I was born a leader. As the oldest of three children growing up in a family of strong-willed Christian women, I don’t see how it could have turned out any other way. It was not until my senior year of high school that I recognized that God had called me to leadership.
In the eighth grade, I was voted president of the student body and you think that would have clued me in to this reality. Sure, I ran a nice campaign and took on additional responsibilities at school, but I didn’t understand why the teachers, counselors, and administrators held me to a higher standard. I was never allowed to make the same mistakes that other kids made and when I did, my chastisement was quite painful and public. (I recall getting a spanking from my second grade teacher in front of the entire class for lying about writing this guy a love letter. What was I thinking?)
My peers voted and again I stood as Student Body President to represent them during my senior year of high school. That was a very special time in my life. I was given the opportunity to administer meetings, lead projects, build teams, and lobby the administrators and local community leaders. I could motivate people to work together and achieve the desired results. Most importantly, I cared about my classmates, my school, and my community. There is so much more to this story, but long before I knew it, God was training me for service.
His calling on my life led to my attending the United States Naval Academy (USNA). The mission of USNA is to graduate leaders, and I am a product of that institution. The majority of my learning and character building did not take place in the classroom; however, my life was changed in fellowship, Bible study, worship and prayer with other Christians that I met while in college. During that time, God provided me a Godly woman mentor (or my “Titus 2 Woman” as I often refer to her) and other wonderful examples of what it means to be a Christian leader. God used me in that capacity to mentor, counsel, befriend, and train other young ladies attending the male dominated institution.
The leadership journey continued as I humbly served six years as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. Those years were filled with tough lessons about faith, endurance, and love. I continue to walk the narrow road that God has put before me, and I love walking along side women and men who are passionate about the Gospel of Jesus.
So you see, I have had wonderful opportunities to learn and people have supported and encouraged me along the way. The question as to whether or not I can be a woman and a leader has never been asked of me directly. Most of the people that God has placed in my life assume that I can, and I am encouraged to focus on Jesus as my best example of a servant leader.
I am finding, however, that many women have not had the same opportunities, education, nurturing, and mentoring to support their leadership abilities. Therefore, I am providing an opportunity for you to share and connect here. Look for leadership and mentoring topics on Wednesdays.
I am excited to have you join me on this journey. At times it can be challenging, risky, and downright hard. But, I stand confident in this, “that he who began a good work in [me and you] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). Amen.
Let’s start here: What has been your most important leadership lesson to date? Any words of encouragement for women who lead are also welcomed.
© Natasha L. Robinson 2010
6 thoughts on “This Woman’s Call to Leadership”
My most important lesson, hands-down, is God’s call of complete and immediate obedience. Hard one to learn! Still learning, for sure….
…And you haven’t stopped yet. Thank you for encouraging and inspiring me. Just recently, I stopped to think back on my path to where I am now. I can see small projects that I have done that should have suggested to me that God has something bigger planned for me.. But, I didn’t realize it then. I am blessed to have a strong Christian circle as well. I never would have thought that I would be a leader. In fact, I describe myself as a follower as I was maturing into the young lady that I am now. I can remember when I joined the Cross Country team in high school because a best friend (uhm, no names…) did it. I knew that I was not a runner but that same friend always seems to bring out the best in me. Nevertheless, I am noticing that I am becoming a leader. This is big for me. There are a few habits I have to break, but I believe God is setting me up for success to continue to give him glory. To quote an intelligent woman at the Words of the most high, I am excited to have you join me on this journey. At times it can be challenging, risky, and downright hard. But, I stand confident in this, “that he who began a good work in [me and you] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). Amen.
Best leadership lesson? Sometimes one has to stand alone, set boundaries, and stand up for God’s truth even if she is terribly outnumbered. I’m still learning this one, by God’s grace.
You are right Suzanne. I realized this more with my ministry. But I read something today in “Purpose DrivenYouth Ministry” to help.
“…God has chosen to use his people to help consummate his plan for salvation. Jesus’ last words reminds us that we are called to be his witness (Acts 1:8)
I am and/or have learned these same tough lessons indeed. Thanks for sharing and being transparent ladies. I will definitely try to work with these and elaborate in future postings. Blessings, Natasha