Leading in Weakness: Don’t Think It Can’t Be Done

Jan 22, 2014

“There is a fine balance between presenting to You all my weakness and thinking it can’t be done.” ~Joni Eareckson Tada

Disability. Deformity. Two words I feared that could change the course of my life forever.

Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and related inflammatory diseases more than 20 years ago, I wondered what I would do when disease progression and its resulting disability and deformity made it impossible for me to work a “normal” job outside my home. You know, the kind with 401K retirement plans and paid vacation and sick days.

Would I, overcome by grief, go off the deep end? Would I become a prisoner in my home, cut off from meaningful relationships and work?

Well, the day came, and it’s not that bad. In fact, I’ve never been happier.

No, I’m not a glutton for punishment. Nor am I a martyr.

I’m a realist, and the reality is simply this. As long as I have breath in my body, God intends to move in and through me to extend His kingdom. Period.

While it will vary from person to person and perhaps from day to day, purpose trumps pain any day of the week.

Here’s what I mean.

Suffering and Serving–What It Looks Like for Me

After walking away from the corporate world, I am free to pursue my purpose and passions wholeheartedly, which for me means devoting my days to coaching, mentoring, and writing, spending time in meaningful conversations with friends, and focusing on good self-care.

From the quiet of my home, I meet daily with leaders and clients in the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Siberia, and around the world. Our conversations challenge me both spiritually and intellectually and I derive great satisfaction from knowing that, through the Spirit of God, I am changing lives around the world.

Because most of the people I work with are leaders, they in turn touch hundreds—maybe even thousands—of people around the world. Change in a leader’s life always trickles down.

And the best part about it? In the midst of it all, the peace and rest that fills my heart spills over into the people that I meet, the conversations I have, and the tasks I put my hand to.

Do I wish I were whole? Of course! But despite my broken body, I am having the time of my life.

What about you?

Additional Resources

For an example of what God can do through a body that is broken but a heart that is His, check out this inspiring video, featuring Joni Eareckson Tada.

You might also enjoy the January 2014 issue of Leadership Journal, Fit to Lead: Ministry Health Lost and Regained.