My life had just been turned upside down. Frank’s company had relocated us to the Charlotte area. I had never lived beyond the city lines of my tiny East Tennessee town. I had three small children, knew no one, and survived solely on GPS. Frank traveled extensively, and I found myself alone and overwhelmed most days. I was still trying to lose excess baby weight and spent most days in the gym. One morning I pushed myself a little too far. I was doing some resistance training and found myself lightheaded and seeing stars. I woke up minutes later on my back staring at the drop ceiling of the YMCA, an oxygen mask held to my face. Frank was several states away, my kids were checked into childwatch, and I had no way to even get home. The staff at the YMCA checked my emergency contact information and contacted Frank. He called a new acquaintance we had recently made at church. She dropped what she was doing and came to my rescue. One hour later, her and her husband dropped me, my kids, and my car at my house. They picked up lunch on the way, and even helped put my toddler down for her nap. When they left my house, I was smiling, despite the rough start to my day.
This one small act of kindness was a defining moment in my life. Until then, I was unsure I was cut out for “big city life.” I was experiencing serious doubt about my solo parenting skills, and I felt isolated and apprehensive. It wasn’t until I realized I wasn’t alone, I had a tribe of people ready and willing to love and support me, that I finally felt at home and able to smoothly transition into the next season of my life. That next season would include volunteering in the children’s ministry at Elevation Church. That season led to the next one, in which both Frank and I took staff positions and began to develop an innovative strategy for family ministry that would soon receive worldwide recognition. And it all started on the floor of the local YMCA when a Christian man and woman came to my rescue.
If I were to ask, “Who is your closest friend? What do you admire most about them?” I guarantee in your assessment, you would include the descriptors, loving and kind. Benevolence is so often lost in today’s culture and when you meet someone who is a reflection of the love of Christ, not only does it stand out, but it draws you in. Love and kindness soothe, console, encourage, and bring hope. In 1 Corinthians 9:22 NIV, Paul says, “To the weak I became weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” Paul is trying to teach us that the love of Christ is most often acknowledged and accepted by those you are ministering to when a relationship is first established. More often than not, relationships begin with a kind word or a loving act. As Leading Ladies we must steward the trust others have placed in us. We must act in a way that takes into consideration the interests of those around us. The greatest kindness we can offer is to lead from a place of love.
Your challenge this week, as a Leading Lady, is to open your heart and your eyes to the needs of those around you. Welcome the opportunity to say hello to the quite cashier at the grocery store. Offer your assistance to the overwhelmed mother struggling to load her minivan. Make time for heartfelt conversations with those you lead. Compliment a coworker on her new shoes or hairstyle. You never know when you might be the vehicle that propels someone into the next season or brings a smile when it seems all hope is lost.
Join me again next week as we continue to Define A Leading Lady or read previous posts here.