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Becoming who God created you to be

Cheryl MartinArticle By CBN

Cheryl grew up with 7 brothers in the predominantly black Fifth Ward neighborhood located a few minutes from downtown Houston. 

Her mom and dad were godly people who were committed to teaching their family the things of God.  “Christ was always at the center,” says Cheryl.  She accepted the Lord as her Savior at a young age and cannot recall a time in her life when she didn’t serve Him. 

Cheryl did well in school and was always an honor student.  She was class valedictorian in junior high and attended a top high school to prep for college.  One day, a teacher told her she could not write.  Devastated, Cheryl felt like a failure and her self-esteem hit rock bottom. “I lost all confidence,” she says. 

For this painful season of her life, Cheryl allowed this teacher’s opinion of her to define her.  “My perception of myself changed completely,” she says.  “I began thinking that maybe I needed to scrap the dream of attending Northwestern University because my teacher said I was not a good writer.” 

One afternoon in her junior year, a radio station manager became her first mentor and encouraged her to apply to Northwestern.  She was shocked and elated when she learned Northwestern admitted her.  “I came very close to discarding my dreams because of that teacher’s view of me,” says Cheryl.  “Until God stepped in with His emissary to encourage me to pursue the dreams He placed in my heart.”

Three years after she was married, Cheryl was devastated when her husband walked away with no desire for reconciliation.  “It was the shock of my life,” she says.  “This happens to everyone else but not Cheryl Martin.”  She was more worried about her spiritual reputation and had previously judged other believers whose marriages ended in divorce.  “It never occurred to me until it happened to me that you can’t stay married to someone if they don’t want to be married to you.” 

Cheryl was putting the blame on her ex-husband until she sensed the Lord during this painful time.  She felt Him say, “This is about you. I want you to put your spiritual pride on the altar.”  Cheryl humbled herself and confessed her pride before God.  What she learned was that as believers we feel entitled.  “The Lord says when we go through the fire and the storms, He will be with us,” says Cheryl.  “I live in the grace zone.”

Cheryl says we need to avoid the 3 C’s: comparing, competing and coveting.  These 3 C’s can lead to depression, discouragement and discontentment.  They are deadly.  It is easy to get caught in the trap of measuring our success by someone else.  It is unhealthy and can keep us from living the victorious life.  Instead, be distinct. 

Maximize the package we’ve been given.  Admit any struggles to God and ask for His healp.  Don’t be impressed with yourself nor compare yourself to others.  “We can’t win when we compare, compete and covet because there is always someone smarter, richer, more talented or more beautiful than we are,” says Cheryl.  Thank the Lord for making you distinctively you; accept your package!
“I love encouraging women to get to their respective finish lines,” she says.  “I want to stamp out the 3 C’s because they block our progress when we can’t truly be happy.”  Cheryl says there’s something wrong with the body of Christ if we are reveling in someone else’s failures.  We should be praying for the restoration of others.

RELATED: 7 ways to be confident in who God called you to be

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