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  1. One of my greatest challenges is nurturing friendships with those who are my closet friends and setting boundaries with those who befriend me simply because of my position. It’s normally an unconscious decision on their part, but the friendship quickly turns to me “leading” and counseling. My dearest friends truly sharpen my iron. And that is so needed for leaders.

    • Rose, I was going to post almost the exact same struggle. My heart longs for deeper friendship, to know and be known, beyond position, circumstance, and benefit. May God supply all that you are seeking, in Him and through others.

    • As one who is seeking to minister to those who minister, I face this challenge too, but from the other side. I can see how lonely being a leader in ministry can be, and yet how do I best befriend a lady in a leadership position? Often I am held at a distance, even when I try want to encourage her and provide a place for her to be more “real”. I understand this completely, but it sometimes is frustrating too.

    • I’m battled that one repeatedly as well Rose. Isolation is one of the most common questions we get at Leading and Loving It. Leadership can be a lonely place. Praying for you as you build relationships.

  2. Thank you for sharing, it is often hard to see/remember the goodness of God through our struggles, but He is there and He loves us.
    My biggest challenge I face in any type of leadership role is remembering that ‘my way’ is not always the right way. I am often so focused on the task at hand that I cannot see other’s gifts and contributions as part of the whole. It is important to acknowledge and use the gifts others possess, as God uses all of us and our gifts. 🙂

  3. A challenge I’ve faced in leadership is consistency. People can be so energetic and behind their choice, but when the rubber meets the road, back out. I don’t know how to keep people motivated without feeling resentful. That’s really hard.

    • Hi Kaye… Hope you’re doing well!!! Think of you often every time I see the sweet gift you made us. 😉

  4. Interesting – I am leading a small group of women by myself for the first time, and I’m using Pete Wilson’s (Brandi’s husband) Plan B DVD study! Talk about leading and loving it! My challenge, though, is to be ready and feel able to bridge the gap between the study and these women, as next week we will begin to really share our hearts and struggles as we get honest about the Plan B’s God has allowed into our lives. I fear that I won’t have answers for pain that may be expressed- but I know and must remember that God has the answers, not me. I am anxious to read this book because I believe it will help me on my wonderful new journey as a leader.

    • Hope you enjoy Plan B…

      I think often people don’t need answers, they need validation to what they are feeling. They need to know they are heard. You’re going to do an amazing job Beth!!

    • Beth,

      Often times women just need a listening ear. They don’t expect answers–just people to listen and understand them.

      God will be there and assist you in all you do!

      Blessings!

  5. Thank you for sharing. Sometimes one of my biggest challenges is to just let go……be obedient to what God has called me to do and then trust Him with the outcome.

  6. This really spoke to me this morning, thank you!! I, too, was a leader… then I was struck with chronic illness and disability. I struggled for a long time with how to fit into God’s service in ANY way, and it never occurred to me that I could still lead. Then Jesus reminded me that the servants are the true leaders, and I knew that I was going to be ok, after all. Now I serve in whatever small ways God reveals to me, and I am feeling so blessed that He still has use for me in His kingdom. And on days when the going is tougher than others, I do try to draw closer to Him still! Thank you for this reminder this morning that I matter to Him, whether I “feel” it all the time or not.

  7. oh, how I needed to hear this message today. A reminder that God isn’t only with us in the God times – but He is with us in the middle of a mess, He is with us in the lonely times. He is our Emmanuel – God is with man (God is with me!).

    Thank you!

  8. There are often challenging times in ministry leadership. I went through a tough time this past spring, in fact, when I was doing too much in our women’s ministry organization. I would step in for short-term opportunities that turned into longer time frames, and I would not ever say “no” to the smallest task. After a while, ten weekly small tasks turn into hours of time and lots of stress. I am learning to lean on the Lord and do that which He has called me–not just everything I am able to do.

  9. One of my challenges in leadership is maintaining balance. I spend a lot of time in preparing for my small group: praying, journaling, bible study time,
    teaching, service, outreach, that I must remember my ministry to my husband, my son, as well as my aging parents. I also have to nurture myself so that I can be ready to serve the Lord “full” and not when I am empty. Somewhere along the way it’s probably a good idea to get rid of the cobwebs taking up space in the corners of our house too!

