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Leading at Elevation Part 3

IMG_7330You’ve reached your goal, pulled off that event, launched that initiative and otherwise climbed that mountain as a team. Congratulations! Enjoy the view. Take in the moment. Give God glory and thank those who helped you get there. Now, how do you get down? What do you do with the fact that more than 2/3 of all injuries and deaths on peaks such as Mt. Everest happen on the descent?

Here are 4 suggestions for leading well on the way down…

Plan and prepare for coming down well before going up. Talk as a team about what it will look like after the goal is reached or event is over. What will it mean to the overall organization and the leadership team? What do you hope to accomplish and learn? What about the more practical matters… do we come down the same way we went up? Who will clean-up, tear-down, pack-up and otherwise “leave no trace” in order for the next expedition to launch? Don’t be caught off-guard by over-looking the age-old axiom… “What goes up, must come down.”

Take your time. Gravity has a way of encouraging a rapid descent. Resist the temptation to rush down and move on to the next “big thing.” You went up as a team, now come down as one. Watch your step. Be sure to monitor the descent… how is everyone doing along the way? What was their view from the “top?” How are they feeling as they come off the “high?” Divers know this reality in reverse as they explore the depths of the ocean… you can surface too quickly and become very ill, even die if you don’t take your time, giving your body time to adjust at every change in depth.

Leave no trace. If you packed it in, pack it out. Consider how your success will impact other teams, goals, events or initiatives. Talk about this with your team and other teams. Don’t clutter the route that others will be traveling and spaces others will be using. Do your part to clear the way, leave it as you found it or improve it when possible by cleaning up any other messes that may have been made by you or anyone else.

Unpack (and repack) together. Finally, debrief intentionally. Gather shortly after everyone has made it off the mountain. Ask questions, a lot of questions. Then, gain perspectives. Did we accomplish what we set out to accomplish? What went well? What didn’t? What surprises were there? What caught us off-guard or unprepared? How do we improve? How do all of these lessons help us pack for the next trip together?

Reaching great heights as a team is only half the journey. Come down off that mountain as well or better as you gained it’s summit and enjoyed it’s views.

Leading at Elevation Part 2

images-6What does it mean to lead at elevation? Whether you have made game-changing connections with your community, added staff, merged with another ministry, been given more responsibility, increased your budget, remodeled environments, launched a new ministry, or made any other significant gains or changes… what does it take to lead well in the midst of it all?

Leading at Elevation takes prayer. Prayer is the difference between a good thing, a great thing and a God-thing! A God-thing is something that, unless God shows up, it is doomed to fail. Prayer acknowledges the deeper reality that all our efforts are in vain if not rooted in the will and glory of God. As God said through Zechariah to King Zeruababel, “So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” (Zechariah 4:6, NIV)

Leading at Elevation takes honest communication. Create an environment that encourages honesty at every turn and every gain in influence. The truth that should be embraced is that new heights bring new challenges. It is not only normal to be a little nervous about it, it is a good thing to stay humbled by it. Talk about the fears, ask the tough questions and don’t settle for easy answers as you sort through a changing array of emotions that accompany new heights!

Leading at Elevation takes preparation. Plan your route (knowing there will be detours). Scout out the trail and establish clear goals as to where you want to be and by when. However, remember this… the wider your influence, the farther your reach, and the higher your elevation, the more you will need to prepare, plot, pack, encourage, equip, train and keep track of your progress. Remember, this doesn’t mean MORE of everything. Pack light. Don’t pile on. Less is more when it comes to going the distance on any trail, especially those that lead you higher and higher.

Leading at Elevation takes work. You’ve heard the old saying… “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.” Clearly, everyone isn’t. The way of greater influence for Christ is rockier, the path narrower, incline steeper, air thinner, commitment greater and the critics louder. Keep hiking, keep climbing and climbing and climbing. The view will be worth it.

IMG_7323Leading at Elevation takes evaluation. You’ve heard it said, “You cannot manage what you cannot measure.” Take time to take stock in where you are at and how well you are reaching your goals along the way. Task someone, perhaps an outside coach, with keeping you on track as you go. Consider them your “Sherpa…” an indispensable guide for your expanding expedition!

Leading at Elevation deserves celebration. Whenever you have reached and exceeded a goal, it’s worth rejoicing with all of those who helped the team get there. Acknowledge the effort and the organizational win. Take the time to enjoy the view. This, in itself, is a form of worship and God is worthy of it!

