“I don’t have it in me to lead anyone or anything right now”
The thought ran through my mind as I was elbows deep in dishes for the third time that day. Another thought fighting for position in my brain alongside so many anxieties. It was true, I was feeling pulled in a lot of uncomfortable directions, mainly just trying to survive. I felt like a single uncooked spaghetti noodle, frail and just waiting to snap.
Life is full of hardships, this is something I’ve always known. The past few years has seemed like a marathon of challenges, and 2020 was like a dumpster fire for a lot of people. I was just coming to a place of feeling like my circumstances were starting to shift from high-alert intensity to a calm, almost normal. But just as I started to breath easily, another challenge presented itself and I started gasping for breath again.
I’ve learned a lot about anxiety, I know my triggers and I know how anxiety expresses itself in my body. Two years ago I would be having panic attacks right now, but because of God’s grace and a long journey of counseling I’m not having panic attacks. I’m just on edge, trying to breathe, and feeling like an that uncooked spaghetti noodle I already mentioned.
"'Their leader will be one of their own; their ruler will arise from among them. I will bring him near and he will come close to Me--for who is he who will devote himself to be close to Me?' declares the LORD." - Jeremiah 30:21
Have you ever experienced the Holy Spirit intercede a thought you’ve had with a direct counter-thought from Scripture? It’s an amazing thing. Just as quickly as I thought about my sense of overwhelm at the idea of leading in the middle of my survival mode, His Words from Jeremiah 30:21 rushed in:
Their leader will be... one who will devote himself to be close to Me...
I was just talking to some dear friends who are walking through their own survival modes and this very idea was brought up, how when we go through trials we actually find ourselves drawing closer to God. Not in perfect, Instagram devotional photo, shiny-good-Christian ways, but in the white knuckles and tear stained face kind of way. When your world is falling apart there is a lot more motivation to hold onto the One who created the world and everything in it.
Right now I don’t need more strategies, I don’t have the energy. I don’t need more goals. I don’t need to add anything to my messy and heavy season of life. But what if all God wants is for me to hold onto Him, what if all it takes to walk in my calling right now is to simply draw near to Him?
Spoiler alert: that is what He wants and that is all it takes.
It goes against every fiber of my flesh to want to invite people into my suffering. But that’s what God calls me to do. Maybe, even though it’s so painful, my messy journey of drawing close to God in heartache and trial, when I don’t have all the answers but I do know that God is good and I’m holding on, is the way that He shines through.
It’s one thing to write a blog post, it’s another thing to be willing to invite people in when I’m a mess. It’s a whole other thing to be vulnerable. But this is the very heart of God, this is the way to healing, this is His design.
My most powerful form of leadership is devoting myself to draw near to God, and when I’m walking through the valleys of this life that is the very thing my soul needs.
"But I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. You are my strength, I sing praise to You; You, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely." - Psalm 59:16-17