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Lonely Leadership

Community’s not just a good idea—it’s essential!

Reaching out of Lonely. A friend suggested we have lunch together, for the third week in a row. I smiled and put her off yet again. I thought, I can't just be going out to lunch and coffee all day long! At the very same time I complained to God about being lonely, I rejected offers to build relationships.

There are many reasons we refuse to reach out of loneliness. In this particular instance, it was overachieving work-a-holism at its best. Sometimes it is self-righteousness, fear, or just plain laziness that keeps me from exerting the effort needed for a relationship.

After a few rejections, my friend (if I could still call her that!) stopped inviting me out for coffee. I realized that coming out of loneliness required stretching myself. I had to make relationships a priority if I wanted to soothe my lonely heart.

I sheepishly called my friend, offering to make her lunch. As we caught up with each other's lives, I rediscovered the joy and fun of connecting heart-to-heart. I don't know why I waited so long.

As I fought these misconceptions that kept me from friendships, I experienced God's grace and love in others. Indeed, it was important to be in community; there was power in knowing and being known. Even as I grow in relationship, it's easy to lapse into these lonely thoughts. But God promises to help me transform my mind so I can experience deep, authentic relationship.

How do you keep from becoming isolated and lonely in leadership?

Esther Feng lives in Central New York with her husband and two daughters. She serves as a Community Developer for MOPS International, and has been published in Fullfill, Connections, and various online publications and blogs at www.estherfeng.com

January12, 2012 at 9:42 AM

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