Not On the Agenda – Part 1

God is amazing! I must’ve said that 20 times yesterday as I started my day with about 40 women in leadership. We meet once a month to learn bible-based ways to become better leaders. I always leave encouraged and strengthened to fight the battles that eventually come.

There’s a beautiful structure to these three-hour sessions, mainly because a few of the leaders are teachers, and they want us to be fully-engaged without a lot of Sit-and-Get. We go over our homework for that session, and we get our previous submissions back with handwritten feedback from the group’s leader.

Today’s agenda was as it always is:

  1. Praise and Worship
  2. Welcome and Homework
  3. Guest Speaker
  4. Community Builder
  5. Closing Prayer

It’s always a great time with these sweet sisters, and we always linger a bit afterwards to connect with ladies we haven’t yet met or the leaders who pour into us each month, BUT THIS TIME, God sent a messenger to say, Hold Up, Sisters. I have something to say. I need to perform a miracle before your very eyes. I hope you’re ready.”

Well, guess who wasn’t ready. Me!  I wasn’t ready but I was receptive. The speaker spoke in voices, and her entourage spoke in tongues. Let me clarify what I mean by “voices.” She used the vernacular that we typically use when we’re comparing ourselves to other sisters. Why’d she get 50 and I only got 10? I’ve been here longer than her, and she got a promotion? She even cautioned us to be careful if we enjoy applause, praise, and acceptance from others. Girl, you did a great job with that speech. Honey, nobody makes peach cobbler like you. Sis, they put Sue in your old role, but she can’t do it like you. 

Does any of this sound familiar? Have you succumbed to the comparison trap or fallen victim to the applause? Hmmmph, I sure have — not so much these days, but definitely in my not-so-distant past. Once God started revealing my gifts to me, I had to start reframing a few things.

For instance, you may not see this as a gift, but God revealed that I’m a legit encourager and that people are drawn to me. I can’t take any credit for these gifts. All the glory belongs to God; however, I must remember to use them for good. He also revealed to me that I am in competition with NO ONE. I felt like he sorta shouted that one at me…lol. I get it now.

Years ago, I was planning a lesson with my coworker and friend Julie. As we were unpacking the standards associated with combinations and permutations, our custodian walked into the room. He’d always start talking to me when I didn’t have time to talk, but thankfully I listened most days. One day he said, “What God has for you is for you.” I Amened  without lifting my eyes from the paper and kept planning. I didn’t really know what he meant back then, but I knew he must’ve been a man who was walking with God on some level. Fast forward 25 years from that conversation, and I know exactly what he meant. As I reframe those words with the knowledge I’ve been privileged to acquire, I know that he’s right.

Stay tuned for part two of this message tomorrow as I continue unpacking my lessons from yesterday. Just know that these lessons I’m learning have far-reaching effects, and you will be on the receiving end if you have ears to hear. May blessings abound! ❤