based on a man showing love first. Truthfully, I can’t really speak much about women in marriage because I’m not married.

What I think we should talk more about in the church are the roles of women in the workforce, ministry and other areas outside of marriage. With women being half the population, I think it is important that we talk about our roles as leaders in society.

There are great gifts in all of us that God wants to see used for the glorification of his name. One of my favorite women in the bible, is Prophetess Deborah (Judges 4). Boss lady! She was a leader over Israel at the time (called a Judge), and the people of the nation looked to her for advice to settle arguments. One day, Deborah sent a message to a man called Barak and told him to gather soldiers to go and fight.  He said that he did not want to go to if she wouldn’t go with him. So, Deborah went with him and based on her instructions from God, Barak was successful in battle. And yes, Deborah was married, and probably a submissive wife!

As women, it is important that we cultivate the leadership skills in us and in the generations after us. God did not create half the population to not be utilized! It’s important that we are intentional about the life we live and mindful of how we’re influencing those around us. We are all leaders in one way or another. Whether we admit it or not, someone is always influenced by what we are doing. Whether it is as a business owner, sibling, student, coworker, boss, and/or mother, we are all in a position where someone is being influenced by what we do. No matter how big or small we think our positions are, we need to rise up and lead to the best of our ability.  We need to make sure that everything in us is poured out before we leave the earth. And if we let God lead us, whew! We’ll be unstoppable. There’s nothing like being a leader (male or female) and letting God lead us.

Now let’s talk about those corporate leadership roles that men have historically occupied.  Society has often made us feel like we’re not capable of being in such roles, but we are. There’s a gift and a purpose in all of us. If we want to be leaders in a business, an organization, politics or ministry then we should be. Of course it takes hard work and dedication and a continual desire to keep learning and growing, but it’s no different for men. Not every woman desires to be a leader in business, politics or ministry, but for those who do, they shouldn’t feel like they can’t.

Regardless of what our roles are, we’re all leaders in one way or another. We should let our relationship with God equip us to be the best leaders we can be instead of hindering our abilities. Let’s make sure that when we leave this earth, we leave it having poured out everything in us!

Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me?

Why didn’t anyone tell me THIS is what it feels like?

I’ve been around church people my whole life. I used to get so mad when my mom would make my younger brother and I go to church with her on Wednesday evenings. I remember how annoyed I was when I went to school the day after the blinky do shoes episode of My Wife and Kids aired, and everyone was talking about it. I was mad I didn’t get to watch it because I was at church. I couldn’t comprehend why people would willingly spend a week night in church. And then there were the night vigils! Those I really couldn’t understand. Whyyyyy would anyone want to be in church on a Friday till 2am? I remember many night vigils when my friends and I went down on our knees, faced our chairs, and pretended we were praying. We were actually taking a nap with our heads buried in our arms.

I remember car rides with my mom always meant worship music was the genre of choice. Sometimes when I was in the car with my mom or dad, I would find them mumbling to themselves. But they always insisted they were praying.

I remember learning the Sunday school mantra – read your bible and pray everyday. I learned all the major bible stories and many praise and worship songs. Even after leaving home, I continued to go to church and hold God in high esteem in my life. By high esteem, I mean calling on God mostly when I needed a crisis manager.

But now that I’ve come into this deep relationship God, I’m so confused why nobody told me THIS is what it feels like! It’s so much more than just going to church late at night, praying in the car and singing songs of worship. They were feeling something! Something deep down on the inside of them that cannot be explained. Something that made it a blessing to go to church at night. They were feeling the unexplainable peace and joy of God. The joy that won’t let any situation hold them captive. They were experiencing the presence of God. A presence that will have you waking up with the biggest smile on your face, simply because you know him.

Most times when we learn about God, we’re told so much about what God can do for us. How God can fix our problems. But there’s something so much deeper than that. THIS feeling. I really can’t explain it, but it is the most amazing, life transforming feeling ever. If someone would’ve told me THIS is what it’s like, I would’ve been here the second I came out of the womb.

