Alisa is a Coordinator for LeadHer Local Seattle. Her LeadHer story is a powerful reflection of how God is using LeadHer to transform lives and perspectives. Read Alisa’s story, in her own words.
“Every month at LeadHer I come face to face with a challenge from the LeadHer National teaching that propels me to step out of my comfort zone and move forward in how I live out my faith on a daily basis. Last month at LeadHer we received teaching on “Purpose in Pain”. This teaching led me down a journey of remembering when I have chosen to live camouflaged in my past and when I recently chose to live out my faith and beliefs authentically. Choosing to live authentically and vulnerably has dramatically affected my relationship with God and people. At last month’s LeadHer meeting I was challenged to steward my struggles well by sharing my pain, struggle, and hardships authentically and intentionally – even as they play out – and not just saving it for a “testimony” once it has been “properly” struggled through. From these thoughts I felt God nudging me to write this and out of a desire to live authentically I am sharing it with you.
There have been seasons of my life where I have struggled well. A well lived struggle for me is one that draws me nearer to God and the people in my life. It’s a struggle lived out loud and processed with others as the journey is shared and which also leads to discovering God’s provision and goodness amidst the pain and hardship. It’s a struggle I share with the people who walk with me. A well lived struggle is one in which I am continually redirected to God and his ways and it is one where I rest in God despite my circumstances. In that struggle I am refined and laid bare. Oh that all seasons of struggle would be well lived!
But, there is one very definite season that stands out in my mind, maybe because I lived it so recently, where I struggled so poorly that I lost sight of God and the people in my life. The season of struggle that I so poorly navigated was the result of intentionally isolating myself because I felt like such a failure at the very thing my heart had longed for most—motherhood. I was in the tail end of this season when I first encountered LeadHer. LeadHer provided me the platform to begin taking baby steps forward once again toward living in authenticity with God and the people in my life. And the season that I most vividly remember learning to struggle well in had been our long season of infertility and adoption which is actually where God provided the gift of my motherhood.
In this season of struggle I depended on God and lived authentically in community with close friends. And despite the pain and the struggle, I grew and loved God and pursued relationships and found encouragement to press on because I walked with God and my people authentically. And then, years later, I fell because I ran and hid away from others. I felt like such a failure at the one thing I had so longed for. God was still there, but I chose not to engage him with anything real because to do so was to look upon my heart and I was trying to avoid any pain. I built a camouflage around myself and hid, deeply guarding my pain and living in isolation. To struggle poorly for me was to live isolated from God and people and to sit in my circumstances just trying to hold ground.
When I began attending LeadHer meetings, I was given the tools to begin to reframe my thinking and allow God to shift my perspective. There are times when nothing about our circumstances has changed, but we can learn to live in them differently and freely because of a shift in perspective. That is what happened for me when first came to LeadHer. God has a way of pursuing our heart and calling us to live out our lives authentically in Him and for Him, and with the people He intentionally places in our lives.
Now I am again in a season of authentically living out my faith, intentionally sharing my struggle, and no longer attempting to camouflage myself to cover over my shame. This is a place of freedom! And one of the greatest joys I know is living authentically and intentionally and allowing God to propel me forward in my own marked race as I engage with my people, and in turn watching them run their races. Running my race well is all about a relationship with God and relationships with people and at the core of that is authenticity. LeadHer fills my cup in this way! I love running alongside my LeadHer sisters! I am so thankful for the people in my life willing to run authentically with me!”