No More Dismissing Your Power

July 14, 2014

Hello from Rwanda! Meet our crazy fun crew!

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Let me just start by saying, I get it. You are about to head to the office, or perhaps Octonauts is on in the background, or you are driving through Starbucks. I get it. I get life- real normal life pressing in and this looks like it might get heavy. And it might BUT come on anyway.

Because almost louder than the grief today, was my heart racing at the hope I see. I thought about the power of power and what ridiculous amounts of power and influence we have been given- YOU have been given! I want to grab you by the shoulders and look in your eyes and all but shake you in your line at Starbucks because I know you don’t know it and even if you think you might have a little bit, it scares you to death so you don’t go there and half get mad at those of us that make you! And I get it because I feel everything the same and honestly rarely if ever do I hear the word power used as a positive word.

Power Struggle, Power trip, abuse of Power, addicted to Power, Power hungry…. off the top of my head.

Today was certainly no exception. We saw hundreds of skulls only representing over one million dead Rwandans and mass graves containing over 250,000 bodies killed during the brief genocide of 1994. We heard stories about the abuse of power taken to extremes that don’t feel human, the killing of toddlers, like Patrick, with Machetes. Um. Too much.

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All for a fight over power.

The outcomes of power:

Build
Destroy
Do Nothing

These are always the options.

And I think that the greatest problem we face, friends, in our tribe is not the abuse of power but the denial of it. We compare ourselves against ourselves and we feel small… but let’s be super clear on this: We are perhaps the most resourced and powerful generation of women to ever live on the earth.

Like Bruce Wayne before becoming Batman,he ran from the need around him and hid in his house. He was insecure, his eyes on himself and his power was being wasted. Until he realized people desperately needed something he could uniquely give.

Abusing power and denying power are both disobedience.new-twitter_bird-gray

I saw unthinkable effects of abusive power today but I also saw….

NOBERT-

The power of a young man who survived the genocide by hiding in the woods with 2 of his little brothers eating raw potatoes out of gardens at night. Nobert’s parents and sisters were killed in front of him. Today, he is a brother and a father and husband and he has paid for his brothers’ school and bought them a house. He has taken his power and changed the world for his brothers, his wife, his kids, and he cries with pride that a suddenly orphaned boy could become a man and have a new family of his own.

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He takes care of his brothers.

Jessica-

The power of one woman who needed some money to bring her Rwandan son home. She starts a company with a few pieces of jewelry that are given to her. And it is a step, no big deal but it grows and grows and then all of the sudden she is reaching the world. She didn’t set out to be a world changer, she just took initiative for what was right in front of her…a child. It didn’t feel powerful or big.

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She brought home her son.

So how do we use power well?

It’s not about you. Whether it is feelings of inadequacy or a power trip- both shut down the building.

Take Initiative. Because we have been given much. Use your voice, resources, freedom, grace.

For Others. What are the needs you see? We are given power for the good of others.

Take responsibility for someone somewhere near you or far. If all of us use our power for that one thing…to take initiative for the good of a few people in our places? Can you imagine the force of that? No one else can harness the power uniquely given to you.

Quit trying to change the world and just start loving it.new-twitter_bird-gray Then let’s just see what happens.

Want an idea? Perhaps one of the easiest and most fun things in the world…

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And keep following along on our journey- check out other posts here.

 

Why do you shrink back?

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20 Responses to “No More Dismissing Your Power”

  1. Holy Moly. Thanks for putting this out there. A big chunk of my journey over the last two years has been uncovering the contribution He designed me to make and having the faith and courage to go for it when He provided an incredible opportunity. And honestly, you’ve played a big part in shaking it out of me. THANK YOU. I’m a recipient of the IF Gathering/Restless smack down :) Thank you. I’m not going forward perfectly, but I am doing my best to go forward. Shrinking back is way more miserable than going for it!
    And you’re in Kigali, where the co-op I design home accessories for is, so I’m living vicariously through your trip! The more pictures and posts the better!! All the best blessings for your trip!

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  2. Britny

    I don’t like to consider myself a fearful woman, but truth be told that is exactly what holds me back from what could be. I always get super excited about something and then the “what ifs” drown out the voice of God. All too often I find myself in the camp of “Do Nothing” Yikes. That is hard to admit, but IT IS NOT ABOUT ME! So, here I am Lord…send me! Excited to listen in on the IF: local leader chat and see where that leads. Thank you Jennie for using your voice to empower woman – I am grateful!

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  3. I keep going back to read this post, jennie. you pose a really good question and I’m thankful for your words and challenge. I know I shrink back, and this reminded me that regardless of why – it’s NOT about me. thank you.

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