A Challenge I Didn’t See Coming

Posted by Jack Warren, Executive Pastor, on Jan 19, 2022

A Challenge I Didn’t See Coming

We don’t always see what is coming our way, both in life and in leadership.

Last month, I laid out an entire blog topic calendar for 2022 that was all about leadership choices. I had decided it was time to get serious about this blog and help people lead well. I think my plan might have eventually become a good book. But I didn’t see what was coming.

One week ago, we received the news that my beautiful wife Susy has cancer—myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells in the bone marrow.

The last few weeks before her diagnosis have been a roller coaster, health-wise. We have just had to accept the ride and hang on, not knowing which direction the next turn would go. Now, one week after receiving this news, we are finally home from the hospital. We’ve accomplished getting all the medications for treatment and going through the first chemo treatment. A meal train has been set up by loving friends. And more than ever, we are unsure what is ahead of us.

Back on January 2, I spoke at our church and said, “No matter what comes our way in 2022, God will be with us.” Why? Because it is true. Yet I had no idea we would need to lean on that so much, so soon.

Bluntly, I am scared and panicked and confused. I know some people may not want to hear that from a pastor. But as much as I strive to be strong and courageous (and sometimes I am), I also want to be honest about where I am in this moment.

I can’t begin to explain all the thoughts and emotions of the last few weeks, but I can say that my wife is strong and tough, and she will be loved and supported by me, our girls, dear friends, our church, and others that we will meet on this journey.

So, I find myself faced with multiple leadership challenges right now: being the best husband I can be, leading myself well, and engaging in leading church staff again.

I know that countless people are dealing with similar, hard circumstances. I am sure you have your own leadership challenges, whether they involve leading yourself well, or leading others well, or caring for a loved one.

For now, let’s support one another and seek to face these challenges together. My intent is to be helpful, so I will try not to make it just about Jack and Susy. I will try to make it about all of us. (You may be disappointed in me at times, but the sooner we accept that, the sooner we can lean on God and help each other to lead well.)

I will be sharing more in future posts about the leadership choices we all face. I invite you to share this blog with others if you think it will be helpful. And I invite you to join me in a commitment to lead well, no matter what comes our way.

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