A few weeks back our Business Administrator who arguably may be the most frugal person I have ever encountered came to realize that his office printer had finally died. The kind of died where the parts were no longer able to be replaced and the monies to overhaul such a printer would seem laughable in comparison to getting a new one.
So I did what any supporting colleague would — I gathered our early morning office arriver’s around the coffee pot and we hosted an impromptu funeral. It was very Dr. Suess-esque in nature and we bid the HP Officejet adieu. Through the laughs and sips of coffee I was prompted to reflect a much deeper principle of grief and loss — or rather our lack of ability to “grieve and lose”.
As leaders what fuels us is so often rooted in wins and gains — -but of course we call them much more spiritual words like growth and advancing the kingdom. We like our graphs to go up and to the right. Our numbers to be on the incline and the things we touch to grow and multiply and increase.
All on there own inherently good attributes.
But let’s talk for a moment about the undergirding of what happens when we lose, are betrayed, experience failure, miss the mark, preach a questionable sermon, give the inauthentic leadership talk, our friends are no where to be found, that leader we invested in leaves, that staff member we positioned bails…when for no specific reason the season C H A N G E S.
Can I ask are you like me prone to pull up your bootstraps and carry on? We’re leaders right? It’s what we do. Press on. Lean in. Carry on. Face to wind — charge!Sometimes that spirit that God placed in us to pioneer can cost us tremendously. That price tag is tarried on our hearts and bears the scars in our souls.
I ended the last season poured out and tired. There was no moral or ethical meltdown. Simply put I had just given all I had.
Entering into an extended sabbatical season I gave myself the space to reflect and realized in the longing to grow and sustain all that God had entrusted to my hand; I failed to grieve the intermittent losses. The last sentence makes me chuckle even now — “sustain all that God had entrusted to my hand”. God is the author of life and He sustains what He grows.
Leader it is never ours to sustain. But we are ours to steward. My soul is my responsibility and learning to stop long enough to grieve the “end of’s” is a skill that I am admittedly still learning. Being okay to settle into the pain and tend to my own seasonal changes is part of grief.
I had to dive deep into the well of my own soul and haul out some roots that were built on striving. Striving to win, please, gain applause, stay on top, keep it up and to the right. Bleck!
A funeral was in order. So I had to host a funeral of sorts for some icky root systems (beliefs if you will) that were building a not-so-healthy leader (lies I was living out).
In that funeral there was freedom to be found, healing to be had, release to be granted and finally — oh Mylanta! Finally hope to be restored. Jesus the Healer of hearts is waiting to heal yours if you find yourself like me building great things but needing to be rebuilt yourself.
Hope is found at the funeral.
The burial of me is the beginning of what Jesus will resurrect through me.
And who knew — — it’s so much sweeter to lead free from those lies.
“I pray for the daughters of the King that might find themselves poured out and tired. I ask that your Holy Spirit would lead them into Your Truth, uncovering icky root systems that are building no-so-healthy leaders. That Jesus you may bring about healing in their souls and they experience freedom and hope at the funeral of striving. Amen.”
ABOUT WENDY NOLASCO
Pastor Wendy Nolasco is a life enthusiast and resident foodie. Her main quest is loving Jesus! She has been married to the love of her life — Sal for 14yrs. She has three very beautiful kids Lola, Diego and Phoenix, and has devoted her life to pursuing how God will shape each one of them. She serves as part of the pastoral team at New Life Church and thrives on seeing those “light bulb moments” in others’ lives.