The Center for Leadership Excellence, in partnership with COSROW, is pleased to lift up the voices of women in ministry encouraging fellow women in ministry. Please enjoy this month’s Encouragement from Eunsoo Kang, Associate Pastor at Wrightsville UMC.
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November holds a special place in my heart, as it is the month of my birthday. However, last year, my birthday was not a day of joy but rather one steeped in tension and anxiety. I found myself mediating a heated debate among church members seeking disaffiliation in my former church. On a day meant to celebrate my existence and blessings, I felt my very purpose in life being questioned. Feeling discouraged, on the brink of despair, and lacking the strength to walk this calling path, my eyes caught a phrase inscribed on a birthday candle gifted by my cousin:
“For Eunsoo, the strongest person I know.” Me, strong? I doubted it. I felt anything but strong, uncertain about how to face a new day. Yet, in that moment, a scripture verse resonated gently yet powerfully within me.
Read Isaiah 41:10
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. (NRSV)
In our ministry, we often encounter challenges that can leave us feeling weak and overwhelmed. Ever had one of those moments where you felt like you just didn’t have enough strength, and then, surprisingly, you found this deep, unexpected resilience within you? Think about those times when God’s strength really shines in your life, especially when you’re feeling at your weakest.
Remember, our resilience and strength are not merely products of our abilities; they are a testament to God’s power working within us. God’s strength is not overbearing; it is compassionate, gentle, and imbued with gracious power. On our path of calling, when we stumble and get hurt, God does not rush us to stand and move forward. Instead, God tenderly cares for our wounds, providing support until we are ready to stand firmly again. Our resilience does not stem from our own power but from the enduring strength that God graciously imparts to us. So, if you find yourself stumbling today, it is completely okay. You all are still strong! This is because, in the place where God has called you, God will breathe new life and strength into you.
Journaling Exercise: Spend some time writing about a moment when you felt weak but were able to find strength. Reflect on how this strength might have been an embodiment of God’s power and grace in your life.
Community Support: Reach out to a clergy colleague or a member of your community who might be going through a challenging time. Share words of encouragement, much like the message on my birthday candle.
Center for Leadership Excellence and the Commission on the Status and Role of Women