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You can lead well at elevation. Determine to grow together in Christ as you gain influence and reach new heights for His glory and the good of others. Let me know how I can help you and your team reach new heights in healthy ways. I would love to partner with you!

 

Living & Leading at Elevation

images-6Can you go and grow too far, too high, and too fast as an organization? What does it mean to live and lead at elevation in the realtionships that matter most? Let me tell you a story…

We had been steadily hiking for about three hours, gaining elevation with every step from roughly 10,000 to over 12,000 feet. The views had been amazing and we were now gazing down on the Upper Colony Lake basin, still encompassed by the towering peaks of three “fourteeners…” Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle and Mt. Humboldt (see photo). A fourteener is mountaineering lingo for the 72 mountains in excess of 14,000 feet in North America. Not quite Everest or Denali, but far from your local state park stroll. To give perspective, we were above the tree line and several small ice fields are below our level on the opposite slope. We had been planning for months and would soon have completed the first of what we hoped would be many fourteeners to come.

The truth was that my heart was beating out of my chest and I couldn’t catch my breath. My head had been pounding for over an hour already and, if I lifted my head from the rocky trail too quickly, I saw “stars.” I was also in denial. I knew what I was experiencing was classic elevation sickness. My body had not had time to adapt to the elevation difference between the Bluegrass of Kentucky and the mountains of Colorado. I had been way too eager, insisting that we should “go for it” the day after getting to Grandpa’s Mountain, itself at a little over 8,000 feet. In short, I overestimated my ability and, worst of all, underestimated the mountain. Never underestimate the mountain.

It was a gorgeous day, sunny and almost 70 degrees. Then, in minutes, dark clouds rolling over themselves and folding over the mountains let loose a volley of lightening that seemed to land all around us. The thunder was deafening as it echoed off the massive granite formations. Then it began to rain. Briefly. The momentary pause would have been welcomed if it hadn’t been so ominous, giving way to marble-sized hail. The temperature plummeted 20 degrees faster than anything I had experienced, and I grew up in Ohio. Welcome to the the Sangre de Christo high country.

IMG_7325We were exposed on the side of Mt. Humboldt in an area known as the switchbacks. Before the hail started we could see still see our campsite (see picture left), albeit a speck, and we knew we had to get low, fast. We scrambled to put on our rain gear and lift our packs over our heads to take the brunt of the intensive pounding. Ironically, it was a distraction from my throbbing head. Eventually we made it down to our soggy site, about the time the sky cleared and sun came back out… birds chirping and marmots scrambling among the rocks and brush, oblivious to it all. We were as exhausted as we were stunned at our ill-fated first attempt.

Do we stop and camp out for the night? Maybe take the 3 hour hike back to the old Jeep? Honestly, this sounded good. Still, we had started very early and it was only around noon, though it seemed much later. My son asked if I wanted to press on. He could tell I was in rough shape. We would still have to face the switchbacks, the steep ridge, the false summit, the saddle and then, the summit. Over 2,300 feet of hard hiking and technical scrambling to “bag the peak” and enjoy the view dared us to try. I insisted we could do it, praying to God for strength under my breath. We checked our gear, ate a power bar, hydrated and hit the trail.

Only half-way up the switchbacks I had already had to stop twice. My legs were so heavy and the 35 pound pack weighed on me like a ton of bricks. I was now experiencing “tunnel vision,” that dark “closing in” sense and very real lack of sight. “Am I having a heart attack? Maybe a stroke?” I remember thinking to myself, “If I don’t stop, Andrew will be left alone and they will have to call in a rescue helicopter to lift me out of here… how embarrassing.” Not that he wouldn’t be okay. At a fit 24 years old, he was in much better shape than me. I just hated the thought of letting him down. Still, I had already pressed on far beyond the bounds of common sense for an out of shape 47-year-old.

He now insisted with genuine concern and stated the obvious… “Dad, you don’t look very good. We better stop.” I gave up and gave in to the better part of valor… well after wisdom’s first calls. My symptoms lessened as we rested at the campsite for a while, packed up and began the hike down and out. My headache persisted but my energy increased and my pack seemed lighter as we decreased elevation. The sometimes bone-jarring four-wheel drive (more of a crawl) the rest of the way down was going to prove a welcomed respite. Little was said until we found ourselves back in town, debriefing at our favorite watering hole. A hard and humbling lesson learned.

