Leadership?

I’ve never particularly viewed myself as a leader. At least, I haven’t for a long while. I suppose it’s because I used to, as a kid. And no one seemed to notice that, or I did not interpret it in that way. I don’t know, who thinks that abstract as a child? I was rarely noticed, growing up. I was usually in the background, second to someone else. Someone else would be thought of the be the leader or to be the head. To be fair, it is because they always stepped up. In a vicious cycle, I shied away from the leadership role, and when no one noticed my attributes, it affirmed my insecurities. Interesting how the spirit of insecurity can really drive that deep.

But I renounce that and give this to God. I’ve recently taken up a leadership role in my church’s children’s ministry and I am excited. I cannot wait to have my gifts and talents be used for God. and I cannot wait to see how He grows me and changes me. I can only pray for strength, because being leader means taking responsibilities for others, and taking care of my team, watching and shepherding them, and being someone who is there to support them. It’s kind of scary, too. It’s a huge responsibility.

I also have so many dreams for this team. It’s a small part of a huge ministry of a huge church, but even the eardrum is a small part of the body. I want to be a support for parents, be able to help them and guide them through the complex system of our Children’s Ministry. I want to be able to support other teachers, and be a member they can reach out to. I have so many ideas, so many dreams and maybe, that’s why God has placed me here.

It was so encouraging to hear that the Head of the Children’s ministry and someone who was once her assistant both thought of me right away for this position. It was affirming. And, hearing that really helped solidify my belief that this is where God has taken me and is guiding. This is where I am meant to be, and this is where He wants me to do His works, for His glory. In Him, with Him and Him through me, I can be a leader. I can be the leader I once thought I could be. I hope in my leadership, I am humble like Jesus and love on my team the way He loved on his disciples. I pray that my dreams and goals line up with God’s and through me He can execute a part of His glorious plan.

All in all, I am so excited to serve Jesus. I am so excited to be used by Jesus. I am so excited to be a part of this plan- this masterpiece. I cannot wait to see His plans unfold and fall in love with him. Love him deeper, love Him harder and to feel His great and immense love for me. This place in my faith, I am so happy. I am so overwhelmed and excited to have God and have a relationship with Him. I have not desired God so much in so long and it feels so good to yearn for Him, His love, His presence, Him again.

Father God,

thank you for choosing me. I am not worthy. But by Your actions, Your blood I have merit. Please use me, in anyway you can. If it scares me, help me to lean in You and trust in You. Help me to walk in faith through the fear. Show me a truth today, tomorrow see me do it.

Ariana

Thank you for reading. I am in this place in my faith where, I feel so close to God. I really want to reach out to Him, be with Him.

God bless
w/ love

Ari

Friends.

It’s such a blessing to have those friends you know may go, but never stay gone. They may go off on their own and have their own adventures and go through their own journeys but never forget you. I have my own friend like this. We grew up together, watched each other fail, rise, struggle and win. He watched me fall in love and fall apart. I watched him grow in faith and rise in leadership. I’m watching him and his relationship with God and He’s seen me in my own. It’s this friendship I have taken for granted, often listening to the whispers of the devil, my own self doubt and feeding my own insecurities. I chose to focus on how he was invited to things, and I was not. I focused on how he was picked to be a leader and I was not. I focused on how he chose other friends over me. Each choice led me deeper and deeper in a coward spiral towards rock bottom. I fell so hard.

I will not be going to deep into that aspect of my story, not now at least. I will say, I was so wrong to see all these aspects. I forgot to realize, at one point, I was invited and said no. I was the one who wanted to be a follower, and player in the sidelines. I’m the one who chose to pull away and withdraw, avoiding him and many others. And, we since mended our relationship, but something felt off. At least, on my end and on my part. I felt something was incomplete.

I first had to forgive myself. I had to forgive myself for my mistakes. For prioritizing my opinions, my thoughts, my pride over his. Over God’s. I had to forgive myself for my fall, and my failures. And most of all, I had to receive God’s forgiveness and let Jesus die for me. Because, as a Christian, I do believe that Jesus is God and came down to live on earth to die, crucified, for my (and all mankind’s sins). But, I believed it in thought. This year I finally believe that I am forgiven and accept and receive God’s forgiveness. I know I am accountable and responsible for my sins, but I also know they are paid. I do not have to pay anything or any one back for what I had done. After all, what’s done is done. What I did is in the past, and Jesus had already breathed, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Though He lives, my sins stayed dead with His death. And as He lives He vouches for me, He speaks on my behalf. I can go on, and be free from my past and let myself lower my standard of perfection. I am not perfect.

Anyways, I’m not here to convince any one I am guiltless. I have faults. And I had to own up to my responsibilities in the problems I had caused. Maybe the problems were a two way street, but I had to cross mine. It felt so good. and for the first time in five years, I truly feel that weight, that burden, that pushback lifted. It was always me. I was the one who erected the shield and in an attempt to stop myself from feeling, in an attempt to ignore my failure and guilt, I had strained our relationship. At least my end of it.

Praise God, that I have overcome this battle. Praise Him for guiding me, to feel again. To feel the guilt and process it, and to let myself express it. To Apologize for what I had done. I was able to fully take responsibility for my pride, my withdrawal, my hurt and anger. It was amazing. And finally, the friend I had from 5 – 19 was back. It was like all those years that I had lost, God brought back.

Truly, I can say I love the way God is working. I love the way God is moving and I am so thankful for this friend. This friend of a lifetime. I am so blessed and my heart is truly full.

God Bless
w/ love

Ari