Do this thing. 

I don’t know why this is the first thing I thought of this morning, like it literally woke me up at 6am. When I can’t shake something off, I have to write about it. This thing is something I’ve never really shared before but as I wrestled with some old emotions about it, I was able to process it again, and I hope it can encourage someone today. Is this for you? 
Many years ago I said “yes” to something I felt was big and signed up to “co-lead” this thing. Me and another lady were going to host, lead meetings, invite all.the.ladies, and hopefully in our short sessions over the next year make a difference in people’s lives. It started off well, we had a large excited group. But it wasn’t many weeks, and many fattening appetizers, into it that I realized I was not co-leading and instead had the weight of the whole entire thing on me. I invited, I hosted, I spoke, I made the snacks, I answered the calls, I was financing it, I did the follow through, and I was holding it all together. But only barely. Berrrly. And while it was blessing others, it was not blessing me. I remember addressing my concerns with her, feeling reassured, only to be disappointed when her week to finally lead came and she she said I needed to lead the meeting last minute because her kid had an “important” basketball game. Oh the nerve. I had a 10 day old newborn but showed up and winged it because I didn’t want to let the group down. But I was let down. So let down. Tear stained and milk soaked I rolled up my sleeves to clean up that night and just cried. My expectations were crushed. We were supposed to co-lead. Co-opperate. We were going to be co-hesive. A unit. A team. But we weren’t. 
I worked to keep it together for a little longer, but not before I looked like a flaky, inconsistent leader. I had to cancel too many meetings and eventually had to let it go, at this lady’s request. It was ok, because doing it alone with a newborn and staying sane was not likely. I really became saddened about it because I had made good friends and we had a good thing going. “We” were making a difference. And then I became bitter about it over the next few weeks or months. Why couldn’t she just show up? Why couldn’t she help keep it together? Why did it feel like this was just something she put her name on but not her heart? I can’t answer those questions. I never will be able to. But I can now answer the question, “why did it bother me so stinking much!?” It bothered me because when we have expectations we expect people to stay true to their word. And sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they fail us. Sometimes they don’t even have a clue how much they, or the experience they shared with us (or didn’t share with us), hurt us. And when that happens we take it personally. I took it as a personal attack on my family and for a long time didn’t lead again. 
In protest. To God only, maybe. Because this lady surely didn’t know, and didn’t care, and she didn’t even know to care! But I stayed in my comfort zone as to say, “you didn’t work that out” so I don’t trust the “next time” to work out. Because protesting and sitting on our hands fixes everything. Said no bible story ever.  
There came a time when I heard a message on grace and forgiveness, emphasizing when our expectations are not met, and this lady came front and center in my mind. I intentionally, and through more open eyes, finally gave that friend some grace. Her next season looked pretty difficult, and I just began to pray for her. From a distance, I saw through her own life struggles, she became the leader I knew she could be. And in being willing to forgive, I finally became a bit better of the leader I needed to be.
I did eventually lead “another thing” or two or eight. I was more intentional with my yesses and more clear with my expectations. Thankfully I learned to rely on God, not people, and certainly not on budgets. But I survived and thrived through crappy circumstances, cranky cohorts, and crazy calendars over the next few things. Things that did make a difference. 
What is the point of me sharing all this? Maybe it’s to validate that I get it and to tell you leading is messy, exhausting, and a growing experience. Always. Even when good, it’s hard. And when hard, it’s not always good. Maybe it’s to say you’re not the first to have your expectations crushed. You’re not the first to lead alone. You’re not the first to cancel “the day of” because you just.can’t.even. You’re not the first to hate this really good thing you are doing. You not alone in realizing you just aren’t going to get a blue ribbon, diamonds, a day off, or even a “thank you” out of this. Maybe your thing, your situation, looks a bit different but you too don’t feel like you have the co-leader you were promised. Maybe that partner in life, partner in work, partner in ministry, partner in parenting has let you down? And you’re hurting. Maybe all this is just to let you know that as leaders together we will be pressed. We will be crushed. 
Even so. God is good. Even so, the work you are doing is good. Even so, you can rely on him. You DO have a leader. The leader of all leaders. The king of kings. And He is faithful. He won’t let you down. He will shatter your expectations. But it is only because you just can’t imagine how immeasurable more he wants to do for you and through you. Because you ARE making a difference. Maybe you needed to read this long-winded thing that woke me up today because you need to hear “stick with your thing”. Maybe your co-leader needs one heartfelt conversation to set some boundaries and go over expectations. Or perhaps your next co-leader is a phone call away. Maybe you need to hear you CAN do this, you can lead again – sign up! I’m not saying it’ll be easy or all rainbows but you are equipped and there are plenty more appetizers and nuggets of wisdom to share. He will lead you, he will guide you. He will show you the next steps. He has gone before you. You are never in this alone. It’s ok to believe that this crazy idea… that this thing… is bigger than you. Commit it to him, trust him, and Do This Thing! 
“Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:” Psalm 37:5
#dothisthing #leadersgunnalead #friedmushrooms #expectations #psalms #nicolehoffwrites

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