i never asked to lead

Growing up, I became used to hearing parents and teachers and coaches refer to me as “a natural-born leader.” I made up silly dance routines in my bedroom and taught them to girls in the neighborhood, after hounding my dad to videotape us. I organized lemonade sales and bossed my little brother around until he grew to a foot taller than I. I served in the special needs Sunday School class at church, helping older kids get through normal, infantile routines. One of my high school teachers recently ran into my mom and described how she used to watch my face, to gauge the rest of the class. She said if I could turn around and explain the concept to someone, then she was on the right track.

It feels like all of my life, I’ve found myself in positions of leadership…
I was co-captain of the varsity cheerleading squad.
I participated in student government in nursing school.
I am currently the chief preceptor on my unit for new hires.
When I’m not working with new nurses, I’m often in charge of the floor. 
I direct the the toddlers’ large group at church every Sunday.
I’m serving as a community leader for the upcoming Influence Conference.
I’m running a family of seven, after becoming an insta-mom at age 19.

The problem is, I don’t feel like a leader. My strengths lie in performing and educating and empowering, but I’m an introvert. I don’t seek out relationships that put me in charge. I’m uncomfortable volunteering information that makes me look like an expert. I pray for the floor to swallow me up every time someone shares the fact that I have five kids, or that I’m the worship leader’s wife. I honestly hate the spotlight. I prefer to wait for people to come to me, so that I know that I’m not bothering them – that they honestly want to hear my opinion. I prefer people to ask me questions, so that I can simply share my own experience. One of my favorite phrases is, “It’s what works for me.” This applies to everything from parenting to natural living to finances to nursing practice to style. One of my worst fears is for this blog to become a “know-it-all-show-and-tell hour.”

But I’m learning that my fear of approval and aversion to leadership don’t really matter. Because where I am weak, there He is strong. Even Moses eventually stopped fighting the Lord (and his speech problems), in order to step into his calling and lead an entire nation out of slavery. So if all God wants me to do is be an example and a helper in different areas of my personal life? Fine then! I’ll count it all joy. Just know that it isn’t always easy. Or fun.

20 thoughts on “i never asked to lead”

  1. Except for a few minor details, I could have written this. I seriously don’t want to lead. I seriously want to be in the background…put me in the kitchen washing the dishes…or behind a blog post:)…Great perspective though! I needed this.:)

  2. This is a really interesting post. I kind of have that take-charge attitude, and I like leading. But with leadership comes great responsibility and I’m just not there yet. Hmmm, one day?

  3. yes – i’m more of an introvert, but also a leader as well. i’m not religious, but i believe that our strengths are gifts that are meant to help other people. the problem is that we’re so used to trying to fit in/blend in that we often feel like even our strengths are weaknesses because they make us different. i’m trying to learn right now that when i deny my own strengths it’s really another way to allow myself to be selfish. hard lessons!

    1. I’ll speak to this as best as I can. Holler if I get too “preachy.”

      Christians like me tend to have an aversion to being called religious. There is nothing legalistic or restricting or judgmental or exclusive about my faith. I believe that I was born into a broken world, and that Jesus took care of that for me thousands of years ago on a cross. Once and for all, debt paid.

      Because of that belief, I’ve developed a relationship with Him over the years. It has nothing to do with religious rites or historical accounts of a church. It’s just me and Jesus. And I believe He welcomes everyone to enter into that sort of relationship. No conditions, no ifs/ands/buts, no fixing things first. Make sense?

    2. That makes perfect sense. I LOVE that you don’t box yourself in like that. It makes me think that maybe there will be a time for me to have that in my life, someday.

    3. Thanks for sharing, I find myself grappling with the baggage that saying your a Christian sometimes carries. Ultimately God is love, and that’s what I try to find with my journey of faith.

    1. Are you reading the same blog I am? I have never gotten the vibe that Rachael thinks she’s perfect, in any way, at all. To me, it seems to be more of a “making it work the best I can” type of attitude.

  4. So sorry you misunderstood the post! Try reading it again? And try making that kids comment to my face! Or my bank account! Or Lucas & Avery! Or their mom! Haha.

    In all seriousness, I’m reaching the end of my tolerance for ignorant & rude anonymous comments. Especially the ones that pop into my inbox at the same time every night…

    1. Wow! Your inspirational words touch so many lives. God knows your heart and he also knows the heart of anonymous…even though we fight it HIS word does not go out void….be blessed anonymous!

    2. Wow! Your inspirational words touch so many lives. God knows your heart and he also knows the heart of anonymous…even though we fight it HIS word does not go out void….be blessed anonymous!

  5. I think it’s awesome that you’re so transparent! Your humility and willingness to be obedient to the Lord despite your comfort, is very beautiful and encouraging to me. While I am very extroverted, I can totally relate to being put into positions that I rarely feel qualified to fill. It’s so cool though to experience His strength first hand as I see Him enabling me to do things that I could never do on my own! Keep it up sister and don’t let any naysayers get to you! ;)

    1. Being transparent on here is part of that leader thing, I think. I feel challenged to share my life with people – not to show off or tell others what to do, but to help and learn in return. So the naysayers get to me more often than I care to admit, but I’ll keep doing it until I’m told to stop. Thanks for the encouragement!

  6. I so appreciated and related to this post. I stumble along (literally–I’m very clumsy and I spill things A LOT) and am shocked, humbled, and terrified when I realize someone is emulating me or looking to me for guidance. I liked the end of the post where you said that if God needs you to be an “example and helper” so be it. When I think about having God and angels on my side, the task of being a leader is a lot less daunting. You rock! (And, for what it’s worth, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and think of you as a strong, kind, humble person who lives with conviction. That is how you come off. And the fact that you love your stepkids SO much only makes this stepmom-having girl like you more!)

    1. Hey, I’m glad I can (try to) be one of the good ones! And I love that you admit you’re clumsy. I just fell in love with you via the Internet.

Comments are closed.