Leadership can look like a Family Readiness Group, thrift store volunteer, Parent Teacher Organization board, Bible study teacher, committee leader at the officer spouses club, or parenting my children. It can look like any of these things and many more, but I would argue that leadership is about much more than position or title and our leadership reaches farther than the committee we run.
In light of the uniqueness of our callings, we can also find some foundational truths as we seek to live a life of influence. Here are four truths the Lord has taught me:
- Diversity is a beautiful thing. The military world brings us from different places, at different stages in life, different ethnicities, and weaves us together as a community. Different is not always bad. Seeing the beauty of diversity can be challenging, especially when other’s differences run straight into mine. Loving others is one of the greatest commandments the Lord gave us, ranked second only to loving the Lord. How has the Lord called us to love today?
- Conflict does not equal failure. When conflict arises, my every desire is to run like the wind in the opposite direction. Sometimes we disagree—even as Christians. But when we talk through it in love, the conflict can actually make us stronger as people and as a body of believers. However challenging to walk through, it’s worth it in the end.
- Joy is not in the circumstances. Our joy is in our Savior and our service to Him. It really has nothing to do with our circumstances. Although this is much easier said than done, all we are must be found in Him. He is the source of our joy and our hope. Happiness is something completely different.
- Obedience is not always a “want to” thing. God expects obedience from all of us—of His word, commands, and callings on our lives. Even the calling of being a military spouse. Just like dealing with our children, He expects obedience, whether we want to or not.
Leadership is more about the humble place of serving than it is about leading. Yet, God can take the humble place where we are and do things that we could never imagine. Acts 4:13 reminds me of that very thing, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”
The difference from ordinary to extraordinary in Peter and John was not their position or rank. It was their time with Jesus. The Lord’s Spirit poured into them overflowed and impacted the world around them. God can do the same with us. Though ordinary men, through their obedience, Peter and John impacted the Church, the eternity of many—and history itself.
As a military spouse, I can feel insignificant and underutilized—ordinary. I can get discouraged because I had big dreams and ideas, yet I spend many hours cleaning house, cooking dinner, and getting vetted once again as a volunteer. I start to question if I matter in the grand scheme of things or if my contribution will make a difference in the world.
I long to do great and noble things, but God reminds me it’s in the humble things that He can be extraordinary through me. Ultimately, I desire to be like Helen Keller: to do humble tasks as though they were great and noble, leaving my legacy up to the One who called me.