  10. Thank you for sharing this. I have started leading a Griefshare small group for women dealing with the loss of a loved one. I too lost my 25 year old brother a year ago Sept 7th to a tragic accident. Leading this group and encouraging this precious group of ladies is the “gift” He has given me. It hurts however to see ladies come who made that step to attend, but won’t attempt the exercises or seem as if they truly want to heal from their grief. I pray for the strength and words to express to these ladies that they will be convicted to draw nearer to God and strengthen their relationship spiritually.

  11. I was picked to be our Women’s Ministry leader in our church by some of the other leaders, and I had good ideas for devotions. (I say good, because I truley believe they came from God). Only problem is I can’t speak in front of people. I felt like it was the wrong calling because I started having anxiety over it, so I decided to go to God in prayer about it and please Him, not man. I stepped down after a few months and we now have who we should have had.

  12. I have been retired from ministry for 2 years now. How odd that sounds… does one really retire from the work of God? No, not really; I just minister in a different way. I retired because of an unethical way the senior leadership handled a situation which left people incredibly hurt. My challenge has been to forgive and trust again. The church is a hurting place, filled with hurting people who all need the comfort and support of one another. It needs to see God at work and not within their confined boxes. I love the Lord and I love the church, yet I have been unable to engage again. Your post today has lifted my heart and my spirit. Thank you for reaching out and sharing with us all.

  13. Thank you so much for sharing this, it has truly blessed me in many ways today! I needed this, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for me to read.

  14. I have problems sometimes knowing when to say something and when to back off.I try to help in the background.

  15. I want to lead but get caught up in the very little things and somehow it never gets off
    the ground. There are many oppurtunities for me to lead and I feel uour book, if it is anything like your post could help me get there. I am very grateful and blessed to have received this bit of encouragement from you. Thank you and God bless

  16. I love our Women’s Ministry team, and the way God put it together. Recently, when there was a conflict in the group, the resolution process brought about raw honesty from one involved, that was such a breakthrough. I’m so grateful to the Holy Spirit, that He guided this problem solving and that they didn’t hold grudges or have Unforgiveness. Awesome women to work with!

  17. Just love this post! It really resonates with me. I think the most difficult thing to do is lead and encourage others to continue seeking hard after God when I myself am struggling. Over five years ago, as my dad battled cancer (and after that as I struggled with sorting out why God would let him die), it was difficult to encourage others. I found that honest conversation was my friend: with God and with others. It was o.k. to say I was still struggling. Sometimes it was even helpful. We know NO ONE has it ALL together. It’s good to hear those we look up to say it sometimes. Thank you for the reminder that God is with us in the good and the bad; always!

  18. My biggest challenge in leadership currently is exhaustion. Pulled in so many directions, I am fighting to find Sabbath in my day and heart.

    • I can relate with this challenge so well! Finding the balance of serving those you lead, and yet caring for yourself so you are able to serve is a constant balancing act.

  19. One challenge I face in any leadership position is knowing what the best thing to do for those you are leading and when to do it. There is no magic mirror telling you, “Now is the time to do such and such.” This uncertainty forces me to draw closer to God for His is in control and knows the master plan!

  20. I am teaching a Bible Study at work (Changes that Heal) with women who are very broken – not that I’m not but these women have struggles I never dreamed of. Most have had addiction issues and all are emotionally damaged and/or isolated. We only have 6 weeks to work through the entire book/workbook and I can hardly keep up with the lessons myself – let alone guide these woman through these lessons that are deeply reflective and that sometimes I don’t want to answer the questions!

  21. These thoughts and meditations are in God’s amazing timing, but I’m not surprised. That is so HIM!
    Thank you for listening to His heart and sharing.
    My struggle in leading always seems to be how to convey and transfer the assurance of just how much God loves us, is for us and will never leave us or forsake us in my desert journeys. I am so bold and love when in the place of strength, but as I descend into those deep digging faith valleys I fight to keep the passion, excitement and encouragement flowing; in my own walk and find it more difficult to be encouragement to others. It’s difficult and it only happens as I am able to focus and lean on who He is as much as I did on the mountaintop. I know the answer, 🙂 just sometimes forget. Thank you again.

