A Humbling Moment of Honesty

I knew that when I committed to make “humility” my OneWord for 2011, it wouldn’t be an easy road.  I knew that and yet I hoped… I hoped it wouldn’t be too painful.  I hoped that God would grow humility in me without actually having to make me feel the pain of humbling myself.  I know… that just sounds kind of silly.  But I guess I hoped that since I was addressing the need for it, that it might save me the process.


That hasn’t been the case at all.  In fact, I’m becoming so much more aware of the moments of pride and arrogance that mark my life.  Realizing that in itself, humbles me.

My prideful self is embarrassing.

Today was just another reminder.  I began my day a little lost.  We now have 5 campuses and I wasn’t really NEEDED anywhere this morning.  This should be a good thing, right?  We have amazing leaders at each of our campuses and I can trust them to lead their congregations without having to be all up in their business.  That’s a good thing.  It’s the way it’s supposed to be.

But if I’m honest, as a leader it’s tough.  It’s tough to not feel needed.  Its difficult to watch other leaders shine and to find myself in the background.

So after facing my insecurity demons, I headed out to our Bellevue Campus ready to serve Justin and his team in any way I could.   I thought “ok, cool I can hang out, chat with others, encourage volunteers, etc.  Easy breezy.  This will be a great day.”

And then I arrived.  Before I took five steps inside the door I discovered that the floors were in desperate need of attention.  The hallways in the entire building needed to be swept.

“What was that I said?  Oh yeah, that I would serve however I could?”


I wish I could tell you I swept those floors with great joy.  I didn’t.

I forced a smile.  I made some jokes.  I told myself that this is exactly what a servant leader does.

But it was humbling.

This was the best way that I could serve today and so I served.

Hopefully taking another step towards developing a heart of humility.

Have you ever prayed for something that you knew was going to mean going through a painful process?

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  • ash January 23, 2011  

    proud of you and so, so thankful to serve under your leadership. love you, friend!

    • Jenni Catron January 23, 2011  

      Thanks Ash! You would have done it with a big smile on your face and a sense of fulfillment. I love that about you!

  • Amy Nabors January 23, 2011  

    I think it says a great deal of how you are growing that you see this in yourself and are working on it.
    For me my word this year has been the same way. Knowing I so badly wanted to grow the way I know God will use my word and yet knowing it’s not going to be an easy process.

  • Sherie January 23, 2011  

    Jenni, I can relate. One of the things I have been praying is that God would break my heart for the things that break his heart. OUCH! I never realized how much we break his heart. Some days I want to take the prayer back. It has caused me to live in Phil. 2, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus….made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant” and 1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” In the midst of the circumstances I may not always find joy, and I don’t always have the attitude I want to, but I can rejoice in what the Lord is doing and that through this I am being transformed and changed.

    • Jenni Catron January 24, 2011  

      “I never realized how much we break his heart” So true… and so painful! Thank you Sherie for sharing your heart and perspective.

  • Jen C January 23, 2011  

    Jenni, thanks for sharing this story. I think one of the things that can be most humbling is to minister in an area outside of our natural giftings. My biggest gift is serving; I’d much rather sweep the floor on Sunday mornings than facilitate meetings, budgets and communications.

    I’m not an administrator, so when I took lead on a year long project to raise awareness in our church to the needs of the community, it was a totally out-of-my-realm experience. Its even more humbling now to see members of our church take the initiative to continue these projects after the year was over.

    If we are faithful and obedient God will bless us. Thank you for being an example and sharing it with us. Praying your blessings multiply in response. 🙂

    • Jenni Catron January 24, 2011  

      Jen, that’s great perspective! We would make a great team 🙂

  • Marni January 23, 2011  

    Yep…very recently in fact.

    I am in a season of having to lean very heavily upon Christ as my only accountability partner right now, because I very recently had to move on from the one I had.

    Since this moment, I have been deep in prayer for God to reveal to me who the people, I am needing in my life, are to fulfill the areas of accountability I know He needs me to have – and I thought over a few days time, He would have granted my “wish.” Yeah, I wasn’t truly praying, as much as I was “wishing” – and it dawned on me just a couple of days ago that this is what I was doing.

    I was trying to get God to do it my way, or grant me my wish like me rubbing on the bottle waiting for Him to grant it like a genie. When I realized the laden pride that was oozing out from my mouth to Him…it humbled me tremendously to a moment where I finally heard Him, “be still.”

    Right now, I need to just stay where I am, in this moment, alone – with Him – and follow His leading, and bring every question, concern, petition to Him first (rather than an accountability partner first – which is what I was tending to do more often than I should have been).

    Talk about a gut check convicting moment when this hit. It wasn’t the most pleasant taste of humble pie I ever ate – in fact, it was pretty unpleasant, but it turned my heart and mind around pretty quickly.

    I am finding that moments when He needs to refine the people He has called into leadership, it can be the most distasteful moments – but man, how sweet it will be later on, right?

    • Jenni Catron January 24, 2011  

      Marni, thank you for your honesty. Praying for you!

  • Nicole January 24, 2011  

    Oh, friend, are we the same person?
    I have had these exact moments. Mine involved cleaning bathrooms and scrubbing scuff marks off the floor by hand, but other than that, pretty much exact same experience. I certainly know what it’s like to have prayer answered, even when I’d rather it not. 🙂

  • Brittany February 7, 2011  

    painful moments… don’t ya just love/ hate it when God gives us what we ask for – You wanted to be needed and the floors needed you … I completely understand the feeling … a constant reminder tho that God’s plans aren’t always my plans … 🙂