Elevation matters in life, leadership and relationships. You can go higher, faster, you just can’t do it healthier. Only time at elevation will work it’s wonder as everyone and everything adjusts to each new, subtantial gain. What does this look like? How do you keep from getting a case of elevation sicknesss as a lead team, organization or family? Check out Living and Leading at Elevation Part 2 coming soon!

 

CONNECT 1-2-3

UnknownConnecting with people rarely just “happens.” The best of relationships take purpose and practice!

Use the CONNECT 1-2-3 worksheet to help focus you (and your small group’s) desire to connect with others for Jesus Christ. The concept is simple…

Connect with 1 person who isn’t connected to Jesus. People who are searching for Jesus are all around us. They may or may not know it yet, but He is the answer. Fortunately, we know He is the way, truth and life. Begin to pray for and purpose to connect with them for Christ. Show a genuine interest in them, their families, their hobbies, hopes and hurts. Invite them to join you in a small group, maybe even worship or other event soon. Most importantly, tell them about your own journey of faith in Jesus.

Reconnect with 2 people you have lost contact with. There is no “auto pilot” for healthy relationships. Life happens and, when it does, things aren’t the first things to suffer. Relationships must be purposed. It may be a little awkward at first. However, they may be waiting and wondering themselves, “What happened?” Be honest. Keep it simple. Call them. Text them… get together soon for coffee to catch up. Whatever you do, be intentional about reconnecting with them and encouraging them in Christ.

Encourage 3 people who need it. People have either just been, are, or are about to go through something that will leave them in need of a friend. Be that friend! We are reminded in Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” 

Finally, pray for those “divine appointments” and be as ready as you are grateful for every opportunity God brings you to build relationships that connect people with the Lord Jesus Christ! There are no “chance meetings” for the follower of Jesus.

Get your free pdf here Connect123

Check out the Free Resources page for more downloads including the CONNECT Guide example for guiding people from guest to engaged member!

When They Just Don’t Get It

imagesWhat do you do when people don’t get it? You’ve prayed, visioned, planned, packaged and promoted it as a team, but still people aren’t getting the message, let alone getting on board. What’s your next move?

Here are 7 Questions to ask when they don’t get it…

1 – Did we say it simply enough? We may have gathered next-level leaders and detailed a strategic plan for whatever our next big thing is. However, if we can’t communicate it in simple terms, people won’t get behind it. How can they? Complicated is not what people need more of. Less is more when it comes to most visions, messages, and the best-laid plans. Don’t dumb it down. Just keep it simple.

2 – Did we say it long enough? Just because we said it once, doesn’t mean everyone heard it, won’t make it go viral, and won’t automatically spark mass revival. It takes time for most visions and messages to sink in. They may not have gotten the message… yet!

3 – Did we say it often enough? Sometimes even when we know where the fish are, we still have to cast and recast to get them to bite. People are busy and, believe it or not, aren’t focused solely on your agenda. Shocking, I know. Communicate what’s important to your organization through multiple platforms on a consistent basis for greater impact.

4 – Did we say it creative enough? Keep your bait fresh, maybe change the color of your lure or depth of your line? Let others join you in saying it with you or even say it for you. Gather creative people and draw from the successful strategies of others as you seek to motivate people to get the same message, at the same time and move towards a shared goal.

5 – Our we leading by example? Sometimes people can’t hear our message because our actions (or inactions) are speaking too loud. If we aren’t living it, we can forget it. No one can join us in something we are merely talking about. Actions speak louder than words. Lead it by living it.

6 – Is it the right thing? Could we have gotten to this point and, yet, overlooked this little detail? Yes. We simply don’t always get it right. Perhaps we put on blinders and we are the ones not getting the message? Sometimes we “swing and miss” when it comes to everything from a point in a message or speech, a principle for leadership practice, an event or initiative, maybe our methodology or even target audience? Consider that, from time to time, we need to be the one to change not merely what is said and how we say it, but what we are doing or where we are going with it. Maybe it was the right thing at one time, but here and now, it isn’t? Be as willing to change as you challenge others to be.

7 – Maybe they simply don’t want it? We should never jump to this conclusion quickly. Still, after patiently and passionately attempting all of the above, only to find that the fish just aren’t biting and your fellow anglers aren’t really into fishing with you… it may be time to change locations. Please, whatever you do, don’t stop fishing! Perhaps you may need to find another spot, fish a different way and/or go after a different kind of fish? You won’t know until you try. However, make sure you have “fished out” the hole you are in first and that the One who called you to be “fishers of men” is leading the way.

