Leadership is all about taking people on a journey. The challenge is that most of the time, we are asking people to follow us to places we ourselves have never been.
To get this going, I need you to step into my brain mid-thought. I know that’s a scary place for those who really know me, but trust me.
The irony of it all is the is I still feel like I am going to throw up. See this is my litmus test of whether I am following the will of God or following my own will. If I feel like there is NO physical way I can accomplish what I am seeing in my mind or hearing on my heart then my only option is to fully rely on God.
For the past 90 days I have been motivated by fear. Fear I would run Sparrow into the ground. Fear I started Sparrow for the wrong reasons. Fear that somehow I really had not received a calling. Fear Sparrow had run its course and it was time for me to tell people ‘thanks but no thanks’. Fear that no one else would have the drive and vision to carry on this good work.
The reason I feel pukey is not that I am prego but that I know it is time to hand over my baby. It is time for me to hand the reins of leadership over to next person God has called to lead Sparrow. I want to tell you that I have fervently studied Moses, Joshua, and Gideon and how they passed the legacy of their responsibility over to the next person but I would be lying. You can trust that I have prayed, pleaded, fretted, sought godly counsel, paced the floor of my house night after night, cried, prayed, eaten way too much chocolate to justify the angst but I keep coming to the same conclusion.
I was the right person to start this good work. And just has God has done for generation to generation He has chosen the next person to carry this work on to where He is leading. And that is where the fear always ends. Trusting God is who is says He is and that He will always do what He says He is going to do.
This has been the craziest journey I have ever been on. Any thought that Sparrow was just about providing housing for pregnant teens went out the window years ago. In every narcissistic value of the phrase, God used Sparrow to change me. To break my heart into a million pieces. To cling fervently to Him. To redefine who I thought I was. To redefine who I thought He was. It seems I am blessed to feel sick to my stomach everyday of my life if it means completely relying on my Heavenly Father.
God has given me intimate insights into the hearts of people I would have never known without Sparrow. He blessed me with slight peeks into how He speaks to us each so uniquely, each to how our hearts hear.
Most days Sparrow has felt like one continuous trust fall over the edge of the Grand Canyon. Maybe one or two times filled the adrenaline junkie in me. The other 1,460 days, well you guessed it, I felt like throwing up. Especially when God told me we were going to dive over the edge not just one time today but 5 or 6 times.
There are so many lessons I have learned but I think the biggest one is God truly uses the plain faced, the non-descript, the least likely to succeed, the easily forgotten, to accomplish what is needed to forward the kingdom.
I am a nobody. I have fought mediocrity my whole life. I am someone who wants the safety of obscurity but have found I have no choice but to be the voice for the voiceless. My spirit animal is a freaking llama. Yet somehow, time after time, I have stumble over my Yoda structure of speaking and I am forced to be an advocate for those others have discarded or given up on. I am a warrior with a perpetually angry heart but I am soft spoken. Again, the irony.
Somehow, God convinced each of you to follow me to follow Him.
As I look at the end of my full time work at The Sparrow’s Nest you can be assured the work will continue. The board is devoted. I am devoted. Our staff is devoted. Our volunteers are devoted. We will all continue to be obedient to the calling God has placed before us to protect the unborn, to encourage the broken hearted, to empower young women to seek Him first, to un-stuck the stuck.
Thank you for believing in me. But thank you more for continuing to believe in the mission of The Sparrow’s Nest. We are still a great start to a rough beginning.
You have done a glorious thing with Sparrow! I encourage you to step aside at this time. We are proud of you and we join you in letting God take care of the future.
Love Dad and Joyce