Behold I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20

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Frankly Phyllis

''Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!" -- Anonymous

Jack Buck, the "WOW" St. Louis Cardinals baseball announcer, shared a hard-won tip back in 1990 when I was debating whether to write a book or go into broadcasting. He and Carol had auctioned off a dinner in their home, and we won the bid with friends. After a fabulous meal, I finally got the courage to sidle up to Mr. Buck with my quandary of what to do. Without missing a beat he said, "No contest. Do the show. You can always write the book!" My "yes, but ..." response was "I'm a counselor, a writer. Broadcasting? How would I ...?" And again, quick as a flash: "It's easy. Just be yourself!"

After years at the mic, I'm still challenged to be myself. It's said that public speaking is the greatest fear people have next to death. Now that's a bit of a stretch it seems to me. But I get the point. Why is it so? Maybe it's because to be yourself you have to know yourself, like yourself, be relaxed in your own skin. That's certainly a challenge in today's self-infatuated culture where its national pastime is debating who's the most beautiful, handsome, wealthy, and smashing person out there. Along with precise expectations for eyebrow arch to waistline to attire and political party!

In 1998 I interviewed Mike Huckabee after he'd been lieutenant governor of Arkansas and was bumped up to governor by default, when the governor landed in jail. I was fascinated to hear when Mr. Huckabee was elected to his first position, his opponents were so furious they nailed his office shut for two weeks. In fact, it took a court order to get in! But then the door was opened wide for him to become governor! When God wants you to go through the door, it opens one way or another.

It's the same with you wherever you may find yourself right now. As you follow the Lord's lead the best you can, He nudges you this way and that. It's through circumstance, by hit and miss, by using what you do best and like most. Trust His timing and do your best. All He asks is that you serve Him gladly and He'll take it from there. I had no intentions of becoming a broadcaster. I liked counseling and retreating with women, thank you very much. Then God indicated to me, let's try this, and opened a door through which I felt unqualified to proceed. Jack Buck's advice was just what I needed to attempt a new role and watch God use my skill set! Combined with the experts on the Woman to Woman show, we reach many more women with "Truth you can trust!" than I would have alone -- if I had not taken that risk.

What's your risk? Learn from the Bible, Christian friends, and Woman to Woman just how much God loves you and all the ways He proves that. It will help you love yourself and answer that question: "Who am I?" You may even be so frustrated with yourself right now that you're saying, "I'm beside myself!" Now, that is a problem! Frankly, you could try something else -- be beside Jesus. He's the Way!

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