For the first several years after finishing law school, I felt like I was running into a brick wall in my career. I was working with a large law firm here on the Gulf Coast defending insurance companies. I felt like there was something more I wanted and needed to be doing. It was very frustrating and extremely stressful going to work each day wondering what it was I was missing. Filled with anxiety, I wanted so badly to bust through the brick wall and move forward to something better – something I was meant to be doing.
I have always wanted to make a positive difference in my state and community. I have always had a servant’s heart which has always pushed me to step up and step out.
After attending the sermon series titled Imagine If in the summer of 2018 (which I encourage everyone to watch if you haven’t), I began giving more thought to doing more with my desire to serve.
Within a month of the series (and after much prayer), I decided to run for the Mississippi State Senate. With much hard work and help from my family and friends, I was successful. Then came the next big question: “Now what?”
For the first time, I began praying regularly for God to put me in positions where I could lead. I asked Him to specifically put me in tough positions where difficult decisions needed to be made. I asked Him to grant me the wisdom, knowledge, and strength to do the right thing.
As He tends to do, God answered these prayers in a BIG way. During my first legislative session, we faced tough questions involving COVID-19, the Mississippi State flag, an extended legislative session, and many others. It didn’t stop in 2020, and I didn’t stop saying the same prayer. As a reminder, I keep this Bible verse on my desk in the Senate chamber: Isaiah 6:8.
I constantly remind myself that I asked God to help me step into my new role so I could lead. And even though I knew it would cause stress and require a lot of demanding work, I know I can make the biggest positive difference in tough situations.
My new role as a leader has certainly come with new challenges and added stress. That is to be expected. If we ask God to put us into positions where we can do our best and make a difference, we have to be ready to accept the challenge. We cannot pick and choose when God will use us, nor should we try to sit any of the big moments out after we’ve asked to be placed there.
This is where I have learned to recall what the Bible tells us to do when we are feeling stressed. As the psalmist tells us in Psalm 55:22, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Likewise, in Philippians 4:6-7 Paul instructs, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
In challenging situations, the best thing to do is pray and give it to God. We ask God to take the burden off us and guide us through the situations He has put us in. He will give us peace and He will always help.
Finally, those of us that find ourselves in leadership roles or positions (whether in our community, our job, or our family) need to share our faith with others. God has put us in important roles and positions so we can do good by Him. We asked Him to take our stress from us, guide us, and give us strength and wisdom. What better way to serve Him in these positions and to thank Him than to share our faith with others along the way?
Sharing my testimony with others has always been difficult for me because my faith is something I hold intimate and close to my heart. I also worry that being in politics, my worldly actions and beliefs may be used by some as an excuse to not be a Christian. I worry someone may disagree with one of my political stances or positions and (knowing I am a Christian) choose not to seek Christ for that reason. I must be better about this. So, writing this blog entry is one step towards doing better. In helping us and using us, God will also put us in positions to share our faith with those who need to hear His message.
I hope this blog entry helps other leaders learn from my situation. Lastly, to encourage you as you step out in faith, move through that challenging situation, or share your faith, remember the promise God made us in Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; don’t be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”