Articles just_normal

Published on November 22nd, 2014 | by Kori Buchanan

What If I’m Just… Normal?





I wanted to do big things.

I was the 8-year-old enthralled by missionary stories, the teen excited about “doing hard things.” I dreamed and planned and prepared. God surely had awesome plans for my future.

Funny, but the future doesn’t look like I expected. Two years out of college, I tutor and own a small music studio. I watch my friends follow God’s calling: to be a missionary, to marry a man in the ministry. To “go.”

I rejoice, but after the commissioning service and the wedding, I went home. I’m still there.

Questions have nagged. Why not me, God? When I have deeply longed to serve You? Is there something wrong with me? Why have You given them the desires of their hearts and withheld mine?

As I grade algebra and count quarter notes, there has been no epiphany. Just the Voice, still and small. You have much to learn.

So much for being post-graduation. I’ve been schooled in subjects not listed in academic catalogues. I think my major is either “Waiting in Uncertainty” or “Doing Rather Small Things.”

Perhaps you also find yourself involuntarily enrolled. Your lessons may be different from mine, but here are four things I’ve needed to learn.

Humility

I peel away layers of complaint and find pride. I wouldn’t verbalize it, but my attitude whines: “Look, God. You have enabled me. Don’t you want to use me? Why am I still on the sidelines?”

Truth: God doesn’t need me. I have nothing to offer that He did not give me first. He is not impressed with me or obligated to use me. Serving God in any capacity is a privilege, not a right.

He allowed me to experience rejection and failed opportunities — and showed me that I am powerless. My gifts and drive aren’t enough. I am weak and I need God desperately. And anything that teaches me this is grace.

Trust

There were many tears. Why, God? I’m hurting. Help me make sense of this. God didn’t always give answers for my failures and His denials. He held me, crushed and bruised, and gave me the ultimate answer — Himself.

It became a litany.

“Isn’t God powerful?”

Yes – nothing is impossible for Him.

“Isn’t He wise?”

Yes. God has perfect understanding and knows what is ultimately best.

“Isn’t God my Father who loves me and gave His Son for me?”

Yes!

“If He gave His Son, will He withhold any other good thing?”

Absolutely not.

That was – and is – all I needed to know: I can trust this God who is powerful, wise, and who loves.

Contentment

Sometimes it felt suffocating. Could I bear it if all I ever did was stay in my little town, teaching in my little studio, working with little kids, and being little me?

Today, I say yes. The things I craved — a successful career, a relationship, a dynamic ministry — aren’t the answer. I know because I have crazy, surprising joy without them.

God withheld my deepest longings and gave me Himself. As I pursued Him through His Word, prayer, and worship, I was startled to find that I was satisfied. Circumstances didn’t matter. As I delighted in God, His ordering of my life became delightful.

Willingness

“Wherever, whatever You want, Lord! I’m in!” It was easy to say that and believe I meant it. But what if God’s mission for me didn’t involve a foreign country – what if He wanted me to slip a gospel tract to the cashier at the grocery store or witness to my neighbor?

Was I serious about service and evangelism? I was open to missions or vocational ministry, but would I be faithful with no title? Would I be zealous for the gospel if I was just… normal?

I had to learn to accept quiet ministries, even when they were unseen and unapplauded. If my desire was to glorify God and proclaim the gospel, it wouldn’t matter if I had a title or recognition. I would do anything – boring, mundane, trivial – to further His cause.

And Today….

I’m still home. I don’t have an explanation for God’s workings — not that He owes me one. God gave me a great blessing when He gave me Himself instead of answers.

By His grace, I now have more experience in humility, trust, contentment, and willingness. I haven’t arrived, but I’m not where I was. When the next tests come, I pray that I’ll be more prepared to face them.

And you? If any of this sounds familiar, I pray that God gives you grace to walk through this time with Him. May we be willing to do whatever He tells us, to go wherever He leads us — even if it means to stay and be small — so that He becomes great in us.


