This time last year I had recently graduated from the University of Tampa and had only been residing in St Petersburg for two months. I was entering a season of transition. The four years I spent at UT were definitely the best time of my life. There were some challenging moments but countless moments of joy. I had a great community of friends who were following Jesus and keeping me accountable. Being on campus, Jesus was teaching me how I could be a bridge, leading students to a life with our Savior for eternity. However, in my senior year Jesus told me this would only be a short-term calling; he was leading me to my long term calling beyond campus. Knowing that, graduating and receiving my Bachelor’s was bittersweet. It was difficult leaving a wonderful part of my life behind. In pursuing God’s call on my life I decided to move to St Petersburg and invest in the Underground church community there. I was feeling hopeful because I knew I would be apart of a group that was missional and loving like my previous community.
After several months of living in St Pete I found myself feeling displaced. I was part of a micro-church but I was not leading any Bible studies. I was volunteering support for Intervarsity but was not discipling anyone. I was participating in the leadership course our movement was providing but I felt that I could not practically apply it anywhere. I did not feel like a leader anymore. I did not feel connected to any group of people. It seemed like I was on the fringe when I desperately wanted to be zealous for the kingdom. I started to wonder why I even moved away in the first place. I no longer was firm in my identity but instead parting away from it. Being a black woman I numerously battled with insecurities fueled by the lies circulating through our society. Transitioning to a new setting and not being the leader I was had me battling again. I even found it difficult to even be sociable. I’m not the most outgoing person, but I had grown in my ability to be social over the past years. Yet during this transition, I was a B plus declining to a D minus.
Realizing that I was in a somber place, I began asking God what to do. “Lord, what am I supposed to do in a place where I don’t feel like my true self?” He replied to me be patient and let me show you; and, like always, God was faithful and revealed to me the work He was doing through me. He reminded me about the leader He created me to be. I’m made to be the leader who serves, intercedes, discerns wisely, evangelizes, and prophesizes. God showed me the unique ways I have been that leader. I learned that the many changes I was experiencing negatively impacted me. The location, people, and culture were different and new; and I wasn’t prepared for it to influence me. During that transition, God renewed me; and once again I embraced the call He had on my life. And when I did that I felt refreshed and zealous. I regained my confidence and could push away the clouds in order to walk down the clear path Jesus was and is still leading me through.
I had a moment similar to the disciples. When Jesus was taken and put on the cross, the disciples disbanded and scattered. Their lives drastically changed, they didn’t have Jesus physically beside them anymore. As promised, Jesus came back, and He reminded them about their calling. After Jesus ascended into heaven, the disciples clinged to his words and teachings spreading the good news. Like the disciples I needed that reminder. In transitions, sometimes one asks questions like “Will this work?”, “Am I doing enough?”, and “Am I enough?” I directed those questions to Jesus, and he answered me. In receiving His responses I was revived in my leadership. That entire year looked very different from the last four; it was a year of change, struggle, and rejuvenation. Regardless of the transitions and changes you may endure in life, it does not remove you from holistic leadership you have stepped into. As long as you keep saying yes to Jesus in serving Him and His people in any way, you are and will always be the leader He created you to be.