I love to read. I love to learn. As I have made this transition back to full-time work and have sought to effectively lead an office through re-organization, reading and learning have been vital to my success, but more importantly vital to my emotional well-being. My reading and learning must be balanced. I can’t just read about management practices or leadership skills, I have to feed my spirit. My whole self has to grow in order to be effective and healthy.
I recently read “Unseen” by Sara Hagerty. (http://sarahagerty.net/unseen/) Initially I thought this book would have nothing to do with my leadership, but would be a good read for me personally. I was wrong. Creating change, leading people through reorganization is all work done quietly. A great deal of it is work the leader must do in the hidden spaces. It is being faithful to show up, to keep moving forward, to wait patiently on others to begin to see and take hold of the new mission. It is the unseen work. It is prayer.
“Unseen” is an authentic book. Sara Hagerty shares what many of us would never voice to another. It is a vulnerable read, but it will stir your spirit. As I have led, I will be honest… I have wanted kudos, a pat on the back. That hasn’t come. I have felt discouraged, wondering if the mission to engage others in service to meet the needs of our community would ever resonate with anyone outside our office. But reading Sara’s story challenged me to dig deep, to deal with the reality- Who am I living for? Is my identity wrapped up in what others think? Those aren’t easy questions to answer. The truth was painful because the answers didn’t match what I say I live. I say I live for Christ, that my identity is in Him. Yet, all too often, that is not the reality of how I live. “Unseen” has reminded me to focus on who I am, the relationships with those around me, and believe I am where I am to serve Him. Being obedient to Him. It has reminded me to stop in prayer, breathing in His word, when doubts or frustrations rise. It’s about our focus. When we focus on what the world cannot see, we live free from the need for worldly success.
There is something freeing when we embrace being invisible. Being the best version of me is all that matters. I am the best version of me when I am focused on Him.