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An Open Letter to Young Women Leaders

The glory of God is man—and woman—fully alive.

My dear friend,

It is nothing short of joyous to see you in action—loving God and loving people. I don’t question that you are right where you’re supposed to be, for you are more than leaning into the calling placed on your life. Do you see what I see in you? Do you believe in what Christ wants to do through you?

Here’s what I know, you have the Three P’s: passion, potential, purpose. The alliteration may feel a little cheesy, but it just might stick with you—in the best and holiest of ways.


Let’s start at the beginning: although you are a young leader, you have passion. You come alive when someone asks you about your faith. You can remember when you first said yes to follow Jesus. You might recall, with tears or with laughter, how that moment changed you. Today, maybe you’re passionate about finance or children’s ministry. Maybe thinking about small groups or dreaming about how the church can engage the surrounding community makes you come alive like nothing else. Maybe you just finished seminary and you’re starting your first job as a clergywoman in the church. Or maybe you’re just begun to let this dream of full-time vocational ministry become a reality. Whatever it is that makes you come alive, the passion you have for God is nothing short of gravitational. It pulls you forward. It gives you life. It reminds you who you truly are in the deepest parts of your soul.

For God, creator of all, calls you his own. Pause for a moment and consider: this calling, passion, and life you possess are not your own. They’re God’s—all that you are is from him. You have passion to serve because he first had this passion for you. You have passion for ministry because he first called you his own. You have this passion for the church and for all these messy, holy humans because he first had passion for us.

Too often, I’ve gotten this passion mixed up. I’ve forgotten that God is big, and Cara is small—that he comes first and I come second. When my wires get crossed and I begin to believe that my passion is enough for the both of us, the results aren’t pretty.

So, do us all a favor and keep your holy ducks in a row. Let God be God. Let you be you. Let this passion flow as it was intended to flow, will you?


It’s not just passion that sustains you: there’s no doubt that you have great potential for the kingdom. Take a moment again to pause. Think about all the different parts and attributes and characteristics that make you you. He’s given you specific gifts and spectacular talents that mark you unique from all of the men and women around you. Now if that doesn’t put a smile on your face, and make you want to shout a hearty thank you, thank you, thank you, I don’t know what will!

You may have the uncanny ability to listen when the rest of the room seems to be yelling. Or maybe you know how to walk into a crowd of strangers and walk away with thirty new best friends. Perhaps you know how to make others laugh, or how to communicate hard truths easily. Maybe you know how to mediate between angry, unresolved parties.

You know how to do this simply because it’s who you are—unique, beautiful, set-apart you.

Muse on this quote often attributed to Saint Irenaeus: “The glory of God is man fully alive.” This, of course, is not just true for men, but for all people in the kingdom of God—men and women. The way you’ve been created uniquely is not only how you’ve been made to shine, but how God most glories in you. Doesn’t that give you hope? Doesn’t that make you the slightest bit giddy for what he has in store for you?


Finally, trust that God won’t leave you hanging! You, my dear, have great purpose in the kingdom of God, even if said purpose doesn’t present itself to you in the next 24 hours.

You remember Esther? She became queen when she was 14 years old, but her Jewish identity remained hidden from King Xerxes for another 5 years—until it couldn’t be kept a secret any longer. Risking her life, she finally went before the king. She begged for favor. She asked that her people might be spared, and hoped he wouldn’t have her killed for asking.

As you may recall, the Jewish people were spared because her actions. But when I think about this story, I can’t help but think about the years before the potential of Esther’s passions actually came to fruition. It takes time for our purposes to take root and grow. You may be at this very spot, wondering when God will find it time to let you fly and soar through the air, as you believe he’s intended all along. If this is where you find yourself, take a look around you. See how you’re already being used—right here, right now.

Wholeheartedly believe that he who began a good work in you will not forget to finish what he started—in fact, he’ll bring it on ‘til the day of completion! So, trust that your time will come. You’re not forgotten. Not then, not now.

Now, go on. Make me proud. Love God and love people. But most of all, be who God has created you to be. You’ve got this!

Cara Meredith is a writer and speaker from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and co-host of Shalom in the City's monthly book club podcast. She holds a Masters of Theology (Fuller Seminary), and can be found on her blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

September26, 2016 at 8:00 AM

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