Gift: A notable capacity, talent, or endowment. A special ability.
I first attended Prism :: Gifts over three years ago. It was the first event I’d ever seen of its kind. I was excited to be a part of it. It had been a running joke with my friends as we prepared to go attend that I had no idea what my gifting was. I was leading in ministry in a full-time capacity and was still so unaware of exactly how God had made me and was using me.
I remember my dear friend, Nicole Cottrell, giving an overview on each gifting. I was excited to hear all about them but still wondered, who am I? Then she started teaching about Shepherds. It was as though she was reading a description of me. We looked at each other at that moment and smiled because it became so obvious that’s who I was. Of course!
What an eye-opening experience. Not that I was suddenly changed or something magical happened, but everything made so much more sense to me. There was a newfound clarity in who I was and why I have done things a certain way my whole life. It is what I’ve always been. It is what I continued to be as I grew, changed, and was put into different life circumstance and roles. It was the constant. Now I was able to learn much more about myself, and why I operate in certain ways, and how God uses this.
So here’s me: I love to love people. I am consumed with how everyone is doing, feeling, growing. Is everything ok, are they happy, what do they need, are they feeling connected, and how I can help? You know those crazy friends randomly texting you to say “hey” at all hours of the night? That’s me. And I’m a serious night owl, so I often accidentally do this at inappropriate times. Sorry for that.
I love having meaningful relationships with all kinds of people: Seeing the amazing things in all different personalities, stories, and lives; watching women thrive as they mature and grow in who they are and feel supported by a community. This is where it’s at for me. Seriously I’m getting excited just talking about it! Having meaningful discipleship with women and being able to nurture that and grow together is such a gift to me.
I am incredibly blessed. God has used my gifting and, in turn, given me people in my life that are like gold to me. I believe in my heart that all good things come out of relationship together.
Through knowing this about myself and my Shepherd gifting, I also am aware of the possible downsides if I’m not careful. Trying to have 100 close friends that I spend meaningful time with, just so you know, is impossible. But I do allow myself to get excited about what someone is doing, what they need, what they want, and and when I can help. And I always say yes! That’s me. The downside to this is that I end up feeling exhausted from actually trying to follow through with all the things I care about and become burnt out. When this happens, I can’t give all of myself because I can’t focus and I’m tired. Me, again.
I have learned so much about myself over the past few years as I operate in my gift within my life. Being a Shepherd is an awesome blessing. People need Shepherds in this world, and Shepherds need them. Being in touch with with where God has me and what flock He is calling me to is so important. I want to give my very best to Him and to the people in my life.
Being in touch with where and how God wants us to use our gifting is crucial to the impact Shepherds can have for His kingdom.
I am excited to keep learning and changing as I grow as a Shepherd.
Do you know what your gifting is? Have you had your eyes opened to who God has designed you to be and what that looks like? I tell everyone Prism:: Gifts is close to my heart. I love it. I love seeing women discover themselves, be equipped, and then take it into their ministries, families, careers, and relationships. It is life changing. Come take this journey with us.