Share Your Thoughts in the Comment Section!

There are currently 6 Comment(s)


Photo courtesy of MartinaK15 and Flickr Creative Commons.







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About the Author

is a 22-year-old who graduated with a music degree last year and is currently learning to embrace whatever adventure God sends her. Besides teaching piano, she plays piano in the music ministry at her church, loves working with her kiddos in Awana and Good News Club, and enjoys spending time with her family. She also writes at www.myceaselesspraise.blogspot.com.



  • Kori,
    Thank you for writing this article. It is imperative that we all understand that it is not our drive that gets us places. It’s God. And knowing that helps us (at least me) to be more content and at peace. It is a huge stress killer. (Which is awesome!)
    God bless,
    – Trent

    • Kori Buchanan

      Definitely agree, Trent! Trusting in God is so much better than stressing out (which I know from experience!). God bless!

    • Madeleine Grace

      OMG Trent is that a picture of you? :)

      • Yes, Medeleine. That’s me. :)

        • Sam S.

          I thought figured it was, but it’s not quite how I imagined you :)

          • How did you imagine me?

          • Sam S.

            Oh, I don’t know. You’re picture is dispelling it from my memory lol.

          • Lol

          • Rachel

            I love the way you guys have a conversation which is totally unconnected to the topic in question! Lol.

          • Yep, me too. :)

          • Renee

            I was just going to say that. :)

          • Joyful joyful

            actually, I had completely forgot what the topic was… I had to go back and check…
            (I know I am “late” as some people say, but I like reading old posts and sometimes I just want to comment. I don’t think anyone minds…)
            (my computer is slowing down… maybe it is telling me to GET OFF… I usually barely have time to check if there is a new DQ, so this has been fun for me… but time to move on with my day…)

          • Oh, and when I think “Sam S” (Aka “The Programguy”), I think:

            Tall and thin.
            At the computer with a bowl of candy-corn.
            Short dark hair.
            Maybe glasses.
            Smiling.

            How far off am I?

          • Sam S.

            NICE!!!
            Let’s see
            I’m not tall and I can’t quite call myself thin (food does that to ya sometimes). No I’m not really fat either.
            At the computer (or phone). But no, my candy corn is in the kitchen cupboard.
            Short blond(ish) hair.
            Glasses (good guess)
            Smiling. Yeah. Especially after I read a comment from Trent!
            You rock man!

          • Lol. You too, dude.

          • Whoa… that’s not what I had thought. And @Trent_Blake what you looked like I was like, “Oh for real?” In a good way.

          • Sam S.

            How did you imagine me?

          • Shorter and thin.
            Kinda geeky (In a good way) with awesome glasses.
            Braces (Maybe.)
            Dark hair.
            Dark brown eyes.

            I don’t know. Just not the way you described yourself…

          • Sam S.

            Blue eyes actually.
            And yeah I’ve had braces for a couple months.

            Nice try!

          • Hey Rachel, I just saw your comment now,

            I’m curious, what did you imagine I looked like?

          • I thought that you were kinda shortish with curly dark hair and blue eyes.

            I also thought that you would be… Idk, more football player looking. (Is there a word for that?)

            Now I wanna know… What do ya’ll think I look like???

          • My guess would be:
            About 5’7
            Thin
            Tanish/White
            Curly blonde hair.
            Wears Jeans often.
            No glasses. Maybe contacts.
            Rarely goes outside barefoot.
            Takes frequent trips to the nail salon.
            Girly-Girl type person.
            Likes Princess movies like Frozen
            And I know you love Coffee.

            How far off?

          • Sam S.

            I actually think she does the barefoot thing a lot. Definitely girly though. Jeans, yep. Thin, yep. And obsessed with feet. OK, maybe not.

          • How did you do the crossout?

            test
            test

          • Sam S.

            Good question….it’s the “s” (for strike-through).

          • Sweet. Thanks!

          • Sam S.