  22. My greatest struggle in leadership is seeing those that I lead and walk alongside hurting so badly and knowing that all I can do is lean into the Lord and His goodness and be there for that person and listen as He delivers them from the brokenness. I have learned the hard way that I have not been placed in any relationship or position to be the fixer, that the Lord has purpose in every chaotic and painful circumstance. And I am simply His hands and feet here on earth, a vessel of His love.

  23. Oh wow……leadership..! In the past year I was leading a Bible study at our church…in which we covenant to each other, building trust and love as we study. AND, I was leading a Women of Faith group, of 63 women. Midway thru THAT season, WOF changed the layout of the audience/stage….shifting our great seats that the gals who trusted me to lead them….were looking forward to. I had to “rechoose” our seats. In a 12 hour assigned window of time, and that just happened to be during a family camping weekend, with no internet or phone access. In the midst of these stretching me out experiences….my dh’s back health declined ( we learned he had stenosis ) AND, my 81 yr old spunky full functioning mom’s breast cancer metasticized into her upper spine.
    Mind you, I’ve been journeying through childloss the past 12 years, after our Godly week shy of 19 yr old son fell at a construction site, trying to make college money for his sophomore year at the University of Minnesota. I lead a Christ follower mom’s grief group…. and when Brian was killed, I was leading the FCA chapter at our local High School. Kept leading that, by God’s strength and the Holy Spirit’s direct guidance. God blessed me with seeing His work in lives….when I was so weak. Oh how I love Him!
    The past year, however, has tossed me into another place, I just yearn to be cared FOR, a little bit? The desert path, is new to me. I’m honestly exhausted….after Cyberknife with mom and 86 yr old dad to encourage….and breast cancer showing up in her lung recently. More Cyberknife. Hubby had TWO back surgeries since April. That means recoveries, and it means me doing all of my and his chores too. And leading Bible study now again……..
    My grandchildren are young, the desire to be a faithful influence in their lives, to encourage my surviving kids as they maintain strong marriages and families….is fervent.
    My leadership strengths, FEEL like feathers blown about in a Lake Superior gale.
    I appreciated this writing today……….and can use encouragement. I’m more attuned to giving it out 😉

  24. My biggest struggle in leadership is being gracious versus people – pleasing. Staying focused on mission God has given and asking for filling of His Spirit is essential!

  25. Many times the battle comes upon me suddenly when someone will assume I KNOW the answers to their dilemma. I want to help them and point them to a person in Christ by using scripture and practical wisdom but many times I have no idea what will give them the quick fix that they seem to require. Prayer seems the most valuable tool I have!

  26. His hits home to me so much.Theres is soo many days I feel like the bottom is so deep I cant see the top,but I know MY God is there and will always be with me. I face fears and panic,but His word is true to my heart when he tells me He doesnt give the spirit of fear,but of power,love and a sound mind. I stand on His word even in the fear and press through. God is good and I will praise Him durning the storm,when the storm is over and when I feel Im drowning. Bless you for your words today the ment alot to me..Love in Jesus,Sue

  27. One of my greatest challenges is NOT getting my eyes on people. As I invest in relationships and they grow close, I have had several instances where “kindred spirits” just left our fellowship without a word and have chosen to stop attending church all together. This has been a great struggle for me as the loss has been great. But, I know my Savior more than understands the wounds and hurts and has called us to pray for these ones and to keep our eyes focused on Him. At times that can be very challenging, but He gives me strength!

  28. I’m at the point of…now what? You lead, guide and influence your children and they grow up on you! Just needing to find my place in our empty nest 🙂

  29. One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in leadership is admitting to myself that I don’t have to be perfect. It was such a struggle to not compare myself to other pastors’ wives and just accept who I have been created to be. But a few years ago, after attending a Beth Moore conference geared specifically for pastors’ wives, God challenged me with these 6 words: “You are you; No one else.”

    Those simple words completely revolutionized how I view myself as a woman, a mother, a leader and as a child of God. We are each unique and beautiful in our own ways.

    Brandi, thank you so much for sharing your heart and challenging so many pastor’s wives to live out their calling to the fullest.

  30. As a pastor’s wife, my definition of being in “leadership” has to do with being a sole supporter, encourager, and prayer partner to my husband. I believe it’s high calling for any women to stay focused on the Lord while interceding for our husbands when they’re in leadership positions. A struggle I have is feeling “guilty” for not taking on too much or not enough. As a mother of young children, I feel the Lord has called me to stay still in our home, to nurture and parent my children first and foremost, then serve Him in our local church second. This stage in my children’s lives is so short, and I want to be faithful to the Lord in my children’s lives first.

