For all those of you that don’t know, I have two beautiful younger sisters, Morelle and Diane ( Middle & Left). Morelle is an incoming college freshman and Diane is an incoming college Junior. We are sisters and fellow Terps, my family is very devout to Terpnation..Lol. Being the eldest sister has been the happiest, most frustrating roller coaster that I have ever been on. Naturally, I have more responsibility placed on my shoulders because I am the eldest. Some of you may understand where I am coming from. There is this burden on the eldest sibling that I cannot truly understand. Nevertheless, I love being the eldest, I love caring and nurturing my sisters, I love being an example to them. Sisterhood has taught me a lot, so today I want to share with you two leadership lessons oldest siblings learn.
I separated myself emotionally and physically from my sisters and family at a certain point. As I entered college, I wanted nothing to have with my responsibilities as the eldest sister, I didn’t talk to them enough, I didn’t spend the time that I needed to spend with them, in a sense I rebelled and turned my back on them. I was so tired of carrying such a heavy burden on my shoulders and the only thing I knew to do was to turn my back on them…ouch. I wanted to be free!
By God’s grace, I came to my senses and my relationship with my sisters is better now than it has ever been.
My relationship with my sisters gives a lot of insight on leadership. As leaders, we don’t want to end up crashing and turning our back on the people and projects that depend on us. But how do we ensure that we don’t get burdened and quit the race? The answer is that the burden was never for us to carry! God tells us himself that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30).
The reason why I rebelled against my sisters is that I carried a burden that I never had to carry.
You cannot worry about each and every single detail of the lives of others, at some point you have to leave those burdens at the altar. As soon as I understood this, I realized that I didn’t have to be everything for my sisters. So here is the first of the leadership lessons oldest siblings learn.
Leadership Lesson #1
You do not have to carry all burdens. Leave it at the altar and trust that Jesus will fill the gaps of your weakness…you are only human and there is only one of you to go around.
Leaders do not have to be everything for everyone, we don’t have to know it all, we don’t have to be perfect. Leadership does not have to be an overbearing burden. God equips us to do the work that He has called us for. In my weakness as a sister, God’s strength fills the gap, in my weakness as a leader, God fills the gap.
When I was younger, I had a hard time with my position because I had nobody to look up to. It seemed that I was the one that would make all the mistakes so that my sisters didn’t have to and I hated that. As the eldest, I did not have the type of guidance I would have had with an elder sibling. I dearly wanted another person close to my age that would care for me like I cared for my sister. I have quickly learned the importance of having guidance, support, and accountability even when it is not from family. You have to create a core group of people that are beyond your years and are filled with wisdom. People that won’t only talk to you as a friend but a big sister, a mentor. Fortunately, while in college God gave me many sisters and even older sisters that I can look up to and seek advice from.
Leadership can become lonely, the higher up you go, the fewer people seem to be around you. Nonetheless, it is vital that you have those people that you can look up to, people that will nurture you spiritually and mentally, people that you can vent to. We all need to be pushed, challenged and encouraged by an elder full of wisdom. Here is the second of the leadership lessons older siblings learn, ready?
Leadership Lesson #2
Seek good counsel. Pray that God will provide “big sisters & brothers” that will help you walk without growing weary.
You were never meant to carry the burden! Leave it on the altar. Do the best you can, and allow the Lord to do the rest. You are an impactful leader not because of your own doing. You are impactful because of God’s power and calling over your life.
Not the eldest sibling and can’t totally relate, check out this post on how being the youngest sibling can help in leadership.