I remember as if it were yesterday. The director of the Queen Esther Ministry, a discipleship program for women at my church, announced she would be moving to Texas. I was serving as her assistant, and she asked me to start praying for her replacement. I prayed and reassured her that I would be happy to work with whoever the new director would be.
One day our pastor's wife passed me in the hallway and asked me to pray about taking the lead. Honestly, I had been praying for someone else to come and lead the ministry so that I could continue to assist. Being an assistant was comfortable for me. I didn't want to take the lead because I really didn't want the full responsibility of ministering to women, and deep down in my heart, I was afraid.
At that time, the Queen Esther Ministry had nearly 100 women, and I did not want to be responsible for leading them. I thought about all of the negative things that could happen. I doubted myself with questions like, "What if I am not good enough?" or "What if I don't know enough?" I shared my thoughts with my husband, and he encouraged me to go for it. He said, "I believe that you already have everything that you need." He also said he did not want me to say no out of fear. We agreed that I should try it, and if leading the ministry did not work well for our family and me, I would go back to our pastor's wife and let her know that leadership was not for me.
Before I said yes, I decided to spend a day praying and fasting. I really wanted to hear a word from God and be sure it was God calling me to lead before I committed. I prayed and specifically asked God to please show me a sign that would confirm that He wanted me to lead the Queen Esther Ministry. That same day, I was in the car driving down the highway and there was a car in front of me that caught my attention. The car had a license plate that was an answer to my prayer. It read "ESTHER." Immediately, the Holy Spirit reminded me of my prayer request, which was, "Lord, please show me a sign that you are calling me to lead the Queen Esther Ministry." Who would have thought God would use a personalized license plate to speak to me about taking the lead?
It's been more than 10 years since I began serving as the director of the Queen Esther Ministry, and I am so thankful I said yes. I am confident that God has called me to lead for such a time as this. I have grown, and the ministry has grown. Women are continuously being blessed by this ministry. God has given me grace to lead and sent others to help make the ministry a success. I learned that sometimes people will see leadership ability in you before you see it in yourself. Leading has required me to trust and depend on God like never before. I pray and seek God for every decision. I didn't think that I could do it, but I had to stand on Philippians 4:13: " I can do all things because of Christ who strengthens me." With God, all things are possible!
Perhaps God is calling you to take the lead, or you have been asked to do something that will take you out of your comfort zone. Before you answer, take time to pray and seek the Lord.
Carolyn Tatem is a native of Washington, D.C., and is an author, speaker and teacher. She has a passion for marriage and helping singles to prepare for a successful marriage. She is the author of Marriage from A to Z: Principles for a Successful Marriage and The Marriage from A to Z Study Guide. Her third book, Marriage from A to Z for Singles, releases this summer. Carolyn is happily married to her husband, William, and together they have three children.
This article originally appeared at lifeway.com.