The most important message is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. More than “getting it,” people need to give up and be gotten by it, by Him. Above all, let’s make sure we live and lead this message as Christian leaders.

 

Lead like there is no “it.”

images-13“If I could just find it, that one thing that will turn this thing around!” We’ve all wished this, maybe even dropped everything and focused on finding “it” or “pulling it off” in hopes that “it” will be the thing that helps us break through and take things to the next level, never to return. Here’s a reality check for all of us, there is no “it.”

Here are 4 ways to Lead like there is no “it…”

1) Get “it” out of your own head. Life and leadership are a process. It is faith, hard work, risk, creativity, passion and perseverance… all wrapped up in the amazing grace of the Lord. Stop with the tunnel vision that has you hanging your hopes on any one thing to create success for you and your organization.

2) Stop saying “it.” Be careful over-promising and under-delivering when it comes to that “next big thing” you’ve got going. By all means, plan, pray and promote it with enthusiasm. However, be careful not to give the impression that any one event or initiative will make or break your vision. This is rarely the case.

3) Get passionate about it. Embrace the process with great excitement. Enjoy the journey and celebrate the little wins along the way with others. Talk about your ongoing goals, your mistakes and outright blunders, as well as areas you hope to grow in together over the next quarter or year.

4) Find another and another “it”. Always be planning on and for something that will help you BE better as a team at realizing your vision. As John Maxwell has challenged, “Leaders see first and see farther.” 

The real “it” is the culture that you are creating and the lives you are transforming. For ministry leaders this is all about making disciples who make disciples of Jesus Christ, and this is anything but a “one and done” proposition. It is a process of learning, growing, believing, trying, failing, resting, trying again, and again and again.

Let’s do this! Let’s lead like there is no “it.”

31 Tips for 2016 – #22

Unknown-1Here is Tip #22 for Ministry Leaders in 2016…

Dare to delegate.

Most leaders don’t realize their potential because they don’t realize the potential in people all around them. Pastors can be especially prone to this as they unintentionally limit the scope of their ministries as they are slow to grant influence/authority to others. However, with equal parts humility and trust, you can both expand the reach and the influence of your team without sacrificing unity.

Here are 6 Steps to Delegating Well…

1) Choose wisely. The most talented may not be the best choice. By all means, find someone who can do the job well. However, be sure they are someone who, more than simply “good at it,” is all-in with your vision, passionate about what they will be doing, and who is a teachable team player.

Consider Jesus’ choice in disciples. See Acts 4:13.

2) Explain simply. Write it down and spell it out. It may be as simple as a checklist or one page job description. Less is more. Be specific about the goal, the requirements (day, time, length of term or task), their team members and who they report to. In other words, delegate outcomes, not just tasks. Show them an example or paint a clear picture of the finished project or “win” when it comes to what they have been asked to do.

Consider the disciples job description. See Matthew 28:16-20.

3) Involve actively. Don’t just throw them into it. Introduce them personally to their team. Then, whether it’s with you or another team leader, have them “shadow” someone in the role or task first. Involve them as much as possible with hands-on experience. Discuss and tackle the challenges along the way while they are actually facing them with you or another leader. Do this until they are confident in their role or task and, frankly, you are only in the way.

Consider Jesus’ model of mentoring… a three year apprenticeship.

4) Launch willingly. Now, turn them lose and let them lead! Besides, they will probably do it better than you. Empower them to make the calls necessary, give them the resources needed to succeed, grant them license for creativity and clear out plenty of room to fail without fear. Don’t hover. Let them know you are just a text or call away if they have a question or need any help.

Consider Jesus’ ascension… See Luke 24:50-53

5) Cheer wildly. Encourage them as they grow in their new role and accomplish the tasks they have been assigned. Celebrate the little things as well as the big wins. Make a big deal out of the way they are getting it done as a team as well as making note of individual contributions.

Consider God’s cheering section. See Hebrews 10:25; 12:1-3

6) Follow-up responsibly. “How’s it going?” or “Let’s take a look together…” may work fine for small projects, especially if there was a simple checklist to begin with. Larger roles may work better with a simple evaluation tool. If it’s a new role, seize the opportunity to involve the new leader in the creation of the evaluation itself. Again, less is more. It is too easy to create a micro-mananged culture. If this develops, your better leaders won’t likely bring disunity… they’ll just leave and find another team where the level of accountability is exceeded only by the level of trust.

