These Shoes Fit Just Right!
“Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail. And David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.”
1 Samuel 17:38-40
Have you ever stepped into a new position of leadership and then second guessed your ability to do the job? Have you ever looked at those who have gone before you and thought to yourself, “What was I thinking? I will never be able to do this job as well as they have!”
I think it’s safe to say, you’re not alone. I would speculate that every woman stepping into a new role of leadership, regardless of the level and scope of the position, has probably succumbed to some degree of insecurity if not outright fear. I regularly need to remind myself to put away those doubts that seem to plague me. Can I be honest with you? Sometimes these thoughts, if I let them, completely weigh me down to the point that it’s impossible to fulfill the work God is calling me to.
In 1 Samuel 17 we see David preparing to face the giant Philistine, Goliath, the very one who struck fear into the hearts of the Israelite army. Saul tries to help David by giving him his helmet and coat of armor to protect him. Yet as David walks around to try them on for size, he recognizes a problem; he’s not used to all this cumbersome gear. It’s probably far too heavy for his youthful build. This armour was made for Saul, not David. Clearly David realizes he will not be able to use it effectively at the most crucial time of need – in battle with a very large enemy! Saul’s armour will get in the way, weigh him down and ultimately cause David to fail.
While we may not be facing any giant Philistines in the near future nor do I expect to find a coat of mail in your closet, I do understand how we can allow ourselves to be weighed down by fears, self-doubts and constantly comparing ourselves to others. Recently, as I prepared to step into the new role of National Director of Women’s Ministries, I had a glimpse of how trying to fit into the mold of someone else can cause you to lose focus. As much as I was excited to begin this new role, my thoughts continually went to those amazing, gifted ladies who occupied this role before me. How on earth could I fill their shoes? It would be impossible! Then I began to doubt God. He must have called the wrong woman. Wait…did I just say that?
Fears. Doubts. Insecurities. These feelings are not of God and I know that well!
A few years ago, God placed an amazing young woman and ministry co-worker in my life. God recently used her to stop me short and compelled me to take my thoughts captive. I don’t think she is even aware of how she pulled up my spiritual boot straps with her kind words. However, I’m so thankful God used her! During our annual District Workers Prayer Retreat she asked if she could pray for me and the new position I would soon take up. Of course…I so needed prayer! She anointed my head with oil and began to pray a blessing over me and the work God had called me to. Then she prayed words that will forever stay with me. “Lord, help Rhona to realize that You have not called her to fill the shoes of those ladies who have gone before her, but to fill the shoes that You have prepared just for her. Help her to see that these shoes will fit her perfectly because you made them for her!” Humm…I hear you Lord! Then I sensed my fears begin to melt away.
As David took off Saul’s armor, the relief of physical weight must have been great. So too was the emotional relief I experienced when I stopped worrying about filling the shoes of other leaders – they are not my shoes to fill. David faced Goliath with only his sling and five smooth stones. They felt comfortable and familiar as he held them. He was used to them – how they fit in his hands and he knew they were the only tools he needed. Even as he faced this new challenge, he could walk in the confidence of God’s calling holding only the tools he was familiar with and skilled to use. However, more importantly, He also had God on his side.
So I wonder – what fears hold you back from doing all that God is calling you to? What doubts cause you to look back at others instead of looking up to the One who is calling you to do the work He has prepared for you? “Come, follow Me,” Jesus whispers. Can you hear Him? Are you following Him or are you letting your fears weigh you down?
As I face this new challenge, I too can walk in the confidence of God’s calling knowing I have been equipped and tried to do the work He has placed before me. So now it’s time to slip on those shoes that have been made just for me.
National Director of Women’s Ministries
of the C&MA in Canada
News of Resignation and Introduction
It was six years ago right about now that I was giving considerable process to whether I should accept the role of the National Director of Women’s Ministries. As I usually do when I have big decisions to make, I had taken time to search God’s Word, prayed, fasted and consulted with trusted advisors from the Body. The clincher came as I was reading I Chronicles 28: 20 “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the LORD is finished correctly.” God affirmed to me to ‘do the work’ as He would be not fail me, but rather be my faithful companion guiding, directing, providing all I would need to finish the tasks laid out for me. As I reflect on the last six years, I can say with certainty, that He has done just that.
I carry this promise with me, as I resign the National Director of WM role to work full time with Defend Dignity which was birthed from National Women’s Ministries. I am grateful that I leave National Women with no regrets, but only gratitude that God has been true to his word. His work has been accomplished. While I will miss the wonderful people I have had the privilege to work with, I go in confidence that the same God that has led me this far, will continue to accomplish his will and purposes for National Women and also for Defend Dignity.
