Written by Jenni Catron
Strong women who succeed against challenging circumstances always get my attention. Whether it’s fierce determination, deep devotion or relentless commitment to a calling that drives them, the ability to succeed when the odds are stacked against them inspires me every time.
So at some point in my studies of British history I became quietly fascinated by Queen Elizabeth I. A girl whose ascent to the throne was thwarted by the scandalous behaviour of her father, challenged and tested by other political figures hungry for power and met with resistance from people whom she believed to be loyal to her, Elizabeth’s determination, devotion and commitment are noteworthy.
1) Fierce Determination
Queen Elizabeth’s leadership is a remarkable example of fierce determination in the face of opposition. Her resiliency, boldness and self-confidence catapulted her to a place of leadership that history presumed she should never have filled. Her 44-year reign brought numerous challenges politically, personally and socially and yet she remained resolute in her determination to lead.
2) Deep Devotion
Elizabeth most inspires me for how well she understood the weight of her role and responsibility of her power. Upon assuming the throne she said,
“the burden that is fallen upon me makes me amazed, and yet, considering I am God's creature, ordained to obey His appointment, I will thereto yield, desiring from the bottom of my heart that I may have assistance of His grace to be the minister of His heavenly will in this office now committed to me.”
Queen Elizabeth’s devotion seems to be rooted in a deep understanding of God’s call for her life, and as a result her faith informed her leadership.
One of the first actions that Elizabeth took as Queen was to create the English Protestant Church that would eventually become The Church of England. Church and state were intricately woven together in this period of history and Elizabeth understood the religious power she held as monarch.
3) Commitment to Calling
Her conviction to rightfully assume the crown drove her to fight against all odds. Once she was in power she committed herself wholeheartedly to serving the people. Known as the “Virgin Queen”, Elizabeth is said to have taken a vow of chastity to devote herself fully to the people she served. She deeply believed that her responsibility was to the people of Britain and she committed her life to serving as their Queen. While opinions vary on the effectiveness of her reign, by sheer longevity she provided a sense of constancy and security to the people.
Queen Elizabeth’s life for me is a reminder of the importance of committing myself wholeheartedly to the work that I am called to do and in turn serving faithfully those who are impacted by my influence with fierce determination, deep devotion and commitment to my calling.
Jenni Catron is a church leader, author and speaker. Her passion is to lead well and to inspire, equip and encourage others to do the same. Jenni can be found on Twitter and Instagram at @jennicatron and she blogs at www.jennicatron.com.