My name is Rita Spruce and this is My LeadHer Story: When my husband retired about six years ago, we moved back to our home state of Texas. Previously, we had moved on average of every three years for over twenty-three years. I loved the travel and the adventures but I was ready for something more rooted and permanent. Although we were coming back to a familiar place, our closest family members were now gone and we found ourselves starting over once again in a new community. This new life quickly proved to be different from the rosy future I had envisioned.
The earliest years of beginning again were fraught with financial losses, sickness, and failure. I was bewildered and angry to find myself in the wilderness rather than the Promised Land. Thankfully, I wasn’t alone.”Therefore, I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.” Hosea 2:14. My wilderness experience was not a place of punishment; it was a place of privacy, a place where God demonstrated His love for me.
Old hurts were healed. Faulty thinking and sinful attitudes were washed away and replaced with Truth as I desperately sought to be in His presence. Troubled times transformed into a door of hope when I came to realize the purpose of the wilderness: it was the place where God was restored to His rightful place on the throne of my heart. In relinquishing, I was restored. “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19
My introduction to LeadHer was when a friend invited me to a chapter Christmas party. I was drawn in by the acceptance I felt from this group. Later, when I joined the LeadHer DFW chapter I entered wrestling with a call on my life to step up into a ministry leadership role alongside my husband. This assignment felt too difficult for me to accomplish. I felt under-qualified, under-equipped, and I just wanted to run and hide, but over time, as I attended the LeadHer chapter meetings I began to see the possibility of how I could fulfill my calling. It was in the discovery of the gifts that God had given me that I grew in confidence to serve and lead within my gifting.
LeadHer made two very important contributions to my life: confidence and connection. In January 2014, we kicked off Boot Camp: Getting in Shape to Serve by clarifying our spiritual gifts, passions, and talents. It was in the discovery of the gifts that God had given me that I grew in confidence to serve and lead within my gifting. The things that I labeled quirky about myself, God defined as unique and necessary for my life’s calling. It was exciting to understand my purpose and design. I also discovered that while I may doubt myself and my abilities, God has complete confidence in me. With Him anything is possible.
The second contribution is the friendship connection. I didn’t have many friends in the wilderness. After all, who wants to hang out there? At our chapter meetings though, I found a spiritual family, a safe place. I was surrounded by a strong group of godly women who loved me prophetically, that is, they saw potential in me and loved it out of me. Love is the greatest motivator of all. I couldn’t help but smile when I read Hosea 2:14 again. Did you catch it, too?
“I will lead her…” LeadHer.
God lead me to LeadHer in one of the lowest times in my life. Then He made a pathway in the wilderness guiding me out of defeat to affirm and equip me as a LeadHer.