As I’m wrapping up my first month of squad leading, I’m reflecting on ways that my awe of the Father has increased during this time. Out of the entire month, my first few hours of squad leading brought me to a place of deeper trust and dependence of the Lord than I ever could have foreseen.
Our first travel day(s) was scheduled to look like this:
Flight from Atlanta, GA to Los Angeles, CA
Flight from Los Angeles, CA to Guangzhou, China
Flight from Guangzhou, China to Manila, Philippines
Add in a couple 10+ hour layovers between flights, and there you have it; ATL to Manila.
Then, buses/taxis/ferrys/flights from Manila to various cities throughout Philippines for N Squad’s first month of ministry.
My co-leaders and I had already prayed about and planned on the timeline of when we would be visiting teams for the month, and also for specific and intentional conversations we wanted to have with racers during our long travel.
I like plans.
And I’m learning more and more that I need to hold them with open hands.
Towards the beginning of our 15 hour flight from LA to China, one of our racers became ill. Quite ill. And as time passed, my co-leaders and I realized that medical attention would need to be sought as soon as we were out of the air.
Prayers and plan changes galore took place during the remaining hours of that long flight to China. Our conclusion: My two co-leaders would stay with this racer in China and get medical help, while I continued with the squad to the Philippines.
Read: As my co-leaders tended to a medical emergency in a country that THEY’D never set foot in before, I would be leading a group of over 50 people, to a country I’D never set foot in before…without them.
To say I hit the ground running with this whole squad leading endeavor feels like an understatement.
After the plane landed and the hurried exchange between my co-leaders and I of “see-you-later/I’m praying/call-me-as-soon-as-you-get-a-local-SIM-card,” I realized I felt quite overwhelmed and I didn’t think I was the right woman for this job at ALL.
And, as I sought the Lord’s peace in the flurry of my thoughts, He confirmed that it was indeed impossible for me to lead and have peace. By myself, that is.
And He promised He would never leave me alone.
As I gazed through the tall windows of the Guangzhou airport terminal, God used the airplanes I spied upon to show me a picture of what my season of squad leading would be like:
Just as flight is impossible for me without being surrounded and sustained by a machine designed to fly, peace and rest and trust – and leading from these attributes – are impossible without being surrounded and sustained by the One who embodies these traits; my Jesus.
By the grace of God, I was able to have all of the conversations my co-leaders and I planned on during that layover in China and I was able to safely see all the teams off to their various ministry hosts once we arrived in Manila with no further snags.
I walked into my first month of squad leading with a precious awareness of the Father surrounding and sustaining me.
And I realized that, sometimes, all I have to do is buckle up and enjoy the ride.
From my heart,
PS – the cryptically mentioned racer is full of health again, and rejoined the squad in the Philippines – along with my co-leaders – after a few days in China. Hallelujah. He is faithful.