It’s late.Â Again.Â I’m still in the office working on a budget proposal, an itinerary for a conference call, and working out some more damage control as I find myself in the middle of transition, turmoil, and uncertainty.Â Let me say that this is not a very fun place to be.
In starting this new job, I knew it would be more than I bargained for.Â More than I was trained for.Â More than I had experience to offer.Â But I truly believed it was a calling.Â I still do.Â But today is a day I waver a bit and wonder if this was the right call.
Just a tiny bit.
There has been an unprecedented amount of turmoil in the place I work.Â Much of it is in my area.Â It’s interesting I really didn’t realize what I was walking into.Â However, I keep reminding myself that if it were easy to lead, everyone would.Â If it were easy to walk through culture shift, everyone would.Â So here I sit exhausted again.Â Second guessing myself.Â It’s only taken three months for the honeymoon to be over and people begin to lose confidence in me.Â I’ve made enemies.Â Come across a few really strong situations.Â Seen 50% of my staff resign or be removed.Â I’m hoping this is the worst of it, but I’m not entirely convinced it is.Â Yet.Â It’s the valley.Â The storm before the calm.
Awhile back when Nathan and I were running, we were talking about another job opportunity to consider.Â I was also taking two classes for my M.A.Â Micki was finishing hers.Â I was teaching a class at church.Â There was chaos all around.Â It was interesting as we spoke about options and where my life was at the time, I remember him saying, “Embrace the chaos.Â Don’t run from it.Â Choose to find God in it.”Â As we talked about it, it became evident that in the valley are usually some of the most intimate times with Abba I’ve had.Â Look at the Bible and the valley is many times equated with intimacy.Â It’s when we’re stripped away that we finally come to the realization that He’s here.
All too many times, even in the past three months of entering into this position, I’ve led on my own strength.Â Let’s be honest, we all do.Â (At least I think we do).Â But there’s something to be said on a day when you feel like you’re the only one holding things together and you’re not quite sure if it’s right or worth it where your anchor is.Â I know Who mine is.Â Even stronger are colleagues who have encouraged me that we’re leading the right way.Â Or bishops who have cheered us on and affirmed us.Â In the valley, sometimes the perspective is blurred.Â In the valley there are casualties.Â There’s dirt.Â It’s messy.Â Bloody sometimes.Â But my Anchor holds me true.
There’s freedom for me in the valley tonight that I didn’t jump into this position for any other reason than a calling to come and lead and build the Kingdom with others who want the same.Â A Holy calling.Â From The Holy One.Â And that calling was confirmed by leaders who appointed me and believe in me.Â Strengthened by colleagues who stand with me.Â Abba wired me to see things from 30,000 feet.Â So the valley sometimes is particularly hard.Â However, the best part of the valley is that He is there.Â And good is there.Â The shadow proves the sunshine.Â So tonight I lead from the valley.Â I lead with an Anchor that’s stronger than steel, friendships, appointments, money, technology, and authority.Â I lead in the night with my Abba.Â Imperfect.Â But with a flashlight.