Your Biggest Supporter
Updated: Sep 12
In a different season in my life, there was a leader and friend who claimed to be my biggest supporter.
Maybe you have someone like this in your life. Someone who seems to get who you are, who praises your gifting, someone who for a season empowers you and gives you opportunities to serve and lead. Someone whom you implicitly and deeply respect and trust. Someone who becomes like family to you. Someone who seems to truly care.
And then perhaps over time the leadership that seemed so supportive begins to feel crushing, toxic. You begin to feel that you are being pushed painfully into a box and left there. Perhaps you feel confused and doubt your grip on reality. You might feel cognitive dissonance. If your biggest supporter is doing this, it must be okay and your feelings and thoughts must be wrong, right?
I have come to believe that it is not often healthy for someone to position themselves as your biggest supporter (maybe your mom can, or your spouse, but not many others).
Your self-proclaimed biggest supporter can abuse their place in your life in devastating ways.
I think about the healthy leaders, mentors, and friends in my life today. They do not claim to be my biggest supporter. Rather, they respect and love me, they want good things for me, they empower me with a consistency and a trust.
I hope that you and I have many people in our lives who respect and love us. I hope that you and I share our hearts and lives with many people whom we have the privilege to respect and love.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~ Jeremiah 29:11
We don’t need a biggest supporter, and we don’t need someone else to rank us as their biggest supporter.
Can we just serve one another as true friends and fellow journeyers?
If your biggest supporter is a positive force in your life, then I am glad for you.
But if you are struggling with the cognitive dissonance of knowing something is very much wrong but not understanding how your biggest supporter could do wrong, then I want to encourage you to trust your discernment. Trust your grip on reality. Ask friends around you what they see. Reach out for help.
If you are experiencing toxic abuse from your biggest supporter, and you do not know how to begin processing this, I would be glad to talk with you. Please feel free to reach out to me anytime at email@example.com.
May God lead you in His hope and future. God is trustworthy. He loves you deeply. He will make a way forward for you, so you can reclaim who you are, heal, and live your life in healthy community.
About: Jenny Switkes is a pastor, mathematics professor, and missionary who is passionate about Jesus and loves the bivocational life that God has given her. She loves helping apostolic leaders clarify their calling and take next steps to live their call.
Photo from FreeImages.com/Tory Byrne