Coffee Talk: Maintaining Emotional Strength in Leadership with Wendy Blight

Today’s Coffee of Choice: Starbucks Blonde Willow Blend

Today’s Scripture: You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You. – Isaiah 26:3, AMP

I first encountered today’s guest during a Proverbs 31 online bible study with Melissa Taylor. As part of the study, all of the participants who purchased a book directly from Proverbs 31 Ministries received an autographed copy. This was before I was involved with Proverbs 31 in any way. I just happened to stumble upon Melissa Taylor’s site in a time when I couldn’t commit to any Bible studies through my local church. The book, Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story, arrived with the author’s signature and a Scripture which became so meaningful to me at that time of my life. I found out later that Wendy Blight, the author, had prayed over each book sent out as she signed them.

As I’ve gotten to know Wendy better, I’ve discovered her to be one of the sweetest, most sincere Christian leaders I’ve met in a long time. Her heart to lead women to the feet of Christ is one I admire. She facilitates a very successful small group ministry in her home church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and, because of her heart to lead women and her powerful story of survival, has been featured on Oprah Radio, The 700 Club, Family Life Today with Dr. Dennis Rainey, Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. Her book details her journey from fear to freedom and offers a step-by-step Scriptural path to physical, spiritual, and emotional wholeness. Along with being a writer, Wendy is on staff with Proverbs 31 as a speaker. She is also a wife, a mom, and, a former Texas lawyer. (If practicing law in Dallas, Texas doesn’t command respect, I don’t know what would!) I have asked her to share about an aspect of one of the “Five C’s of Leadership” I am always interested in: maintaining emotional strength while leading with character.

Wendy, thank you so much for being here with us today. Your perseverance and heart to reach out to women is such an example to me. I know you have learned a lot about what it means to have strength in leadership, particularly emotional strength, and I want to talk about that today. Let’s start off our discussion by talking about the difficulties involved with this. What do you see as the single most difficult emotional aspect of being a Christian leader?
So much of ministry is a blessing, but I do experience times of great weariness. The time I invest in writing as well as studying, praying for Bible studies, and ministry planning takes much out of me mentally, physically and spiritually. But God is so faithful. He always provides encouragement and rest through His Word and through precious friends He has stationed around me to be my Aaron and hold me close in prayer.

When you are discouraged and still have to follow through on leadership responsibilities, how do you push through to accomplish everything those you lead depend on you for?
Spending time in God’s Word and in prayer is vital. Calling upon godly friends to pray alongside me is also essential in this process. There is no better way to overcome discouragement. When women are counting on you, when deadlines are looming, you need a “sure thing.” Prayer and “the Word” are always a “sure thing!”

I love your focus on prayer and Scripture! I’m sure you have seen many benefits of maintaining these priorities. What have you found to be the most rewarding aspect of Christian leadership?
Investing in women’s lives for eternity! My single most favorite part of leadership is raising up leaders to walk alongside me so that together we work as a team to bring God’s living and active word to broken and hurting women. This is one of my favorite things about being a part of Proverbs 31 Ministries. I love the incredible stories of transformation that come from these relationships. There is no greater joy!

I agree with you, Wendy. Seeing women’s lives transformed from darkness and brokenness into what they were really meant to be is one of my favorite things to witness also! How have you been able to use personal emotional victories to enhance these vital relationships with the women you lead?
Sharing stories of God’s great provision is one way I use these victories. For a leader to know she is not alone helps her get through difficult times and emotional lows. Hearing how God brought someone else through gives just the encouragement a leader needs. Although it is not related to my “emotional victories,” I feel the time I spend every week in prayer for the women I lead definitely enhances our relationship and encourages them in their role as a leader.

Wendy, I appreciate you taking a few moments of your time to share your perspective with us. I keep your book on hand when I need to brush up on my own “emotional strength,” and I also like to bless others with it as well.

If you are interested in receiving a copy of Wendy’s book, Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story, please comment on this blog. I will give away one copy to everyone who comments by midnight of 1/31/13. Please make sure you include a valid way of reaching you so I can get you the book. I will not use your information for anything other than this giveaway. Thanks for reading my blog, and God bless you!

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28 thoughts on “Coffee Talk: Maintaining Emotional Strength in Leadership with Wendy Blight

  1. Thank you so much for inviting me to be part of this series and for the kind words you shared about me. You are a gifted writer and interviewer. Getting to know you has been such a blessing. You have a beautiful servant’s heart and are such a model of servanthood for me. I pray that leaders who stop by find great encouragement knowing they are not alone in this calling called leadership! Thank you, again, Suzanne. May God continue to bless and establish the work of you hands as you serve Him in ministry.