  31. I think leading women’s ministry itself is a challenge. The one year I lead it at our church, the position kinda fell into my lap. It is difficult working with women! But the Lord saw me through to the end of that year and all was OK. I’ll be honest and just say that the experience has left me not wanting that again though.

  32. I wrote about a topic today that I would consider a close cousin of this one….escapism.

    Good thoughts. They go right along with what I’ve been pondering lately.

    Kind Blessings,
    Kate 🙂

  33. Thank you so very much for taking the time to write this. You described my current situation perfectly!

  34. My husband, daughter, and I recently moved from the Midwest (where I’m from) to the west coast ( where he’s from) I struggle with feeling alone & gaining friends.

  35. I used to have leadership positions and now through challenges with our son, I am staying home and homeschooling him. . .In addition my husband took a different job and we moved somewhere completely new. It does feel so lonely and I am one of the struggling right now. I have gifts of mercy and encouragement and I continue to encourage others but not many reciprocate. . .Thank you for the message. Reading Pete Wilson’s, Let Hope In right now. . . Good book!

  36. I struggle in any role of leadership in thinking of this is what i am CALLED to do, or is it my own PREFERENCE? Keeping Him as my focus keeps me out of it…

  37. My greatest challenge would be my confidence in my ongoing preparations with respect to leadership~that it is adequate!

  38. I once heard a speaker say that we shouldn’t aspire to be leaders because leaders have a target painted on their backs. He said that unless we are certain that God has called us to be leaders, we shouldn’t push to be leading. I found his honest statement both refreshing and perturbing. The hardest thing for me when leading is to not be decimated by the constant barrage of criticism. Most criticism is not done in a constructive way but is very destructive. It’s hard to separate the chaff from the wheat to find that small kernel of truth.

  39. I think I let my feelings get hurt by things others have criticized instead of actually using those critiques to refine myself, or ignoring the hurtful ones.

  40. Loved your post, it really touched my heart. Just a few years ago I was leading a wonderful women’s ministry that had been together for 7 years. I relocated to another state and have been dwelling in the memories of “what was.” Even though I love the place God has brought me too, it has been hard to step out in faith in a new Christian community. After reading your article, I am ready to ask God to help me, as you put it… “experience a fresh encounter.” Thank you for such wonderful words of encouragement!

  41. I offered to lead a Bible-study group when it got too big to hold it in my friend’s house. She kept most of the group, and I had 3 women over to my place every fortnight. 2 called themselves Christians; the other didn’t, and the Christians got so hung-up on things the other one said that eventually neither would come if she came, and I didn’t feel I could turn her away. It was a horrible end to a group.

  42. I was asked to lead a class at a Christian non-profit organization where I also volunteer. I thought the class went well. They allowed me to write my own syllabus and I based the class, Being a ‘Woman of Excellence’ on the woman in Proverbs 31. I spent hours preparing for the class only to be met with much criticism after the post-class evaluation. It really hurt to read comments like: instructor was not prepared, topic not relevant for today, the list went on and on. I was crushed. Went on the ‘fine tune’ the class and teach it again for a new group of women. I felt like the Lord nudged me to continue in spite of my reservations. The next class went well and the post-class evaluations were more favorable but I still struggle with the criticism I received from the first class. I just finished presenting yet another class on the same subject. Still that hurt hangs on. Not sure if I will continue in this role. I love to teach women Biblical truths. I will keep seeking the Lord and trusting Him to reveal His will.

  43. One of the challenges I’ve endured and witnessed within the church involves excessive busyness and the commonality of filling vacancies as opposed to appropriating the correct fit. The outcome typically leads to burnout and unnecessary frustration. Talent and aptitude can be erroneously viewed as gifting and God’s leading towards a given task or role. I draw strength from the multitudinous examples we’re given in the Word and quietly remember that all I accomplish is through the grace given unto me by Him.

  44. Sometimes I just flat don’t “feel” like doing what I have been called to do, I am certain that I am supposed to be leading the small group I lead … but I am drained by it.
    I am patiently waiting for God and in the meantime I am pressing in and pressing on

  45. I have struggled with setting boundaries with those I lead in orde to make sure I take care of my first ministry, my family. Sometimes people feel that you should always be available and be at every function. I have been learning to say no.