I am so pleased to pass the baton of leadership to my dear friend and colleague Rhona Hathaway. Rhona is currently the District Director of Women’s Ministries in the Western District and she will continue to give leadership here as well as assuming the National role. She lives in Medicine Hat, AB, married to her best friend Jim, the lead pastor at Crossroads Church. She is the mother of two amazing children, Chloe and Josh.
Rhona comes with a passion for women to realize their full potential in Christ. Borne from her own struggles with self-worth, Rhona has a burden for the hurting woman and a passion to see all women understand their incredible worth in the eyes of our gracious, loving heavenly Father. She also has a growing heart for justice and compassion ministries in every one of our 5 S regions. Rhona’s warmth, skills and knowledge of women’s ministries commend her to this position.
GlendyneGerrard National Director of Women’s Ministries
September 2012 ~ Whether it is pain relieving medicine for a cancer ridden body in eastern Europe, a 2nd chance at a career for a formerly incarcerated woman in Ecuador, or an offer of escape from a life of sexual slavery in SE Asia, the Justice Compassion projects of Women’s Ministries are making a difference around the world. As Christian and Missionary Alliance Women join hands from the Pacific to the Atlantic to Hudson Bay, lives are being changed.
God tells us in Isaiah that he loves justice. God smiles when he sees us freeing the oppressed, feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless. What we do for the least of these, we do for him. When you give to these projects, you are aligning yourself with who God is and what he stands for.
Spending your money on these worthwhile and life changing ventures means you may not be spending it on yourself. In so doing, you are being counter cultural. In our consumer driven culture that tells us we always need more and more, it is pleasing to God, and lines up with Scripture when we do not give in to this norm. Instead of ‘more’ and ‘more’, we need to respond with ‘enough’. In Canada, most of us have enough. Loving our neighbors as ourselves means meeting their desperate needs instead of indulging ourselves.
Many of you are doing just that. Many of you are giving generously and sacrificially. Did you know that since the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada became autonomous in 1981, our Women’s Ministries projects have raised $4,000,000? That’s worth celebrating!
This year you have the opportunity to change the life of a woman here in Canada. Human trafficking is at home within our borders. Leaving a life of exploitation requires the support of a caring community and the hope that Jesus gives. Dignity House in Winnipeg does just that. This 2nd Stage home for former prostitutes provides ongoing counseling, life skills and education in loving surroundings, in a beautiful neighborhood in that city. God has promised to make beauty from ashes and this year’s project by that name gives you another opportunity to love your neighbor as yourself.
Let’s make this year’s project one of the highest yet.
~ Glendyne ~
Marion, Melvin, Miss Weatherspoon, Mrs. Otsig, Doug, Caroline, Betty, Marlene, Marilyn, and Norma. These may be names on a page to you, but to me, they represent people who have intentionally built into my life. From pointing me in the direction of finding Christ, giving me a love for the Word and explaining how to be filled with the Spirit to learning how to intercede for people and discerning the Spirit’s voice – they have prayed, listened, advised and modeled a heart after God. Family, Sunday School teachers, friends – old and young – they have each one had a part in the work of the Kingdom in my life.
What is discipleship, if not one person helping another person know Jesus?
Proverbs 27:17 NLT tells us that “as iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” It’s in the face to face interaction of doing life together that a disciple is formed. No question is too dumb, no struggle is too foolish, no need is too small, that it cannot be used to form a road map to growth and Christ likeness. Personal questions and struggles can be shared in the context of these open and intimate relationships.
While there is room for programmed discipleship, nothing replaces the need for time spent face to face or side by side. Growth cannot be rushed or made to fit a one size fits all shape.
Are you watching for that woman who needs your intentional love and time? She’s there and she’s waiting for you. No doubt about it, because Jesus told us to make disciples, so for sure he’s planned for her and you to meet.
If no one is on your horizon, I can guarantee that if you begin to pray that Jesus will show you who she is, she’ll intersect with your life soon.
Once she’s there, be bold and invite her to join you on a journey of growth like no other trip she’s travelled. So long as you use God’s Word, prayer and honest interaction, you are set. There are countless good resources for us to use in Canada to give you a kick start if you need one. Check out our resource list www.allwomensministries.ca
A life will be forever changed as we obey this call to make disciples.
National Director of Women’s Ministries
C&MA in Canada