Stepping Up However Shaky or Unsteady

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Stand-Angela_800There was a time, not that long ago, when I was unable to stand. Quite literally, as I was confined to a horizontal life in bed for a time with health issues. Others stood for me through that season, rallying to pray and encourage and do the practical everyday stuff that I was unable to do.

I eventually got up as my health improved, and I felt the fresh gratitude of being on my feet.  It was a privilege to stand again after weeks of rest, though my muscles were weak and a bit wobbly.

I recognized how desperately I had relied on others to stand in my place. Their stance of encouragement and alliance had pulled me up. I would have been lost without them.

I chose STAND as my One Word last year. 

It was a period of transition in our church leadership and I’d been given greater responsibility. I didn’t seek or expect promotion–it had never been my dream to pastor or lead in church. I’d been a really content background-dweller.

I spent dark, quiet hours lying awake at night wondering how I could graciously duck out and let someone else stand in. Nothing I came up with felt right. I knew it was time to own my place.

I wrestled with the tension of knowing I must rise but still wishing I could opt out, sit in a corner and observe. My spirit pushed hard at the limitations and excuses my brain came up with, begging me to stand. The nudge of God’s Spirit drew me to my feet, His affirmation the catalyst.

I couldn’t see at the time how significant the word STAND would be. I had some beautiful cheerleaders, but not everyone celebrated as I stepped up, shaky and unsteady. That couldn’t move me–I’d already committed.

I knew how desperately I’d needed people to stand for me when I was sick months before, and I was moved to be that strength for others. My commitment to the whole was my roots and my anchor. Standing in my place had very little to do with me, and everything to do with us. I could not be moved.

I’m tender when I think of those who have stood when it was uncomfortable. When they were ignored. Criticized. So many have stood before me, rising despite pressure and insecurity. Mine is a really minor role in any grand scheme, but not one of us is alone.

I want to be a woman who stands. Not just for myself, but for my daughter and for our sisters and for His Church. Let us see how our strength lifts others. May we show up when it’s easier to back away. May we be found faithful and may our stance be one of loyalty, grace and truth.
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Image credit: Katie Richardson

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