Le’t be real, leaving a role where you felt significant, where you felt like your voice was used in ways that were influential, where you felt like you just arrived is never easy, is it?
I was completely unprepared for the flood of emotions that overcame me on my drive home from an amazing day at the office. A day in which I connected with amazing leader after amazing leader. A day in which laughter and teamwork were so richly evident. How could it be that I was feeling a sense of missing out, especially on a day that I felt so present and alive to what was happening in the moment?
But I was unprepared. I was unprepared to feel the sting of no longer being on a lead team, of no longer being an integral part of where some of the most important decisions are made and will continue to be made, a place of connecting with other executive leaders, a place of feeling significant.
I chose to leave a seat at that table behind because through nearly a year long discernment process I felt the Lord leading me to make a positional change within the organization I love. It was the right decision. The obedient decision. But I was unprepared for what that would feel like as the hours turned into days turned into weeks turned into months following that decision. Perhaps that is God’s grace that when we are sure and have peace about a decision there is no longer a reason to delay the decision, so the conversation is had.
And perhaps it is God’s continued work in our lives that we also have a inner journey following such important decisions. A journey not necessarily forewarned or foretold to us by the Lord.
You see, the Lord didn’t say to me that I would hurt following such an important decision. He didn’t tell me I would feel a sense of isolation. That I would question my significance. That I would wonder whether or not I had heard him correctly. That I would question my gifts and my calling. That to lay a position down where you loved to influence and loved the people you were priveleged to talk about important matters with was going to take me down a path of even further dying to self and an even greater dependence on God as the only source of where my worth comes from.
I will build my life upon you Lord and upon your purposes – not upon a title or position of influence.
But you know what else the Lord didn’t tell me ahead of time? He didn’t tell me he had another opportunity for me that would not have been possible had I not taken that step of obedience. He was preparing another seat at another table with other leaders.
Here are a couple of things that I am learning in this journey:
1. God will call you to make hard decisions. Decisions where you are forced to get real clear about where your loyalty lies – to God or to?
2. If you value being at the table and part of conversations where important decisions are made, you may struggle with feeling lost, isolated, confused about where you now fit. You may even question your call.
3. Even though you will hurt and struggle, every thing God asks you to do is for the good of the organization (mission) and for your own good – even if you don’t see or understand what God’s larger plan is.
4. Never, ever, can our sense of worth and identity be anchored in what we do or a title we may hold. What we do can change – who we are in Christ is an unchanging truth.
5. These times of wrestling through our feelings, recognizing the lies the enemy might be trying to get us to believe, and allowing ourselves to be present in the journey are all important pieces of the process. And remember, simply because we may think something, doesn’t make it true. For example, am I really isolated? No.
6. Our egos can be big (Do they miss me? Can they do this without me?). Um..yeah..they can. God has called them and equipped them to do just that!
7. It’s okay to miss being somewhere and being around certain people. Not being somewhere doesn’t equate to lack of fruit or faithfulness in our life.
8. You’ll be okay, and it’s okay to allow yourself time to reorient and readjust.
9. Be vigilant to lead yourself well during this time.
10. A right decision, a decision in which you truly felt the leading of the Lord, is still the right decision.
Breath Prayer: I’ll be okay Lord because I know you’re with me.
Lord remind me of whose I am and who I am. A bondservant of Jesus Christ and a loved daughter of the most high God.
Prayers for all of you going through changes.
The Reverend Carmen Kampman is a woman on the road of leadership. Ordained with the PAOC, she is a steward of God’s call to women in ministry. She is on staff at Horizon College & Seminary, an Associate Pastor at Westside Pentecostal, and holds an MA in Leadership & Management from Briercrest College & Seminary.