Thursday, February 3, 2011


I had a small break through today. I realized something. Why today? Well, because God is very good at hanging around and waiting for us to wise up and listen. He loves us so much and He hates to see us hurt. So, if that means waiting until we are in the shower or driving home from work to have five minutes of uninterrupted time with us, He will. 

He opened my mind to something today, and I think that the reason that He did, was because this part of my life that was quite senseless and unnecessary. 

Calm down. Don't get all worked up. I wasn't wrapped up with the mob or anything. I was, however putting unrealistic standards on myself. I was using the wrong measure of success. Ok, yes. Writing it down and saying it out loud does make it sound silly. I admit it. 

Here: I'll explain... but it will take a while. Sorry, but you know I'm a talker.

Several factors come into play here, and they all start with this: I have been called. That fact, in and of itself can absolutely positively be misinterpreted as pious or boastful. I hope that you will open your mind though, and continue reading, because I believe that you have been called also. We all have, so you aren't off the hook here. ;) The thing that God has called me to do is to serve. To minister to people. To go spread the good news. I believe that someday I will speak to large crowds of people. I believe that God has whispered this to my heart many times. I do, I will admit, have a pretty amazing testimony to share. Also, anyone who knows me will tell you that I love to make people laugh, and I am a Class A ham. I love to be in plays and do skits, and I'm not anxious in front of people. As for the "when", I don't really care. Waiting isn't an issue for me. I think that the scripture in Song of Solomon can be applied here:

Song of Solomon 2:7 NIV

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.

After all, I do trust God's timing. My kids are very young! I waited a very long time for them. I enjoy being their mama every single day. Whatever God has planned for me as a public speaker will come along when the doors are ready to be opened, and I am very, very okay with that. It will be a great ride when it happens, but until then, I will wait. 

Okay, so this is all nice, but what does it have to do with the topic at hand? What is the mystery character flaw that God refined today? Okay. I'll spill it.

There is another part of my personality. A part besides that, love for people and onstage charm. (Did I mention that I'm really humble too?)

A desire to be liked. Yes, we all want to be liked, but I'll take my statement a step further. A NEED to be liked. Well, needed, I should say, since I have had that talk with God today. What good is divine intervention if we don't apply it to our lives! Okay. Let's try that again... I NEEDED to be liked. 

Let's break it down a little.

It wasn't that I was measuring my self worth by people. I know that the King of Kings chooses to memorize each of my many smiles, and that they make Him smile in response. My worth is much, and it is in Him.

It wasn't that I felt unjustly self satisfied when people would need me, or ask for my advice. I praise God for using me as His tool, and for each time that I make a difference in someone's life. Thankfully, I wasn't swimming in pride.

It wasn't even that it just made me happy to be liked. Everyone likes to be liked, but I know that true happiness can only be found in Jesus. 

In their own ways, each of the things that I listed can be true for any of us, to some degree, but none of them was my issue. 

My real problem was this: I felt that being unliked (or not being really really liked) was equal to failure. Now we are back to the "sounds silly to say it out loud" part. Nonetheless, here are a few examples of the lies that I was allowing to live in my head:

1: So and so does not read or have interest in my blog = I'm not writing well = I have failed. 

2: What's their name does not want to hang out with me/ be my Facebook friend = I'm not a good friend= I'm not being an example of Jesus to them = I have failed.

So here is what God had to say about it when He and I talked today. I've gone to the liberty of writing it out in skit form to follow the theme of the first part of this blog. I hope you enjoy!

 A short skit, about a girl who finally "gets more".
staring: God (as Himself), and Me, (as myself)

Setting: It's afternoon in the present day Midwest. My kids are having rest time and I have sneaked away for a shower.

God: (gently) "Who is it that you say that you want to be like, Brandi?"

Me: Washing my hair, "It's You, God! I want to imitate Jesus!"

God: "Well, how well was/is Jesus received? Does everyone 'like' Him?"

Me: (Rinsing) "....noooo.... Lots of people didn't/don't."

God: (Patiently),"Does that change His value to you?"

Me: "Of course not!....Okay, God. I get it. Being like Jesus is my goal. I need to keep my eyes on the finish line." (feeling smarter, and grabbing my Oil of Olay)

God: (Still, ever patient), "Did Jesus worry about these things during His ministry? Did He doubt that He was reaching people?" (Implies:This is doubting God)

Me: (Washing my face, and sort of hoping that this was all that God had to say to me, since my toes were starting to hurt a little) "No, He didn't. He was confident in You, Lord. Really, I get it...".

God:"Brandi, what was that you said about me on your Facebook status last week?"

Me: (still exfoliating), "Um, I wrote, 'Love God, love others. Yes, it really is as simply said as that". (I remembered that I chosen my words well when I wrote it, because it is in fact easily said, but not so easily done)

God: (Still patiently), "So, let's recap: You want to be like Jesus, and your life philosophy is, 'love God, love others', right?"

Me: (Just sort of standing there, letting the water run), "Yes God".

God: (Full of compassion & grace), "Have I given you a Spirit of failure, or of fear of failure?"

Me: (Lifted) "No Lord, you haven't. {insert giant light bulb here}You simply asked me to love, in Your Name." (smiling, and breathing a nice long sigh)

God: (Smiling, almost laughing with excitement) "Daughter, My silly girl, go write a blog and share the wealth".

Point taken. Sometimes God puts on my heart to write a blog. Sometimes He tells me to smile at that woman in the store, and sometimes He asks me to love someone who the world has labeled unlovable. Trying to be like Jesus while trying to love God and others is what God has asked of me. I am only asked to do that part! I am not responsible for anyone but myself. How others chose to react to me is completely between them and God. He may smile at them, or He may end up having a talk with them. Either way, neither success or failure should be defined by anyone's reaction to me. 

So what if I never get @brankamkoie mentioned in Twitter. Who gives a tweet? (sorry, I had to) It isn't failure if I don't get loads of comments, or if so-and-so never comes around. Success is touching one heart. Success is being the love of Jesus to one person. Success is making a difference in one life at a time. Failure would be if I did not continue this race. Failure would be if I had let water get in my ears during that shower today. Ironically, that's the beautiful thing about God. He will never, ever give up on you, even if you do fail.

Keep your eyes on the finish line, friends. We have a pretty good Helper, Who is willing to carry us there if we let Him. Now go succeed!