The plan for writing today was an update on our Advent celebrations and some personal reflections on this time. I guess my heart has other ideas as this has been brewing within me all day, and has been bubbling under the surface all week. I wrote in this post about the new leadership opportunity that I was praying through and had accepted. I have taken on the role of North Metro Regional Coordinator for MOPS Western Australia. I was stunned at being asked, excited about the next step I felt God calling me into and nervous about the demands of the role.
This week it all became official. It became real. I got official confirmation of my appointment along with the handbook detailing all it entails. I spent time talking to the outgoing coordinator catching up on how each group is currently going and the support needs already identified.
Throughout this process there have been whispers of fear and doubt. Those whispers have now become roars. I find my thoughts pulled back to it constantly throughout my day.
"Who am I to take on a role like this? I have only been in MOPS leadership for a year. How could I possibly expect people to turn to me for support and guidance?"
"Have I made a mistake? Was I so caught up in the thrill of being asked that I just thought I was hearing from God?"
"There is no way I can do all I need to do for this role, my current MOPS role, work and family. I am not enough."
Hello fear! This feeling is a familiar blanket. I know these thoughts. I know this overwhelm all too well. The start of every semester at university would bring the same fear of not being able to meet all the demands. The start of a new job. The start of being on a MOPS team. A myriad of events, opportunities and occasions throughout my life have been accompanied by this grip on my heart. How many times have I allowed it to hold me back or to steal the joy and peace that would have been possible?
I realised today that it is no coincidence that my daughter's sleep has been so awful again in the past week or two. Tiredness has been a tried and tested weapon of the enemy to knock down my defences and leave me vulnerable to fear and lies. The difference now? I see through those plans. I am learning more about how to combat these strategies each time, although I would be lying if I said it was an easy win all the time!
I believe it was also no coincidence that one of the devotions in "Unwrapping the Names of Jesus" this week looked at Jesus as Truth. The challenge was to write down lies that we are battling and write down corresponding truths from Scripture. It was called a challenge for a reason! I was encouraged that I was able to identify those lies though. I am more able to tune in to the subtle differences in the "voice" that carries those thoughts in my mind. How? The time I spend listening to God's truth in Scripture, in spending time in His presence. In many ways the thought I have of not being able to do all I need to do is true. I can't do it all in my own strength. It can only be through partnership and equipping by God. This is simply taking the lessons learned to the next level.
I have been more intentional about playing praise and worship music during the day. This sets an atmosphere of God's truth that helps to dampen the effectiveness of the fear. This fight is not in my human strength. It is a spiritual battle and the weapons I use need to be spiritual.
The thoughts of inadequacy about my leadership skills sparked the thought to listen to Christine Caine's podcasts again. Her teaching on leadership is magnificent. I was left feeling encouraged and inspired to grow in my leadership. I was brought to tears at the same verse being focused on in one of the podcasts I listened to that was highlighted in the Regional Coordinator handbook:
Image credit: You Version Bible App- NASB version
This was a glaring reminder that I don't have to, in fact must not even try, to do this on my own. I have been placed in a community and teams for a reason.
I don't pretend that the fear is vanquished once and for all. It is subdued and rendered powerless to change my actions when I keep close to God and lean into the spirit of power, love and a sound mind that God gives. When the fear is quashed, I am able to tap into the stirring of excitement and expectancy for how I can dive into this role. I am drawn to the opportunity to come alongside the group coordinators to support them to grow and develop their groups. I look forward to being able to help equip them for the task at hand. I am passionate about the ministry that MOPS provides and have seen the difference in my own life. I get the privilege of contributing back and having a hand in even more women finding the soothing balm of MOPS and the Jesus-with-skin-on love we can show them. For now I focus on just the next task in front of me.