By Becky Carter, Assoc. Director for Emerging Leaders
I have committed myself to being a life long learner. It is something that I believe is important no matter who you are or what your vocation. Being open to new ideas and then using those ideas for your own growth are important to becoming a healthy individual. That is one reason why, as the director of Thrive, I have learned so much through these last two years and have been able to apply these ideas practically in my own life.
I have been amazed at what Jesus has shown me in my own life as a leader through THRIVE. Some things have been very humbling, some exciting, and some practical. All of these things have led to transformation, allowing me to hear, with clarity, the voice of the Holy Spirit in my life.
I have a friend who has had a rough time the last few years. She has dealt with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Unfortunately, I have not always listened to God when dealing with her. I have always believed I was unqualified to deal with such matters of mental health and figured she should find professional counseling. I would hear from her occasionally, begging me to meet with her to talk. I always found some way to dismiss her, using excuses that were ultimately out of my own selfishness. Recently I heard from her again, but this time I began listening to the Spirit. Every time I said, “I am not qualified for this”, He would whisper back immediately, “You ARE qualified to be her friend”. The conviction of the Spirit was so heavy on me I could not disobey again. I agreed to meet with her. I knew before I went that I needed to spend much time in prayer because I did not have the love of the Father for her. I prayed and asked for supernatural love to flow from me and through me and that God would use me to speak truth over her and to her. This is where it gets really cool. I met with her and the moment I saw her, great compassion and love for her fell on me. I knew without a doubt that God wanted her to know that she was His beloved daughter, that He would never leave her, and that He was with her in every moment, even the darkest, as she contemplated ending her life. I watched in awe as God used me in ways I didn’t know I could be used. Words of love and acceptance, that I knew I didn’t have without Jesus, came out of my mouth. I would love to say that this woman had deliverance from the enemy that day. I would love to say that I spoke all the right words, prayed all the right ways, and that she was healed through God’s power. She is taking steps on a journey toward wholeness and only our Lord knows the ending. What I did see, was that God used me in my very weak and selfish state to love a woman who so desperately needed it. I saw a God so much bigger than myself. I saw all the things I have learned in my journey over the last few years, woven together and used for the glory of God.
You see, this is Kingdom leadership. This is taking a scary step of obedience, trusting the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and ministering to people in a dark, broken world. This is the reason we do THRIVE, so that women can walk in freedom in the Holy Spirit and be equipped and empowered to lead others in their journeys -disciples making disciples. “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” John 15:8
** Thrive is a leadership development program for women of the Central District. Its vision is to equip and empower women for Kingdom leadership wherever God has placed them in their journey. We will begin our third year this fall. Registration will begin in May and will be done through pastoral and alumni recommendations. Please consider women in your churches who would be good candidates for this program. We take a maximum of 20 women per year so watch for details to come soon.