A Leaders Call:
As leaders, one of the most important things that we can do is KNOW our people. This goes beyond logging birthdays and anniversaries into the calendar. Yes, that's important, but what if we extended our efforts a bit. What if we knew spouses and children's names and birthdays? What if we knew about big life events, both joyful and tragic? Being seen and heard are basic needs as human beings, and when we don't feel heard and seen, we begin the cycle of negative self-talk and turning inward.
Season of Advent: The Coming:
As a Christ follower, my family and I have been celebrating Advent for the last four weeks. Advent is a season (four Sundays in December) where we intentionally anticipate, or wait for, the birth of Jesus Christ. In this season of waiting we have hope because we know the end of the story. But, for so many, that's not the case...
The holiday season is filled with joy, happiness, family, friends, and way too much food for a lot of us. But, for some, especially this year, this is a season of isolation, loneliness, fear, and depression. Domestic violence and suicide numbers are up, and it looks like the end of year statistics will be shocking.
As leaders (That's ALL of us), it is our responsibility to take care of people. What this means is knowing when something is not quite right with someone we know, and then acting on it. We need to be keenly aware of signs that someone is hurting. Not only that, but we need to have the courage and care about our people enough to act on your impulses and gut feelings. It's a simple process of checking in. Like I said, humans have a basic need to feel heard and seen. As Christians, we are in a season of waiting with ecstatic anticipation of the coming of Jesus. This gives us hope. Many of those around us are in a season of waiting as well. Waiting for a kind word... Waiting for a hug or a high five... Waiting for acknowledgement that THEY matter to YOU.
A Charge for Leaders this Season:
This holiday season, take the time to slow down, and really see the people around you. Ask tough questions, and be prepared for tough answers. Love one another and find those who are lonely and bring them into the fold. I mention "leaders" a lot, and I want to be abundantly clear that I mean YOU. Call someone, text someone, hug someone, and ask the hard questions when you feel like they need to be asked. If you need help, reach out to someone! I have some resources below, and my email is all over my web page. Merry Christmas and start strong, and finish this year well, in every way.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
Veteran Crisis Line: Dial 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to talk to someone
5 Warning Signs of Suicidal Behavior: https://www.bridgestorecovery.com/blog/5-warning-signs-of-suicidal-behavior-that-are-easy-to-miss/