Consider Paul’s example with Timothy. See 1 Timothy 1:1-8.

Delegation. We see this leadership essential practiced throughout the Bible as the Spirit of God prompts leaders to harness the power of delegation. See Exodus 18 and Acts 6 for two biblical examples of the power and influence created by empowering others!

What roles are you or another leader presently assuming that could be given to others? What tasks might others not only accomplish, but probably do even better than you? Expand your reach and grow the influence of your ministry or organization by delegating well.

 

31 Ministry Tips for 2016 – #21

Here is Tip #21 for Ministry Leaders in 2016…

Live and lead >.

Purpose to partner in something bigger than your team and vision. This may have nothing to do with advancing your agenda. Maybe it’s a partnership with a local charity or school, neighborhood association, serving at a homeless shelter, supporting foreign missionaries or getting away for service projects at a kid’s camp. Here are 4 Things Leading “Greater Than” will do for your lead team…

> Helps others. Again, this won’t move your mission forward but just might for someone else. The value added is in living and giving more like Christ… meeting people at the point, place and time of their need. That’s it. That’s enough.

> Lends perspective. We all need a “reality check.” Sometimes we just get caught up in our own little worlds. Getting away has a way of helping us see our agendas for what they may have become… small, even petty. For example, going with our youth ministry and leadership team to live and work on an Amish farm for 2-3 days. Wow… this is highly recommended! Up while dark and gladly in bed at sundown, these people know the meaning of honest labor. And, let’s just say that drinking farm-fresh milk has a whole new meaning.

> Sparks creativity. Seeing how other people live and lead can create “Aha!” moments.  Simply put, others may be doing it better! Be intentional about looking for these “Aha!” moments and then unpacking them when you get back to the reality of your own world. What did we learn and how does it apply? We need reminded that living and leading only for our visions is not God’s vision for us.

> Encourages unity. The shared experience can both expose a lack of “team spirit” as well as foster it. When we are out of our element we need one another, are sometimes forced to rely on one another in ways we may have gotten out of the habit of doing. Re-ignite the need for and genius of teamwork by getting out of your comfort zones, together.

I often remind my team of the “secret to happiness” that Jesus ultimately modeled through His life, death and resurrection… “Get over yourself and start giving yourself.” 

31 Ministry Tips for 2016 – #20

Unknown-1Here is Tip #20 for Ministry Leaders in 2016…

Change your shoes.

You’ve heard the old adage, “You never truly know someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes.” This challenges us as leaders with questions like, “How well do we know the people we serve and serve with? Do we have any idea what it’s like to live and work in their world? What must it be like to work with or for me? (Ouch!) And, how do we go about finding out?”

Get down to the business of getting to know others. Here are a few suggestions…

Don’t do business. Not only business, that is. Avoid making every staff meeting or conversation in the hall about someone’s role, potential role or task and just get to know them. Ask about their day, their family, their job (if they are volunteers), fears, problems, hopes, plans and more. Everybody has a life that goes way beyond the one we know about. So, get to it, get to know them before getting down to business. Remember this, everyone is in the people business, and this goes double for ministry leaders. After all, Jesus was and is the ultimate people person.

Load some lime. We started a new prayer ministry, seeking to involve the congregation in prayer strategies for personal, family and ministry health. In retrospect this played no small roll in helping to see dozens decide to follow Jesus in the next couple of years… not bad considering the church only ran around 80 at the time. My team leader was a hog farmer and I didn’t know him as well as I needed to. So, I got in the old jeep and headed out to the farm. A few hours and a few hundred bags of lime feed later, I understood why my new prayer team leader would sometimes fall asleep in my sermons, but was otherwise passionate about prayer. From about 4:30am until 9:00pm at night, he was raising pigs to provide for his family and supply the rest of us with the bacon, sausage and chops we love so much. Oh… and praying throughout the day as he worked in an environment (and smell!) that most would not prefer.

Is it possible to hang out with some of your team while they are “on the job?” Maybe this is overkill? Maybe not. Ride along with that police officer, sit in on that lecture, help unclog that drain, show that house, change the oil, or edit that video. Walk in their shoes by working in them from time to time.

Do lunch (or breakfast, late night coffee, etc). This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to overlook this and eat alone, or skip it all together. Call it the proverbial “breaking bread” or just chilling out together. Take advantage of our common need to feed and routinely eat with team members.