            No problem! I’m just glad it worked (rather than looking stupid or something).

          • Oh, and I don’t think she goes barefoot because of how clean the feet in the picture are, unless she washed them first.

          • Sam S.

            I actually did think of that. Hey it’s not like there wasn’t any water nearby :)

          • True.

          • Lol guys… I am laughing so hard…. *wipes tears way*

          • Renee

            There *Crazy*
            but then… isn’t everyone?

          • True that…

          • Lol Sam…

          • Sam S.

            So was I right about the barefoot thing???

          • I am trying to find my shoes as we speak…

          • lol. Nice.

          • Sam S.

            When girls go around barefoot a lot they tend to forget where they left their shoes.

          • Ooooo…Nice

          • My shoes need little buzzer things that go off when I press a button, or when my phone gets within 4 feet of them….

          • Sam S.

            Lol. Shoes with Bluetooth or something!

          • Hey, it *could* be the next big thing.

          • Renee

            You just explained me.

          • Oh my word!! You are almost spot on!

            I actually am 5’7.(did I say that somewhere?)

            My hair is stick straight, but very blond.

            I adore jeans! (Sometimes. With the right shoes…)

            Although I am extremely girl-ly, I have never been to a nail salon. :0

            Wow!! You’re good!!!

          • Sam S.

            Kudos to @trent_blake:disqus !

          • Lol, I want to see all these people in the same room…..
            And stinks I have a profile picture, or I’d ask you what you think I look like….. 😛

          • That would be the most hectic, laughter and squeal filled room ever!! Where do I sign to be there when it happens??

          • Sam S.

            That would be sooo fun!

          • I know wouldn’t it. I’ve always thought it would be cool to have us all meet up in, like a church and have, like, a worship service where all us rebeblutionaries would pray together and sing praises to our Savior. It would be so. So. Cool.

          • idk, but if you ever come to Colorado, there’s a great coffee shop I know of where it could happen. :)

          • Perfect. :)

          • Joyful joyful

            One day we’ll all meet in heaven…
            I think you have already signed on for that 😉
            Can’t wait! well, with God’s help, yes I can…

          • Oh yes! I’ll be there with Gods help!!!

            See you then if not sooner!!

          • BTW, Rachel, on the latest DQ, I mentioned being the sole Moderator. I had submitted that before I made you one, so I wasn’t forgetting about you or anything.

            Thanks!
            – Trent

          • Ha ha… it’s totally fine! I didn’t even notice…

          • Sam S.

            Hahaha.

          • “You mean the Big and dumb” look?

            (stereotype for football players, which I am allowed to use because I am one. Lol.)

          • Renee

            Not “big and dumb”
            “Strong”

          • I have been trying for 9 days to think of that word… THANK YOU!!!

          • Renee

            :)

          • Renee

            That is exactly what I thought!!

          • Renee

            Do you have glasses?

          • Sam S.

            Yeah. Didn’t I say that somewhere?

          • Renee

            Not that I know of.

          • Renee

            I thought…
            short and big.
            short blonde hair.
            no glasses.
            smiling.
            very diff from your guess Trent.
            lol

          • Renee

            Can’t wait for what Sam and Rachel think. *silently laughing at your comment*

          • Renee

            What do you think I look like?
            Sam.

          • Sam S.

            Let’s see. Um. Um. Um. A girl. Sorry. I’m just not coming up with much.

          • Renee

            Hahahaha
            what did you think I was… a boy?

          • Sam S.

            Thankfully, no.

          • Renee

            That’s good to know

          • Renee

            At least I knew you were a boy. *sniff*
            :)

        • Madeleine Grace

          oh my goodness you are so handsome if you don’t mind me saying :) i love your picture!!!! 😉 i wish i had a picture of me on my computer but i don’t i only have pics of my dogs and some of my friends :) but anyhoo i really like your picture :)
          God Bless,
          Madeleine

          • Hey Madeleine,
            Glad you like it. But to be fair, I edited it a little to make myself look a little better. Unfortunately, I don’t have the recorces to do that to the video I just posted on S.O.G. So, on that, it is a more true representation of me, but it’s not much different.

