Trust During Transition

Several years ago, former national WMU president Janet Hoffman sent me a little book by Robert J. Morgan entitled The Red Sea Rules: Ten God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times. Recently when I was preparing a devotion for a group of denominational leaders, I noticed the caption at the bottom of the front cover of the book: “The same God who led you in will lead you out.” Wow! What an important truth for me as I prepare to hand over the leadership of WMU to a new leader in the coming months.

I have prayed to know how to end well and transition well with all things in good order as the new leader arrives. This statement prompted me to pause and remember the journey God led me through as He called me to serve 16 years ago. I was reluctant, scared, and uncertain of my abilities to lead, but God ultimately demonstrated for me a most valuable lesson: whatever He called me to do He would be right there going ahead of me, with me, and coming behind me to make all things work for His good. I have seen Him do just that over and over during my years of service.

Three experiences stand out in my mind as critical times of decision-making:

1. One year into the job, our nation experienced 9/11 and the devastating loss of life and sense of security in our safety and finances. Like many others, we struggled to find our way through those days, but we saw the Lord provide just what we needed to keep our mission alive.

2. Five years later we experienced challenges within our convention related to our auxiliary status. We prayed for wisdom and clarity as we communicated our singular purpose of missions and equipping the church for greater involvement in the Great Commission task. I stood amazed when messengers in Greensboro, North Carolina, understood our message and voted in affirmation of who we are in WMU.

3. And then the 2009 stock market crash that impacted not only our financial resources but also those of the churches we serve. They faced many difficulties, including the resources to continue with missions education curriculum for their church members. Yet, the Lord was there leading us through and guiding me, in particular, as the leader all the way.

Reflecting on the challenges and being reminded of how God was at work through all of them brings me to a time of trusting Him again with this transition. I am trusting Him to guide the search committee to the person He has chosen to lead WMU into a bright future. I’m trusting Him to help me end well so I might hear His words of long ago, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I am trusting “the God who led me in to lead me out,” confident He has a plan for the rest of my journey. I hope you will join me in praying for this new leader, whoever she may be and for the plans God will reveal to her for WMU so future generations may hear His call to new life and service in His name.

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