Play as a team. Whether it’s hiking, bowling, a fantasy sport’s league, softball, rope’s course, team scrabble, ping-pong, geocaching… whatever! Get to know one another by having some good ole’ fashioned fun together.

RETREAT! Plan a retreat to combine all the above. Give everyone a blank “story board” (poster board) and then give each person the floor to share their story. Don’t just vision and engage in strategic planning. Get away to get to know one another more as people, not just staff.

This is all about creating community and you can’t create it visioning, studying, planning or even praying in your office all day. If you want to lead like Jesus, follow in His footsteps as he walked with and got to know people in the marketplace, along the road, at the beach, on a boat, at the temple, in their homes, by the proverbial “water cooler” and more. Wherever people were, Jesus was… and still is.

It’s time to change your shoes.

 

5 Ways to Get Over It

UnknownWe all get hurt. We’ve all hurt others. This isn’t optional, though we desperately try to avoid it. What we do with it is. While it won’t be easy and will take some time, here are 5 Ways to Get Over It when you’ve been hurt in life and leadership.

1) Get real. Don’t be brave and deny your pain. It will haunt you. Don’t “bottle” it up. It will blow up on you and those around you. Go ahead. Be hurt. Be shocked. Be angry. Be sad. After all, “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35, NIV) Whether from the unbelief of his closest followers or just because his friend died, he cried over it openly. Though sinless, He also expressed anger, disappointment, loneliness and every emotion we experience in life and leadership today.

Be whatever it is you are feeling. Be real about it. Fail to do this and you only prolong and even intensify the pain. Say the words. Journal about it (No… don’t blog it, rant on Facebook or tweet about it). Look yourself in the mirror and face your reality. God is big enough to handle your hurt and you won’t befooling anyone but yourself if you fail to take this vital step.

2) Go to it. By “it” we mean “them.” You can’t get past it if you try to go around those involved in whatever “it” is. You may have to do this more than once as you first go to God, then to those who wronged you (or you wronged), and then to those in your life who can help you (family, friends & accountability partners). Be honest with them. Don’t minimize or exaggerate. Be genuine as you forgive and seek forgiveness. There is no other step until this step is taken. (See Matthew 6:12-15 & Matthew 18:15-20) 

3) Get over it. This will take some time. The deeper the pain, the longer it may take. It sounds more spiritual to say you can simply, “Forgive and forget.” The reality is we may truly forgive and be forgiven and still be tempted with lingering issues, regrets, cynicism, defensiveness or become very guarded. When this happens, do something about it.

  1. Be accountable. Admit it to yourself, the Lord and someone you trust.
  2. Give it the antidote… speak a word of Scripture, of faith, hope, or encouragement over yourself, your situation or someone you’ve already forgiven.
  3. Control your atmosphere. Refuse to throw private, let alone public, pity-parties. Create atmospheres of gratitude, expectation, and joy… at home, your car, your workplace, etc.

4) Give yourself time to get over it… but determine to get over it and go forward with God’s grace and the accountability of others. Our emotions will often circle and cycle around as we move forward. So will the feelings of others involved. They may come to you and then, together, you can process the hurt and gain a better understanding together of how to learn and grow from it. Take your time because that’s what it will take.

5) Get on with it. It’s time to move on. You may or may not be moving on locationally, but you can move on in heart and mind. Determine with some real “grit” to focus on what God is doing in your life right here, right now. Dare to dream a little about your future while you are at it. Then, find someone to listen to, lift up and help get through the challenge they are facing in their life. Stay busy in these ways and there will be little time to obsess about you or listen to the lies from the enemy of our souls whispering doubt and defeat, hoping to trap you in the past. Not you. Not this time. You are moving forward!

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:17-19, NIV)

Finally, be grateful for it. This is perhaps the ultimate way of cementing closure and moving on. Call it the “Joseph Principle.” Having been betrayed by family, co-workers, promoted, demoted, imprisoned, promoted again and everything in between, Joseph responded to his brothers, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.” (Genesis 50:19-21, NIV) (See Matthew 5:11-13; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; 1 Peter 4:12-14) 

God hasn’t something new and next for you, not in spite of what you need to get over, but through it… maybe even because of it. No, you won’t get there in “5 easy steps.” However, you can and will get there as you determine to find help and healing in the Lord.  Start by getting real…