HIGHER THINKING BLOG
The Unplanned Life By Andrea Leigh Capuyan
Stewarding an Unplanned Life
2019 is proving to be a year of the unexpected and unplanned for me as well as for many friends I know. Quite frankly, it’s been hard, exhausting, and confounding. Perhaps you are in the same boat. The truth is when I pause and reflect on the past, every season of life was dotted with circumstances which are unplanned, unintended, and most definitely, unwanted. And these words are not unknown to me. Since I serve at a local pregnancy resource center, you could say I am in the business of unintended consequences. And I’ve learned when faced with uncertainty human beings tend to either be paralyzed by fear or distracted from reality.
For those of us who are entrusted with others to lead, distractions and paralysis quench our soul’s thirst for God and cripple our leadership. We are derailed as stewards, becoming impaired in our attempts to care for others. The temptation becomes like that of the steward who out of fear buried his talents. We hide. Our temptation becomes to stuff everything down, compartmentalize, and move on. What if we chose to move toward what is unknown and unwanted instead of choosing to move on? What will happen if we allow ourselves to walk towards uncertainty?
We are not alone in these troubling moments. Scripture is replete with stories of others who understand our dilemma and can offer us different choices. Hope and security. If we will pause and learn from them.
- The Canaanite mother who was relentless in her request to Jesus to heal her daughter. Even in the face of a rebuff, she persisted because she knew He was her only hope.
- Hagar who is on the run from Abraham and Sarah and meets God in dessert, in her time of desperation. She finds the strength to face the hardest challenges because she encounters “the God who sees me.”
- Hannah anguishes before God – her longings of motherhood poured out in her pleadings before Him. God hears. God gives. A son. A son who would be a priest and a prophet. A son who would be given away.
- Mary, a young unassuming girl without fame or power, is chosen for a most scandalous journey, a journey filled with joy and sorrow. This woman who bears God’s Son, “disqualified” by circumstances, yet found worthy by God.
These women are beacons for us. They are clothed in persistence, courage, sacrifice, and acceptance. Their lives are upended even tragic. Yet, they do not withdraw. They move toward God. The One who is all mysterious. They choose to wrestle with Him. To be puzzled by Him. To lament before Him. They choose Him.
Today, tomorrow, next week, or next month circumstances arise which will stump us, perhaps undo us. We can resign ourselves with dogged determination to ‘white-knuckle’ our way past everything that is uncomfortable to a place of predictability. Our leadership can become an exercise in dissecting, diagnosing, evaluating, planning, searching for the next greatest tool to keep us in control. We can formulate a strategy filled with a checklist of “doing” everything in our power to move past what is unwanted. That’s not the path God’s entrusts to stewards.
Ours is a life of risk, embracing the unexpected, and welcoming the wrestling. Stewards live all in. Here in your pain and puzzling, do not withdraw. Choose to move toward our mysterious God. Choose cultivation. He cares less about changing our circumstances and cares more about changing us. Let Him. Choose persistence, courage, sacrifice, and acceptance. For what we cannot see, He sees. For what we cannot know, He knows. Regardless, of what tomorrow brings, nothing that touches us can stop His great plan.
Andrea Leigh Capuyan, CCNL, CNAP, is the Executive Director of the Laurel Pregnancy Center in Laurel, Maryland. She is cares about leadership development and organizational culture within the small nonprofit ministry setting. She is passionate about encouraging fellow women in their roles as leaders. Defining our identity as a steward of God informs her perspective on everything – faith, leadership and spiritual transformation.
Summer Term 2019 – Open for Enrollment
This term Christian Leadership Alliance is offering courses that will enable you to meet requirements for two of its premiere programs, the Credentialed Christian Nonprofit Leader (CCNL) and the Outcomes Leadership Core (OLC). Now is a prefect time to get started on either one or both of these leadership programs!
Registration Deadline: June 17, 2019
Modules Begin: June 24, 2019
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Christian Leadership Alliance equips and unites leaders to transform the world for Christ. We are the leaders of Christ-centered organizations who are dedicated to faithful stewardship for greater kingdom impact.