Trauma & Leadership

Two words I wish I didn’t have to experience; trauma and leadership.

Recently, like yesterday, I experienced a traumatic event. I won’t go into details, mainly because it’s too soon. Long story short — I went on call with a coworker and found a deceased member of our church.

I was not supposed to see this. Our minister has just retired, and we are in between finding an interim to allow us to heal and find a new minister. The police should’ve done a better job doing a home search, which is a whole other story. But the fact of the matter is that I went, felt in my heart that this is something I should do, was there for my church family & saw it.

It was horrifying, and that’s really all I’ll say about that day.

Fast forward to tonight, a Wednesday! It’s a youth minister’s normal time to gear up for teaching. I was teaching children instead of teens for this lesson. I thought about having someone else teach but I knew somehow that I needed to teach this lesson. It was about praying, spending time with God, giving him our fears and receiving his piece. That’s what I attempted to teach, and I hope it came across.

I needed that lesson more than the kids did.

I needed to hear this lesson that was already picked out a half a year ago.

I had debated on teaching or not, but decided to do it. I had a couple of people tell me that I don’t know my triggers yet, to be patient with myself, that I might not know what’s going to happen in the classroom or what I can’t handle. But my dad, who is cut out of the same cloth that I am, said to not let this fear or guilt or big emotion get in the way of what I can do. He said to continue my job & do what I’m called to do to begin with. The apostle Paul asked that God take away this thorn in his flesh. God responded with a resounding no! But promised to give grace that would help him deal with this “thorn.” He also said that he needed to do the work he’d been called to do, because God uses our weaknesses to show His strengths.

So in my traumatic experience, I’ll have to continue to do what I’ve been called to do. Yes, give myself some slack when I forget things, or I’m exhausted and need a little more down time or I need to excuse myself to go cry it out.

But regardless I will be the youth minister. Awful circumstances will come our way, and sometimes there’s not a lot we can learn about it, other than we were not meant to be in certain fields– like first responders!

I don’t know how this will pan out, I’m still in a good bit of shock, but I know that if God doesn’t take this thorn, His grace will be enough. In my weakness, He will show His strength.

Philippians 4:6, 7 NLT

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus

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