  46. We all try to lead, even within our inner most circles. I sometimes have to remember we are guiding people to their own revelations, not just telling them what to do, but helping them into an arena of awareness and let God show them what is pertainent to them

  47. My biggest challenge in leadership has been figuring out what leading looks like in all the different stages of my life…. But God has been faithful in showing me every step of the way! 😉

  48. One of the challenges in leading a ministry or Sunday School is when people just aren’t committed. Either they aren’t committed to the importance of being there and participating on a consistent basis or they can’t commit to Christ in their lives. They are on fire for a short time and then they fizzle out only to turn around and complete the cycle all over again.
    I get excited to bring truth into the lives of those I am teaching but it does get frustrating when people aren’t as excited about that same truth.

  49. I struggle with finding the balance between leadership and family. Before kiddos, I was highly involved in youth ministry while my husband was the youth minister. And I loved it! But having two young children now, I have had to let go of some of those responsibilities. And my husband has moved out of youth ministry and is now a lead minister in a church which has changed my role some as well. I’m learning that leadership is ever changing and listening to God is how I know I’m where I’m supposed to be at this stage of life 🙂

  50. My biggest challenge is cultivating my inner leader when I’m thrown into a position I’m nervous about or don’t want to participate in. It’s then I need to remember to seek God! Thanks!!

  51. My leadership is hard because people are looking to me for inspiration and leadership. At times I feel as if I cant lead myself let alone others. This post had me weeping, I have been in a Valley now and wondering how to get out. I feel like I have been her forever and the more I try to get out, the harder it is. It would be great to win this book and find a way to increase my faith even more, along with helping others who look up to me. Thank you so much for this post.

  52. What is causing me the most trouble with a Bible class I lead, is my computer. It seems that every week I face a new way for my DVD not to work. I tell the woman in our group that God is working on me to keep my cool even when I want to stomp on my computer. Thank you Lord (it is getting better.

  53. AT A BIBLE STUDY I WAS LEADING THERE WAS ONE WOMAN WHO DID ALL THE TALKING AND REFUSED TO LET THE OTHER WOMEN HAVE THEIR CHANCE TO SPEAK.

  54. Fear of leading. Lack of confidence. Both of these are always there and yet, God gently pushes me forward to keep leading. I have had women and teens tell me that they appreciated my nervousness as they could connect to that. Interesting growth for me!

  55. I have been in ministry for 30 years this year. And I have always been single. Because of that I am often expected to go above and beyond because I don’t have kids to feed or a husband to take care of. Which can be exhausting. I did keep and exhausting schedule for years. Until one day, I said “enough”. Unfortunately, it cost me the job that I LOVED. I was working over 80 hours a week and finally decided to “slow” down. My spiritual, emotional and physical health was suffering greatly. I was devastated when I lost that job. That job was my perfect fit. It was me and it was one of my greatest joys of ministry. When it was gone, I went through a lot of desert years. I stopped journaling. I did not want to relive any of that again, ever. But God used that time to bring new “fruit” to an old ministry that I thought was dead. One that I love more than my “perfect fit” job. And I take better care of myself now.

    I love the title of your book. I have never been afraid to lead. I love it! But I have learned that part of leading is teaching others to lead. Which is also part of the fun!

  56. One of the biggest challenges for me is realizing that not everyone is passionate about what I am passionate about!

    I too KNOW I am called to minister to the “ministers”…particularly pastor’s wives and missionary women…. I wish I could have a cup of coffee with each of you and let you know that you are NOT alone and there are women who want to walk alongside of you and be your cheerleaders!

  57. My biggest challenge is the confidence to lead……I’ve been praying for a few weeks
    on this very subject…..Lord make it clear what you want me to lead and if you
    want me to lead…..things along that line but still very unsure.

  58. I am very much a behind-the-scenes, follower type and God has been stretching me by placing me in a lot of leadership positions over the last few years…I struggle with confidence most of all, I think; I tend to compare myself to others and see all the ways I fall short. Thank you so much for this post, as well as the opportunity to win this book – I definitely want to read it!

