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  • Writer's pictureBrandi Bourne

Being authentically, unapologetically me.

I realize it’s been a while since I’ve written anything. Part of that reason is having a very productive schedule over the last few months. But the other part is a little more complicated than that. This post will be a little more casual than usual (if that’s possible) because it’s time to get something out here again.

First, let me just put an update out there for the sake of the ongoing testimony this blog has become. I’ve been settling in at my job and though doing payroll is far from the most exciting or fulfilling career, I am happy to have stability and benefits again. The house sold just days before the foreclosure process began and I’m pretty sure that was God’s plan all along. He loves to give us opportunities to stretch our faith! Even if we don’t always appreciate those opportunities. We moved and are renting in a small town next to Baytown and my son is in a WAY better school and district. Not to knock the old district, but that school he was in was pretty bad. We’ve seen a night and day difference in his behavior just since school started. Which is a huge relief – and all the parents said AMEN with me. Things at church are picking up and the team I lead has finally gained some momentum – I am so incredibly proud of those I am serving with! So, things in life are going well right now. Which has given me the opportunity to focus on growth. Don’t get me wrong, I am still struggling with some heavy things but when you go through a “Job-like trial” you tend to have a different perspective that makes some of the things that seem “big” not quite as “big” as you once thought. In plain terms, I can handle loneliness over the concern of losing everything we’ve been given.

All that being said, I want to talk about the second reason I stopped the blog for a while. I started thinking maybe I’m sharing too much here. I thought perhaps leaders were a little more private with their struggles. And you know that might be true for some leaders. But it’s not who God designed ME to be. You see, as difficult as it is to share some of the things I have on here, someone out there needs to hear this stuff. Someone out there needs to know that this walk isn’t easy. There are too many out there portraying this image of near perfection. Everything in their life just goes right and they might mention that they struggle too now and again, but they’re not being specific about what they are struggling with. It makes others feel like their struggles aren’t relatable. Last night I was reminded of the importance of being transparent and real, by a leader who opened up in a way that I have never heard before. And I needed every word of what he said. It's now given me the confidence to say you know what? It's ok to be open about my struggles.

Now I do believe that there can be such a thing as oversharing when it comes to personal details about others. There are things I want to tell ya’ll about that I can’t because they involve other people. I also think that we need to be careful that we’re not throwing out one huge complaint for the world to see when we share things. While this blog can be therapeutic – you guys are not my counselor. (Actually, I haven’t even had one of those but in a few weeks, I’ll be on that journey again, but that’s a topic for another day.)

I also started to lose confidence asking questions like “who is really reading this anyway?” and “what’s the point of spending all this time on these blogs?” (Just as an insight, these blogs typically take me a few hours of writing and editing before they hit the page). I let the enemy tell me things like “no one really cares what you write. You’re no expert.” And you know, I’m not. But recently I was listening to a leadership podcast and Ryan Leak was talking about how he went to talk to an audience on parenting when he felt like he was far from an expert on the topic. It was during that podcast that I had a revelation about teaching. It's SO profound, are you ready for this one? Teaching is just sharing what we’ve learned. I know shocking, right? Just kidding. It’s such a simple statement but for some reason it was like this door was unlocked for me. I realized – I don’t have to be an expert. I never claimed to be one to begin with. So, if that’s what you were expecting coming into this, well, sorry to disappoint you. I am a Christian, I am a mom, and I don’t have any of this “figured out” and I probably never will. But I’m happy to share with you what I’m learning.

Somewhere along the line we’ve allowed society to tell us that we must have everything “figured out” to do anything great. But that’s not the truth. Because if we were able to figure everything out, what would we need God for? Look at nearly every person in the Bible. None of them had it all together. Look at Abraham, Moses, Gideon, David, Elijah, Jonah, Peter, Paul - I mean the only one who seemed to have it all together was Solomon and well, he had a bit of a problem with the ladies. Too many ladies to be specific. No, the only perfect person in the Bible was Jesus. I know we hear this often, but do we really understand this? I’m not saying we shouldn’t be striving to be like Jesus, but I am saying our focus should be more on growing our relationship with Him then trying to be perfect.

I fell into that people-pleasing trap of caring too much about what others think. Now there is a healthy level of caring what people think. We shouldn’t go through life thinking we’re and what others think doesn’t matter at all. But when it comes to something that God has asked us to do if we’re not pleasing people well, too bad. It took me a minute to realize this. God told me to start this blog to begin with. And last night I got checked by Him for not using a gift that He has given me – writing. This is something I love to do because He asked me to do it. I will strive for growth in this area too. I hope to one day have a mentor who can read these and help me to improve my writing. Granted this blog is not intended to be structured in such a way that I lose the “casual” vibe. I hope whoever reads this reads it as a conversation and not an instruction manual. But if someone has an issue with me doing what He's asked, I could care less. Now if it wasn't something that God asked of me well that's a whole different story right there.

And another thing - you know I just might write a whole post about this one day – being a leader doesn’t mean you can’t be vulnerable. Being a leader does not mean you can’t get help. It doesn't mean you can’t share your struggles. I would say exercise caution on what you share and to who, because people will use things against you. But you see I let the fear of losing a position quiet me. Let me clarify that this is an unreasonable fear because I have absolutely amazing leaders and they are pretty transparent about things. But let me be very clear about the leadership journey that I’ve just begun here – I didn’t ask for this position. I didn’t walk up to someone and say “hey, I was a leader at my last church, and I did management for 8 years so I think I would be great at this.” Nope. Now someone did see something in me that I did not see in myself, and their obedience to the Lord was a key factor in all of this because I was running from leadership. I was Jonah – God showed me on more personality quizzes and “gift” tests and things than I can count but I said nope I’m going to hop on this ship over here and go the other way. I honestly didn’t think I had what it takes to be a leader, especially not in a new place. I was just there to receive and go home. But God had another plan. And sitting is NOT what I do. In fact I think it might be impossible for me. I don’t want to sound arrogant or boastful when I say this so, please hear my heart on this, but God put me in this position. And you know what that means? I can stop worrying about losing it. But it also means that I need to embrace it too. I told God a long time ago that I would do what He asked of me no matter the cost. And I already have wanted to step down because of insecurities and failures I’ve experienced that I feel were caused my insufficiencies as a leader. But I refuse to give up on something God asked me to do.

You know, I think my next post will be on this. The things I’m learning as someone who just started the journey into leadership. I’ll probably come back in 10 years and cringe at every word I wrote, but it’s going to help someone and at the end of the day that’s what matters. But I can’t wait to share so much of what I have been learning because it’s A LOT.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will go ahead and finish this post up now. But look forward to hearing more from me. Not the fake “I have it all together or I’m an expert” me, but the real authentic me. I’m not going to try to be anyone else. I’m going to keep striving for growth but I’m also going to really learn how to accept who God’s created me to be. I am Brandi – Daughter of the King, Warrior, Mom.

So, what about you, reader. In what ways have you gotten away from being authentically “you?”


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