            You know, it’s funny you should say that you don’t have photos of yourself on your computer. I didn’t have many either, until I hired my sister (who was severely overpayed in my opinion) to take a bunch of pictures with different backgrounds. I was actually inspired by Leah Good’s profile picture with the cool rocks in the background.
            God bless, Madeleine,
            – Trent

          • Sam S.

            Nice. I think some editing is fair–or at least, that’s what I do. For the record, that candy corn pic was not edited aside from maybe cropping it or something, lol.

          • Sure… Lol

          • Renee

            What do you think I look like?
            Trent.

            (Says I have already made this comment)

          • Hmm……

            Medium height.
            Blonde
            Very light skin.
            Thin.
            Wears long sleeves often.
            Deep thinker.
            Maybe glasses.

            How far off?

          • Renee

            Medium/Tall.
            Brown hair.
            bit darker then you skin.
            Don’t wear long sleeves much.
            Deep thinker.. maybe. I talk a lot.
            Yes glasses. (Not the small kind)

            Very far. :)

          • Sam S.

            Nice.

          • Lol. It seems you are very unpredictable.

          • Renee

            Well you got something right.
            “Unpredictable”

          • Renee

            Hey Trent…
            Does Brett ever comment?

          • I responded but the comment needs approval. I must have triggered a censer or something.

          • Renee

            what was the response?

          • Hey Renee,
            Yes, he does, but not for small talk. Most of his comments are very long and profound. I can just imagine these threads are like a room with a crowd full of talking people, each with their own opinion. And then once Brett steps in, everyone goes silent and looks at him. At most, some will whisper. But rest assured, he has our attention.
            So, yes, Brett does comment here, but not on every post, and rarely more then once each. So, keep one eye open, he will say something. :)

          • Renee

            Good because I’ve never seen his comments.
            Wow! Good speech Trent

          • The cencer I triggered was the contraction “he ‘ ll” only without the spaces. I just replaced it with “he will”

          • Renee

            oh ok.

          • Sam S.

            Yep.

          • Renee

            Has Trent ever made a comment like that?

            It’s like a story

          • Sam S.

            Yep.

          • Renee

            Is all you can say
            ‘Yep’

          • Sam S.

            Yep.
            Forgiven and Free,
            Sam S.

          • Renee

            At least you said,

            Forgiven and Free,
            Sam S.

          • Hey, Renee, it’s an unwritten rule that most people don’t upvote their own comments. But feel free to break it if you like. We don’t mind. :)

          • Renee

            Don’t worry I won’t.

          • Renee

            I just read one of his comments.
            It was in the Clayton McDonald post.
            It was so Sad, Strong and Meaningful.

          • I like the way you worded that… Sooo true!!

          • Amanda

            lol how do you come up with that picture if you’ve never seen somebody? did you just guess?

          • Hey Amanda,
            You’re right, I do just guess. Sometimes I get a lot of details right and is freaks people out. He he he (diabolical…. Muwhahahaha…)

          • Amanda

            lol and we can’t do it back to you because we already know what you look like :)

          • Muwhahahaha

          • Sam S.

            That’s twice now! Somebody get the French toast!!!!!! (For me, of ccourse.)

          • Amanda

            maniacal laugh…maniacal laugh…maniacal laugh…lol

          • Amanda T.

            Haha y’all are still talking about this? :) it sure has been fun to read. I guess you have a vague impression of what I look like… Maybe. I don’t really know what kind of impression my picture leaves :) probably look weird to normal people!

          • Sam S.

            I kinda looks like a bird to me. Or something on a clothes line. What is it?

          • Amanda T.