  59. Sharing excitement and vision for what I see as God’s direction for ministry without feeling rejected when people don’t share my passion.

  60. My biggest challenge in leadership was that my position was one I didn’t want. I knew I was qualified and couldn’t give a good reason to God why I shouldn’t take it and do all for His glory. I did a great job and was asked to continue; however, I had made it clear I would only do a one year term. The nominating committee had a year to fill the position but never did leaving more work for the pastor. At first I felt guilt, but I let my yes be yes and my no be no. Thanks for reading this.

  61. A big challenge is that people sometimes focus too much on the small details. Yes, they are important in how things comes together, but if we are having an event, for example, I don’t think it is worth it to discuss/argue over centerpiece ideas for an hour. Another challenge is when those who are leading don’t ask for help. This usually leads to burnout of those are involved, when tasks aren’t delegated out so others can also take ownership of responsibilities. Okay, so there seems to be many challenges for me…the toughest one seeing leaders who are not walking their talk, so say one thing and then act a different way outside that community. I guess the challenge is then how to respond in these situations.

  62. I think it’s a challenge to know who I can be vulnerable with. Building deep relationships without worrying about being the subject of gossip.

  63. Brought tears to my eyes. It felt like you were talking directly to me today. Thank you for the encouragement.

  64. Thank you for this timely message…..I am in a season of such loneliness ….I don’t seem to have the strength for my own day, let alone strength to lead others. Yet I know that’s what I am called to do and I know that’s what feeds me the most….remembering He is there in all seasons, and that He must be our focus gives me new strength to move forward today trusting Him to be the leader in all things….thanks again for your heart.

  65. God is ever with us. Not a moment does HIS eyes leave us. The thing is this. We are moving upwards every single day. Every step upwards. Not one day passes without a forward – upward move. Though we may stagger at that step for moments, hours. We still mount. Though we may struggle, we are still at that step. Tomorrow is another day. A step forward a day is a beautiful picture. I don’t look back anymore. I just keep climbing and climbing and climbing.

  66. I think it’s saying the hard things in appropriate ways at appropriate times. As a pastor’s wife, I also struggle with being vulnerable without giving away things our small group shouldn’t know (our personal financial issues, etc)

  67. I’m facing a huge challenge in leadership recently. I’ve been working for 10 years with the same organization in one capacity or another. I’ve noticed that I’m not the leader I thought I would be after this amount of time and I’m saddened to think that I’ve disappointed my students. But I press on, knowing God has brought me back year after year for a reason and His purposes cannot be thwarted, even by my failings. For He is GOOD! 🙂

  68. I am not a pastor’s wife or leader in the church. However, I would like to give as a gift this book to one special woman who is a pastor’s wife. She is hearing and she married a deaf man who is the pastor and they have minister to an entire deaf congregation. I no longer go to this church but I think she might find the book helpful or encouraging. I just got back from an AFB where my son is going to deploy this week and we are saving our pennies so we can go visit him next year, hopefully.

  69. As leaders there is always those moments when you feel inadequate to lead. Insecurities creep up and we start to believe them. We must take hold of Gods
    Truth and hold on to it. Remember his promises and move forward. But I know it’s hard to do especially when someone is determine to get you out of their way. I’m struggling with this right. Now !

  70. My pastor’s wife’s problem is learning balance. Allowing herself to say no to people at church was often times hard and her weeks were full. She works full time, does women’s Bible study, teaches young people at our church, teaches a Sunday school class, as well as being there for her husband and worrying about an aging mother. Often times she is asked to help play either the keyboard or the piano for the worship or she volunteers to help with the nursery.

    She has battled cancer in the past and is an avid activist with the local Relay for Life in our town. She has a small team and does her best to raise money. Years ago she took cake decorating classes and now every time we have a celebration at the church–bridal, baby shower or special anniversary she bakes and decorates the cake.

    Her hobby is sewing and yet she doesn’t have a lot of time to devote to that. She makes the most beautiful quilts and clothing.

    She is one of the few leadership people I’ve met that I can truly relate to as a person and a good friend. I would truly love to give her this book as a gift.

  71. Can’t wait to read this book! have been a pastor’s wife for 14 years and am so discouraged I would welcome a job change! Challenges? Disillusionment, disappointment with people, loneliness, feeling like our years of laying down our lives has been futile…