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Becoming Who God Created You To Be

Learning through her own personal challenges, "Distinctly You" author Cheryl Martin says God has prepared everyone with a unique purpose that only they can accomplish. Read Transcript

Well, have you ever heard someone say,

my ultimate dream is to be average?

Probably not.

Well, those words open up Cheryl Martin's book.

She dreamed to stand out, and she

did, even though she had to overcome

a few challenges along the way.

Take a look.

NARRATOR: Cheryl Martin studied hard, went to college,

and finished grad school with a degree in broadcast journalism.

Not bad for a girl who grew up with seven brothers

in the Houston projects.

Cheryl's success continued when she landed a job as a news

anchor with NBC, and then as a host for BET's "Lead Story."

From the outside it looked like Cheryl had it all,

but she was struggling on the inside.

There was a time in my life I didn't like myself.

NARRATOR: In her book "Distinctly

You," Cheryl shares the dangers of comparing ourselves

to others, and how the worst time in her life

taught her one of life's most valuable lessons.

She moved to a foreign country.

And Cheryl Martin is here with us now now.

Cheryl, it's great to meet you.

It's great to meet you.

Glad to be here.

Well, I love the title of your book, "Distinctly You."

And you say in your book that people

who say, my goal is to reach the top, to go as far as I go, you

say they're actually missing the mark.

How so?

Because God has a purpose for each one of us,

and we are only distinct when we fulfill the purpose

for which God created us.

God has designed each one of us with a distinction

that only we can fulfill.

And you talk in your book about the things that

get in the way of being distinctly you.

Tell us about those.

In the journey of life that God has a particular path for us,

if we're not careful, we encounter what

I call distinctly you blockers.

And you experienced something like this very early

on, actually, in high school, right?

Yes, I did.

I had my AP English teacher in my senior high school class

say, Cheryl, you can't write.

I'm going to give you a C, and if you

don't bring your grades up, I'm going

to have to take you out of this class.

Wendy, I was devastated.

I was emotionally paralyzed, because I

had been the valedictorian of my junior high,

and I'd only made A's, and one B in English.

So here I have this teacher telling me this.

The power of death and life is in the tongue.

And your whole passion at that point was you

wanted to be a writer.

A broadcasted.

You wanted to be a broadcaster, which involves writing.


And I wanted to go to Northwestern University,

and I'm having this teacher almost derail my dream.


But what I love about God is God

is committed to helping us go down that distinct path

that He ordained for us before the foundation of the world.

How did you overcome those words?

Because those words are powerful, and especially

when we're in our teenage years.

How did you overcome that?

Well, I talk about distinctly you builders,

and the first one is let God define you.

I came to understand that God only holds the right

to define us because He created us with purpose, as he

told Jeremiah.

Before you were formed in your mother's womb,

I had plans for you.

I set you apart.

And my relationship with God, accepting Christ as a child

helped me.

Because what I've found is while there may be blockers,

God is right there.


To say, I'm going to help get you not where you want to go,

but where I want you to go.

Well, you had another big shocker in your life.

You were married, you were in what

appeared to be a very good marriage,

then three years into it, the guy

just leaves, with no reason.

How did that affect you?

It was actually the most devastating experience

of my life, one that I would not dream for anyone.


And of course, accepting Christ as a child,

only wanting God's will for my life, this was not my dream.

And in my lowest moment, I knew that God was with me,

because He said, I will be with you through the storm.

I will be with you through the fire.

But through that experience, Wendy, God

revealed two distinctly you blockers in my own life.

One was when you have a small view of God,

because when all this drama was going on around me,

and I was totally focused on that,

God got my attention one day and said,

Cheryl, Cheryl, have you forgotten?

I'm sovereign.


The same God who parted the Red Sea, I'm that same God.

Don't you think I could stop this any time I wanted to?

Never forget how big I am, and there's a purpose.

There was another blocker that he revealed in me,

and that is having a large view of yourself.

Spiritual pride.

My father used to say, some people

are proud and don't know it.

Because you said in your book that you actually

kind of prided yourself on having this great marriage

and thought, this will never happen to me.

But not only that, that whole Christian notion

that I've been serving God all of my life, bad things

happen to bad people.

So I'm saying God is going to bring about reconciliation

and restoration, because he hates divorce,

and he can do that.


I was more concerned about my Christian reputation.

And one day God spoke to me and said, Cheryl,

I'm trying to get your attention.

I need you to put your spiritual pride on the altar.

I can't use you like I want to use you,

you cannot experience the distinction that I have

for you, full of yourself.

That's good.

So I need you to empty yourself of yourself.

Well, you say that we need to avoid the three C's.

What are the three C's?

The three C's of comparing, competing, and coveting.

This is tough.

Yes, it is.

I mean, this is tough in our business.

Yes, it is.

Not only that, Facebook envy, you've

got blog blues, Twitter tattling.

We can look at other people's lives and envy what they have,

and compete.

I have this joke.

I always say, you know, if we're not having fun on Facebook,

we're not having fun.

You know?

Because you put your best-- you don't put bad pictures

of yourself on Facebook.

You only put your best life.

You put your best life.

And what happens, we can look-- what

I say is someone else's greatness does not take away

from your distinction.



That's right.

That's right.

So, not comparing-- and we talked a little bit

about the blockers.

What are some distinctly you builders?

Having a big view of God, and also, focus,

and doing your best.

When I was a reporter I interviewed

an 83 year old swimmer, and I asked her, what is your goal?

And she said, I swim against my own number.


I have found that if we look at what God has given us,

and we say, I'm going to maximize,

I'm going to do the very best with the package God

has given me.

Not only that, know who you are, and know who you are not.

John the Baptist was called, just like Jesus,

but he was never in competition with him.

Now, despite what your teacher said in high school,

you became a very successful news anchor,

you went on to BET, you now have a very successful radio talk

show, which is called--

Excellent Living.


But there was someone at one of these TV stations

that said you would never get on the air.

That happened to me, too.

That happened to me in my second TV job.

I was told that I should probably get out of TV.

So, you know, here we are, Cheryl.

Because, again, it's not what others say, it's what God says.


And if we spend more time focusing on and having

that relationship with Him, and let Him guide our path,

Psalms 32:8 says, I will guide you

along the best pathway for your life.

And I saw God open every door for me in secular television,

because that's where He wanted me.

Not for my glory, but for His glory.

And in your love life?

Do you have a love life to talk about yet?

I love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength,

and I am confident--


That if that's His will for me, it will happen at His time.

God wants us to get to that place of rest.


Of freedom and fulfillment in his will for us.


Well, you know I had to ask.

Not a problem.

All right.

Well, if you'd like to have more from Cheryl,

pick up a copy of her book.

It's called "Distinctly You, Trading

Comparison and Competition for Freedom and Fulfillment."

Doesn't that sound good?

Well, it's available wherever books

are sold, and Cheryl Martin, thanks so much for being here.

You're a delight.

God bless you.

Thank you.

Thank you so much.


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