            Hahaha Sam, okay I am dying laughing now!! When I first saw this it was right after I woke up and so I was only half there mentally (plus I had to get up at 5AM today!?!!) and I seem to only have read the first half of what you said this morning. I just now saw the clothes line comment! Hahaha :)

            Well, I’m not sure exactly how to take the clothes line interpretation… I won’t think too hard on that one :) However I find the bird comment to be a compliment! However, it is not actually a bird – it is me :) That is a picture my mom took of me dancing at Project Dance Atlanta back in 2012. The song I was dancing to was I Lift My Hands by Christ Tomlin. The feel I was after with that step was one of freedom, lightness, and almost a lifting off or taking flight. Those are words I would easily associate with a bird :)

            Maybe I can try to explain the pose so you can see it better… we will see how this goes :) If you were a dancer I could easily tell you it is a back attitude facing to the right and you would probably get the gist of it. In regular terms… my left foot is on the floor, if you follow the white line of my dress up the left side you will find my right foot that is at about the same level as my head (which would be to the right of my foot and straight up from my standing leg) and my arms are back behind my shoulders so they fall in line between my leg that is up and my head. Haha hope that helps a little! :) It would probably make more sense if it were bigger like Trent said!

            That is one of my special dance pictures that will probably be timeless. (That is kind of unusual for a dancer because we get our picture taken and love it until next year when our technique is better and then look at it again and say yuck) However, my technique isn’t too bad here and most of all I love the story that goes with the picture. It has God written all over it to me!

          • Sam S.

            OOOOOOH. That makes much more sense. Thanks!

          • Amanda T.

            Yay!! You’re welcome! :) Haha, I halfway expected you to be even more confused after reading that!

          • Hey Amanda,
            I can’t really get anything from your profile picture about what you look like. It’s a little too blurry to tell from the tiny Disqus profile image spaces they give us.

          • Amanda T.

            Hey :)
            Yeah, that is true. They are pretty small! It isn’t like if you could see it you would know too much – it isn’t a straight on shot of me (which is more or less intentional :) ) You might figure out tall, considering how my hair is done you would probably think brown/light brown …which some people think even when it is down, but I still am trying to claim blonde! :) And I do like your picture by the way!

          • Your a good guesser !!

          • Lol Sam …

          • Renee

            What do you think I look like?

          • Hummmm… I think you are ‘fun sized’ with curly dark hair and silver blue eyes. I also think that you enjoy being outside…

          • Renee

            I always did like your Candy corn pic Sam. XD
            But I never found “Time” to say it.
            ~Renee

          • Sam S.

            Haha. Thanks.
            I just found out that there is a candy corn flavored frosting for cakes. Tried it–it’s a little weird.

          • Renee

            Hahaha

          • Renee

            My pic was cropped, But I
            have no idea where it is.
            (It’s a sample pic that I always liked)
            lol

          • Are you hitting on @trent_blake:disqus? just sayin

          • Madeleine Grace

            Hahaha no offence taken IceCuber :) but to answer your question no i was not :) i genuinely think he’s handsome and he is lol. but i can see how that would kind of seem like i was hitting on him but no i wasn’t. No offence to you Trent :)
            ~Madeleine

          • Thank you for responding….I was just joking. I no you werent really.

          • Madeleine Grace

            Your welcome 😉 oh ok :) i didn’t take any offence to what you said :) just so you know. i get that a lot at my school :( 😉
            ~Madeleine

        • Renee

          I like it too. :)

      • Renee

        Hahahaha!!!

  • Thank you Kori for sharing this, it’s so very true! You are striking chords in my heart.
    Humility- ouch, yeah, I try so hard to be “humble” that on the inside I can feel prideful for being the “good girl” the “humble girl” (of all the irony!)
    Trust- Trusting that God has a plan for my life and I am not going to mess it up .
    trusting that He loves me.
    Contentment- being content where I am not striving so hard for the next step in life that I don’t pay attention to what is happening today. If I am so into myself that I can’t see past my nose, how will I notice the girl who is crying in the corner?
    Willingness- Being willing to go, and willing to stay,
    And Today- I need to focus on growing my relationship with God, sharing Him with people I come in contact with; not walking through the streets of my town wishing that I was in Ukraine but to now that this is where God has me, and I am called to serve Him wherever I am!