    In Christ,

    Wendy

    • Thank you so much, Wendy! Your comments are much appreciated! 🙂 I hope I’ll be able to give away some copies of your book by the end of the day!

      • When I have to minister when things r going all wrong Gods Grace kicks in. Scripture says that our gifts and callings are irrevocable. That gift of ministry annoints me to do what I need to do and makes me forget all my mess. My emotions need to hush and allow my spirit to take over. 🙂

  2. I saw your post on She Facebooks and have enjoyed my visit here – to this post and the ones that follow! I too appreciate Wendy and the message God has given her! I love the words she shares about her praying friends being her Aaorn…something we all need! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Thank you so much for stopping by, Jill! It’s so true that we all need others to hold us up in prayer as we live the life God has called us to. I look forward to sending you Wendy’s book!

  3. I saw your post on Face book and found it intersting. I love the blog and was wondering what the Project Pen Pal was. If you could please explain on here or on the She Face Books page that would be awesome.

    • I’m so glad you love my blog, Jeanie! I work hard to provide relevant content for those that stumble on my corner of cyberspace (mainly writers and leaders). My page “Project Pen Pal” is actually part of a new non-profit that’s forming called Messages of Hope. It’s in the very beginning stages, and I use the page as correspondence with those who are helping to establish it. In the future, it will be used as a private page for those I’ll personally correspond with through the program. You can find more information on the Messages of Hope blog (www.mohope.org) in the very near future. We also have a Facebook page. (Again, this is very new.)

    • You’re so welcome, Kristen! Did you do the one with Melissa Taylor, or the one Wendy led personally? I’m so glad you were blessed by it!

      • I did wendys personal study called so that. I have not read her book though and would love to receive a copy. I am a small group leader in Melissa’s online studies but I came in after she did they study on Wendy’s book. I look toward to reading it for sure! It sounds amazing!
        Love and blessings!

      • Hello Wendy,

        I did your living so that study and I have done I used to be so organized, Unglued, and Greater studies so far with Melissa. I am getting ready to do the Let. it. Go study. I cannot wait to read your book! And I absolutely loved your Living so that study…AMAZING!

  4. I’ve been reading the Bible every day since the beginning of the year. With every passing day, I’m thirty for more of God’s Word. This time has shown me the importance of trusting the Lord, particularly with my unemployment. I enjoyed reading Wendy’s interview, thank you. God bless!

    • I’ll be praying for you in this difficult time, Bree. I’m so glad you have been digging into God’s Word. You can count on the Lord’s faithfulness to provide, and reading His promises is one of the best things you can do with your time. Jeremiah 29:11 says (and you may have stumbled on this one already) “For I know the plans I have for you” — this is the LORD’S declaration — “plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” It is my prayer that the provision and peace you need in your life during this season would happen and happen quickly! 🙂

    • What a delight to hear you say you are thirsty for more of God’s Word. That is THE best place to be. I pray He will meet you in a very real and personal way and take take you to a deeper place with Him in His Word.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  5. I think you stated it perfectly that Wendy “leads women to the feet of Christ”. Many wonderful women lead other women to the thoughts and words of Christ but sitting at his feet is where I am personally transformed. I am so grateful for women who can lead me there. Blessings!

  6. Struggling with depression for most of my life. I try to pray and hope in God but doubt and lack of trust creep in. I have flip flopped in my relationship with God. I get so discouraged that I will ever get it together.

    Prayers requested.

    • Lord, I lift up this woman to you right now. I pray that your peace, strength, and joy would overwhelm her and lift her out of the struggle she is going through. Surround her with friends and people who can encourage her and help her to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you created her for a wonderful purpose. I ask all of these things in Jesus’ name, amen.

      “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

    • I think I can relate to what you were talking about. I have felt the same way. You have this big faith lift in God then when one thing drops everything you had held so dear just dropped as well. I had the same thing happen and felt like I could not get out of the depression that I was in, but I did get out. I am praising God for getting me out because I knew it was only him. Will be praying for you. Blessings,Jeanie

    • Irene, I join Suzanne in praying for you. I pray the Lord will SHINE the LIGHT of HIS LOVE and HIS JOY into your heart…may HIS LIGHT penetrate in such a powerful way that it removes every bit of darkness and depression that has crept its way into your heart and mind. Remember, in Christ, THERE IS NO DARKNESS AT ALL. Tell the devil HE MUST FLEE in the name of JESUS!! And, Irene, He MUST. Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. God is your JOY and your PEACE and your STRENGTH. Live confidently in these truths!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  7. Pingback: Coffee and a Wisdom Wrap | Spoonfuls of Grace

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