Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I Wasn't Meant to be a Wallflower

It never fails. Every summer, one bunch of Shasta daisies refuses to blend. If I cut and prune the plants, it is to no avail; quite simply, another bunch will grow taller elsewhere. Some years I’ve uprooted and replanted the plain Jane flowers but that wasn’t effective either. It is as though the daisy is competing with the tall and regal gladiolas or the playfulness of the cosmos. The daisy is not rare or exotic by any garden standards but it does not seem to understand that it was placed in the garden to be a backdrop for the flowers that razzle dazzle. The daisy recoils from minimization and rises to be a head above.

Sometimes, the purpose you are destined for can’t be tamed.

I wasn’t the leader in my family. I’m the youngest of two and if you’ve ever met my brother, you would quickly see how bright his star shines. He takes centre-stage, not because he demands it but others yield to him as a hurting child yields to his mother’s arms.

Besides that, my family position and gender preclude me from a leadership role. Had it been different while I was growing up, my parents would no longer be able to blame my school friend for leading me into wayward behaviour, instead of thinking I could have been the one doing the leading. Plus in a finite economy, there can only be one leader per family. My brother fit easily in that role.

In hindsight, my teenage rebellion was an arduous journey to break the mold that attempted to define me, to limit me. I emerged from my 20s, like one of my daisy flowers, with a view others could not see. But like my flowers, I continued to cut and prune myself attempting to blend in with the rest. I didn’t perceive what God was doing. Perhaps that was wisdom too, for I might have had to learn lessons in the same manner that Joseph did.

I took leadership classes - not to learn about leadership but because I liked the teacher who taught the class. In Bible studies, I made decisions because it benefited the group. I became their spokesperson because I thought no one else wanted the role and so I did to be helpful. I reasoned if it was good for me, it was good for others too.

Finally after several years, a good friend who seemed to have an inside track to the thoughts of God, looked me straight in the eye and said, “You are a leader, now lead.” It caught me off guard, like a blind man discovering he had sight by simply opening his eyes.

I am a leader. I wasn’t meant to be a wallflower.  It feels strange to say that out loud. It seems conceited, like Paul saying, “It’s better for you that I remain in the body.” But it’s not. It’s who I am because that’s who God made me to be.

What areas of your life have you tried to ignore? Perhaps those are the area(s) where God wants to use you. Leave a comment about your journey, let’s walk in confidence together.


David-FireAndGrace said...

Personal prophecy from others has often seemed to be the vehicle for God to reach into my spiritual DNA and pull out a few strands that were always there, but seemingly hidden. I was once called a "reluctant leader." Though I was fearful of flying, and countries where I didn't know the language, God made a way for me to be a missionary in Brazil and Norway.

Where I now have regular faith crises is in the supernatural. What if God doesn't do anything? Then I am like dead in the water standing there with nothing. He is faithful, but He still requires faith from me. I am getting better all the time.

I am not sure at the moment exactly what part of life God is working on - but I know where the flow of the river is going.


Tracy said...

Appreciate your thought about how the purpose God has for us can't be tamed. There's the burn within, the desire that He's put there.

Adore the way you stepped up and led in your Bible class simply because they needed you, that's what it's about.

Joyce Lighari said...

Sometimes it is hard to recognize the giftings in our own selves... Great blog

Tony C said...

We share a very similar path Andrea.

I've always been a leader though. Unfortunately, I've not always used that trait for God's purposes. That's my post for Friday.

Love the picture at the end...priceless.