I am basically an introvert. I don’t like to be in charge of anything. Me ever becoming a leader was laughable. When I was young, I hung around my mother’s legs and didn’t want to leave her. She said I cried a lot and was often sick because I was so nervous and didn’t want to be left alone.
I had an older sister who was very outgoing and she was my best friend. We were only 11 months apart so we entered first grade together. She was the outgoing one. She had tons of friends. I was too shy to try and make friends by myself, so I was friends with her friends.
In all the years as we were going through school, I always thought of the group of girls that my sister and I ran around with as her friends, or our friends, but I never thought of them as just my friends. In fact I didn’t even know if they wanted to be around me without my older sister there.
How foolish we are as children. Our little thoughts are not always guided with wisdom. When you grow up in a family as big as mine there was little time to sit down with my mother and have a chat about gaining friends at school. After all she had sent me to school with a built-in in friend. That should have been good enough.
Several years ago, the girls who ran around with my sister and I during High School wanted to get together for a reunion. My sister was unable to come but I met them at our home town park. They said they were sorry my sister hadn’t come but they were glad that I could come because they always liked me being in the group. They said I always made them laugh.
It was a big revelation to me that all these girls liked me for who I was and not because I was their friend’s sister. I’m so glad I met with them that day and learned the truth that my heart could never grasp when I was in school with them.
When I went to college, I was terrified. I knew no one, and my roommate was never around. I had to quickly make a friend, or I was going to be miserable for the next four years.
The first person I reached out to, and wanted to be my friend, was a girl across the hallway in my dorm. Her name was Deana and she was a shy girl like me. She had a best friend that she told me about often. His name was Jesus. She even gave me a Bible so I could read about her friend for myself.
When I read the book of John, and grew to know the most important leader of all time, I knew I wanted to be his friend too. Something changed in me when I invited Jesus to live in my heart and be my Savior and friend.
I was no longer afraid of any challenge that was put before me, because I knew that my best friend, Jesus, was right there helping me to accomplish my goals.
Then before I graduated He gave me a friend for life, my husband Paul, so that I would always have someone to talk to and gain encouragement from as I did my work and helped fulfill His mission in my life.
After our wedding, we chose an evangelistic Christian church to help us grow in our walk with Jesus. Both of us took on leadership roles as we worked with the youth group, led Bible Studies, and as Paul became a deacon and later an Elder.
I was one of the songleaders from the beginning of our marriage, and now 40 years later, I continue to be a part of our Praise Band. I love that leadership role.
I taught Elementary School for over 29 years and took all kinds of leadership roles in my work. Whenever I was asked to do something in the way of leadership, I would have a talk with my best friend, Jesus. He is still my leader and I would listen to His voice. Then I would take that step and fulfill whatever duties I was given.
I do not know what is ahead in my life, but I know that my leader, Jesus, will always go ahead of me and make my path straight, if I listen and learn from His Word the best leadership plan that has ever been written.