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.

Share This:

Recent Stories

Swipe to Discover more

Keep Calm and Parent On: Back to School Edition

Aug 07, 2022

How can parents help their kids gear up for a great year ahead? By being intentional, we can be the life coaches our kids need to be successful, at school and in life.


How To Survive a High School Lock-In

Aug 03, 2022

What happens when a grown adult is voluntarily locked inside a space with a group of high schoolers for a whole night? Read more, here.


Surprised by Church: A Social Recluse's Journey

Jul 31, 2022

Like faith itself, our relationship with a faith community is a unique one that can shift over time. Read about one person's story of relating to—and being surprised by—the church.


Respite Nights Make a Difference

Jul 28, 2022

The Local Good Center and Chase Oaks Foster Care/Adoption Team are helping to meet huge and often-hidden needs in our own backyard. Read about how they are making a difference, here.


Two Essential Back-to-School Checklists

Jul 24, 2022

BACK TO SCHOOL. Whether those words prompt panic or joy, we all want to make this year a great one for the kids. Use the following two checklists (one for “checking off” and one for “checking in”) to make sure everyone is ready to go!


A Process for Making Wise Decisions

Jul 21, 2022

Great decision-making is a critical leadership skill. Chase Oaks Executive Pastor Jack Warren shares a simple, proven process for how to make wise decisions.


Discovering a Passion for Mental Health

Jul 17, 2022

Cindy Park's path has led her from personal counseling to pursuing a new career as a professional counselor. Read more about her journey and newfound passion for mental health, here.


5 Reflection Questions To End Each Day

Jul 10, 2022

How can we prioritize mental and emotional health more? One time-tested way: building a regular habit of self-reflection. Start by asking yourself these 5 simple questions at the end of each day.


How To Be an Influencer Who Leads Others

Jul 07, 2022

Being an "influencer" can mean many different things. Executive Pastor Jack Warren shares key steps for leaders to grow in the kind of influence that puts others first.


Seeking God Together at IF:Chase Oaks 2022

Jul 05, 2022

Life's never too busy for spiritual health! IF:Chase Oaks 2022 provided over 200+ women a welcome break to seek God and connection with others, together.