I remember looking at people that were obsessed with God and thinking that their lives must be so boring. I wish they told me what they were experiencing! It’s more fun, more fulfilling and more amazing than anything this world has to offer.

Striving to live a life of worship to God in everything we do, rather than turning to God only when we need a crisis manager, leads to a far more fulfilling life. THIS feeling is a part of living a life of worship. THIS unexplainable feeling.

 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth. John 4:24

IT’S BEEN AN UNCOMFORTABLE YEAR

This year has been one of the most uncomfortable years of my life. But you know what? I wouldn’t change it for anything.

God really took me through a process this year and brought me into deeper relationship with him. Right from January God pulled me in and I’ve really seen John 15 at work since. A.k.a a pruning process.

I learned so much about myself and how to better myself this year. I learned how much I gossiped about people, how being lazy hindered me and how I was chasing the wrong things for validation. But I’ve also learned how to have an attitude of gratitude in every situation, how to be more patient, how to be more selfless and so much more. I am seeing the negative characteristics being worked out of me and my behavior reflect Christ more and more.

I’ve seen my relationship with God go from the occasional prayer and devotion reading, to spending time in the word and prayer on a daily basis, to praying and speaking the word constantly throughout the day.

I know I’ll look back at 2016 as a turning point in my life. The year God stripped me of everything that made me feel secure and filled me with him. The year God turned my focus from myself to him.

This year has been the most uncomfortable year of my life (my life so far) but it has also been the best year of my life!

I don’t know how many times I cried this year and how many times I got frustrated and worried about the outcome of a situation. But it was in those moments I cried out to God that I found myself depending on God more and more.

The relationship I have with God now has been worth every bit of discomfort. I know God is working in me and preparing me to fulfill the purpose he has called me for. I plan on hungering after God everyday for the rest of life. But I also know it’s a process. Even though I learned a lot this year, I know I still have a lot of learning to do. The growth I experienced this year hasn’t stopped. I still have a lot growing to do and always will. I know it won’t always be comfortable to relentlessly pursue after God, but I’m not after a life of comfort. I’m after a life that glorifies God with everything I do. I’m excited to see what God will use me to do.  And I know it’s more than I could ever do on my own.

So thank you 2016! Thank you for the trials. Thank you for the lessons. Thank you for the process. Thank you for the discomfort. Thank you God for pulling me into deeper relationship with you. Thank you for filling the void in my heart. Thank you for thinking me worthy enough. I love you God. I love you sooo sooo much.

Identity Crisis

I am someone that cares what other people think about me. I don’t care as much as I used to but I definitely still care. It used to be so bad that I would always make decisions based on how I thought other people would perceive me. Don’t get me wrong I still make choices based on how I will be perceived, but in a much healthier way. Like how I present myself but not to the point the opinions of other people are making the choices for me. In the past I’d be scared to do what I really wanted to, because I didn’t want to be judged. I just wanted to fit in and not step out and do anything too bold. I was scared to take people’s sides, tell my friends the hard truth and join some groups for fear of being judged. I was even scared to do little things like write a Facebook post. My identity was fully in what people thought about me and I let the possible thoughts of other people control my actions.

But then God showed me my heart. He showed me that I was so scared of being judged by others because I was so judgemental of others.

Since God revealed my heart to me, I have been able to pray about it and learn not to judge others. I still do from time to time, but now I can catch myself and let God work in me. A major part of me still puts my identity in what people think of me though. When I walk into a room I’m still scared and worried about what people are thinking. I’m still scared what people will think of me when I decide to take certain steps, like starting a blog :).  But I’m learning everyday to put my identity fully in Christ and not in others. It’s a process but I’ve definitely come a long way in a short time. That’s the power of God. I still have a lot of growing to do but I thank God I’m not where I used to be. I thank God for the person I’ve become, and I thank God for the person I’m becoming. A person who fully identifies in Christ.