It led her into the dark room to be developed. The dark room where she was assured that God wasn’t near as concerned with her public persona as her heart.
He treasured her heart much greater than her performance.
I hope this speaks to you. Thank you, Jodie, for your honest and beautiful story. Thank you for showing us what leadership looks like. ~ Suzie
God was speaking to me on so many levels.
In Chapter #8 of Come With Me, Suzie referenced a talk that I attended three years ago. In that message Christine Caine referenced our time in the “dark room”. The dark room is that place where you are unseen by the public, but where you hear the voice of God and He develops you.
The dark room is where the word success transitions to call.
It’s where you long to hear the voice of God rather than worrying about your reward.
When I listened to Christine speak about this the first time, I knew that I needed a wealth of time in the dark room with Jesus in order to be the light He desired.
After reading Come With Me, I was reminded again that my time with Jesus — unseen by others — was crucial if I wanted to follow where Jesus leads.
Allow me to rewind a bit.
I entered women’s ministry six years ago after a lot of prayer. I struggled with deep-seated fear. After years of serving in my own strength I wanted to step into this new role as a follower and not a leader. I’d served the Lord in some capacity or another since I was sixteen years old. Early on, I was characterized as a leader and often given big responsibilities.
There’s nothing wrong with leading, but over time something ugly had happened in my heart.
Each position I accepted I was able to do quite well, and the result was often praise from others. It is nice to be recognized for service, and I enjoy sharing words of encouragement with others.
Yet I took in those words of praise and processed them as purpose and motivation to keep serving. I ate them as I would a piece of birthday cake and celebrated my successes. My motivation became misplaced.
My service for Him went from selfless to selfish.
This was ugly.
I was filled with pride and performed rather than served. My service was all about me and not about the One who deserved the glory. This is where my flesh was failing. It’s not what I wanted, but if my motivations remained unchecked it was easy to quickly slip into “Me” land.
I needed time in the darkroom.
I wish I could tell you I entered the darkroom because I realized my mistakes before they did damage.
I was there because I was forced to my knees. But God did a work in my heart. I love that we are always welcome in the dark room, no matter how late in the game.
The first time I listened to Christine speak, I heard that I needed to have proper motivation as I led others. As I read chapter 8, I heard the gentle whispers of God one more time.
Don’t forget the dark room.
Embrace all that I ask you to do and do it with humility.
He keeps bringing that word to my heart.
We are to follow before leading — and with a humble heart.
We may be good at leading, but we need to follow in Jesus’ footsteps in order to bring people to Him.
I underlined Suzie’s words on page 112:
If it’s behind the scenes where no one sees you, but it brings people to him, let’s delight in being part of building his church.
Following Christ must take precedence over our my idea of what leading looks like.
When I left the conference three years ago, I knew God had so much to develop in me, but the dark room isn’t a place of hiding; it is a place of maturing.
Today, as I prepare to share the words of Come With Me in a summer bible study I know that God still wants time with me in the dark room, so that when I emerge to follow His call it is His Light that shines and not my own.
I hope you’ll check out Jodie’s blog and ministry, as well as connect with this beautiful, encouraging woman on social media.