June 5, 2023 • Article, De Pree Journal, Marketplace Leaders
In our research, we’ve learned that healthy marketplace leaders are guided by a redemptive imagination. They look at the world around them and believe not only that better is possible but also that they can play a role in bringing better about. Their version of better is informed by the way of Jesus and the values of the kingdom.
How do we develop a redemptive imagination? We believe that one way to cultivate a redemptive imagination is by learning to see evidence of resurrection in our lives. In the shadow of death, where do we see God bringing new life? In the midst of despair, how does God bring hope?
To help us learn to see evidence of resurrection in our lives, work, and leadership, we’ve collected a few stories from people like you who are also learning to see God at work in their midst. With each story, we’ve provided a few reflection questions to help you continue to cultivate a redemptive imagination.
New Roles, Same God
By Maria Lee
I have been a widow since 2015 when my dearest, beloved husband of over forty-four years unexpectedly passed after a triple bypass surgery. He was my best friend, the father of our two children, grandfather of six wonderful grandchildren, and my business partner in my dream flower shop that we owned for eighteen years.
In the following days and months, managing the grief was devastating. My heart was crushed in every imaginable way and the sting of death was indescribable. Because our lives were built on Christ our Solid Rock, and our lives were anchored on Scripture. As a believer in Christ, I knew my husband Sterling went to be in the presence of Jesus (2 Cor.5:8). The second thought that brought me comfort is remembering the last words my husband uttered clearly, shortly before he took his last breath, “God is faithful.” God’s presence and peace surrounded us that night in the hospital room. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15).
When my husband died, my role as a wife ended. I sold our flower shop in 2017. But my identity in who I was created to be as God’s daughter was being resurrected. I now focus on the plans and purposes of God for me.
Transitioning to a new role is not easy, but I had to remind myself of who God says I am according to Scripture–I had to see myself as God’s daughter and not be fixed on seeing myself as a widow only. I am widowed but never alone. I have the hope and joy that God’s calling and future plans for my life are good. I am aware of God’s presence with me. The Holy Spirit abides in me, I am a daughter of the Most High God. I am fearfully and wonderfully made as the Scripture tells us (Psalm 139:14). I continue to pray and seek God daily for guidance through the Word. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil 3:14).
I continue to be close in my relationships with my children and grandchildren, praying and comforting them as they too must deal with the death of their father and grandfather. I am now 72 years old, and I thank God for the health and vitality that allows me to serve for the glory of God. I am grateful to God that I am able to continue volunteering as a leader with a local university campus ministry, co-leading a connect group for ladies. And now God has blessed me with a part-time job as a floral designer in a beautiful orchid store with an amazing godly boss.
- Have you ever experienced a season in which you rather suddenly or unexpectedly changed roles? What was that like? How did you respond?
- What sorts of questions do you have for God in seasons of dramatic or unexpected change?
- In this story, Maria tells us about how she had to return to Scripture to remember her true identity. What are the benefits of anchoring our identity in Christ? What practices, habits, or commitments can help us remember who God has created us to be?
- Where do you see hope and new life in Maria’s story? In what ways does her story help you imagine the possibilities God may have in store for you?
Banner image by Getty Images on Unsplash.