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Leading Through Conflict, Crisis, and Change

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Knowing Yourself as a Christian Leader

Barbara Jackson

CHL-650 (CHL-0500) Leading Through Crisis, Conflict and Change

                                                       June 21,2017


Leading through Conflict, Crisis, and Change

As I think about what brought me to this place I can only reflect to the real beginning of the battle with Alcohol in my Life. I must begin by making clear that I have always been a Christian, and there was no doubt about that, although what kind of Christian was in question. My struggle included much conflict, the kind of conflict that put me and my family in a state of pure hell, Although I was a functioning alcoholic I was one all the same, and with this addiction came the loss of my values, I put a drink before I did my dignity at times. If I didn’t have money for a drink I would find a way to get it, yes there were times when I asked myself what I was doing, and then there were times when the blackouts started others to ask me why I did something and I had no idea what they were talking about. My kids would come home late and I would have forgotten that they had a practice that day. In my defense for the most part I did work, made sure my house was always clean and in order, and made sure the kids, meaning all seven of my grandkids, so you see The Master was always an active part of my life, I was an active member of a church for part of my addiction on and off and prayed for him to bring my drinking to an end. Just as soon as there was a reason I would drink again bringing arguments, disagreements and dysfunction into the household. I would realize what I had done to create the problems and then become depressed and beg God to forgive me, and help me to stop drinking. A never-ending battle that I had no idea how to end because I hadn’t given God a chance to save me from alcohol, I was just stuck. Now, I had no idea that what I was going through was the work of Satan, that he had taken over my mind. All my thoughts were an attack of the evil one. I was in a place that the more I struggled the deeper I got. Tony Evans refers to it as being in quicksand. That is how the evil one works and I know this now, but obviously it wasn’t time for me to know it then, because I was being tested for God’s plan, this realization has come to me since I have come out of my addiction to alcohol and coming more aware of God’s word and his purposes for His Kingdom. At the time I was going through, if I had taken the time to read Matthew11:28-29 NIV “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Who am I kidding? Satan had me so in bondage that I wasn’t even aware that he was controlling my whole life. I was a prisoner of the addictive behavior that I had become captured into, and without the knowledge of God’s word I felt trapped with no way out. My entire family had become enslaved to the enemy, and until I screamed out to God there was no way out. I don’t want you to think that I didn’t try myself to find out the reason I drank, did it run in my family? Yes, was it a cultural thing? Yes, in my environment, where I grew up that’s all they did, my first drink was at the age of ten, I took it from my uncle’s liquor cabinet, oh wait it was eight and it was Morgan Davis Wine at Christmas dinner. No one thought it was a problem or that it may run in our family. These questions are some that I asked myself to find a solution to my dilemma, but I was looking in the wrong direction. Scripture was my answer all along, I had been asking God to stop me from drinking, and come to find out there was much more involved that was needed before and after God delivered me from alcohol in my driveway all those years ago. You see I believe that my struggle with alcohol was the preamble to my calling, but God had to do much work on me to get me ready to serve Him. [1] McNeal states “God shapes the heart of the leader through the call.” Even though I was addicted to alcohol and had more problems than I could count on one hand, I had already been chosen and the evil one knew it. I was a work in progress and could feel it, I just hadn’t been in training long enough or was nearly mature enough to see what God’s plan was, and to be truthful I’m closer than I was but not quite sure of what is expected yet. McNeal, gives a hint of what to expect when he states in his book “[1] God’s part of the call dynamic is to initiate, guide, position, and intervene. The Leaders part to the call (meaning mine) is to hear, respond, search, and order or re-order life.”  Answering God’s call, I believe was what I did that day that He saved me, I made a commitment of life into God’s service when I begged him to save me and take the taste of alcohol from my mouth, that is when the work began , I had no idea who I was, what I thought, what it was to have a relationship, or how to pay bills on time or where the money was going to come from to help me to keep my grandkids, because you see I was in the driveway because I had been evicted and they were sitting the rest of my furniture on the curb.

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