    Thank you once again! I never thought of it like that but it makes so much sense; it is convicting and freeing.
    In Christ, Susannah

    • Kori Buchanan

      Such good thoughts, Susannah! I love to hear from others who really “get it.” Thanks for sharing. God bless as you serve Him wherever He leads you!

  • Lily

    That is so cool Kori! Thanks for sharing! I have big expectations for myself, but I could end up in a small town doing nothing. You never know what God, could have planned for you, and you will never know until the time is right. That just made my day! Thanks for encouraging me and probably everyone else to make sure that we have the trust, willingness, humility, and contentment to do what God has planned for us.
    I’ll be praying for you Kori!
    Lily

    • Kori Buchanan

      Lily, it definitely is an adventure! God’s plans are so different from mine, but I’m learning that they are so, so much better. Even when they’re hard. =) Thanks for your prayers!

  • Sam S.

    This does sound kind of familiar to me. As @SusannahBaffa:disqus said, so much for trying to be the humble person!

  • defyingdepravity

    Thank you so, so much for sharing this! I really needed to hear this, I’ve been struggling in all those areas.
    As a side note, your writing is amazing!!

    • Kori Buchanan

      I’m so glad it was helpful! Though it’s not been easy, it’s encouraging to hear that these thoughts can speak to others, too. Thanks for your encouragement! God bless!

  • As I read this I was, like, “What is Normal even?”
    I’m homeschooled (Which isn’t normal.) and my whole life I’ve been called things like: “That edgy homeschooler.” (Which is really not normal.)

    What is normal?

    • alana

      I don’t know. I don’t think there’s such thing as normal. I think it’s a word people use to describe quiet, boring lives. But weren’t we, as Christians, not made to bre quiet?

      • Ericka Galang

        I think what Kori meant to tackle is about “Doing Hard Things”. What if we can’t “Do Hard Things”? What if we’re not doing extreme missionary-preaching-going-to-far-places-leaving-everything-behind things? What if we’re just here? Ordinary Christians? Doing normal, not extreme things?

        • alana

          Well I know that most of us aren’t going to be called to be missionaries or pastor a church. God just calls us to trust Him and share his love with others. What I meant was we can make a mark on our homes, communities, even our country (or countries for our non American rebelutionaries) through the little things we do.

          • Profound, thought-provoking and Amazing. Thank you so much @disqus_RrWMSHgl9t:disqus!

          • Hey Rachel, how do yo mention people using Disqus?

          • Sam S.

            @trent_blake:disqus Just type the @ character and a selection popup should come up. It doesn’t work on my phone :(
            test
            @programguy:disqus

          • @Sam S.

            I guess it doesn’t work for mobile version. Thanks, though! B)

          • Sam S.

            For you I can do @ trent_blake:disqus (without the space after the @) See @trent_blake:disqus
            The hit post, then hit edit, then hit post, and it will show up

          • @SamS.:disqus

          • Sam S.

            Sorry, I meant the username not the display name, mine is “programguy”, yours is “trent_blake”

          • How did you figure out mine?

          • Sam S.

            It’s in your Disqus address:

            https://disqus.com/home/user/trent_blake/

          • Sam S.

            I gotta ask, how can you possibly follow 843 Disqus users???

          • Well, I don’t use the Disqus following feature to keep track of users, but so that other users will follow me back on Disqus, and hopefully gain some extra publicity for the Soldiers of God. :)

          • Sam S.

            Gotcha. I don’t actually look at my feed very often, so following people don’t mean I see all that they do. I just use it in some way to show people I like hearing from them. Something like that anyway. I try not to follow too many people too. For some reason, though, I keep getting new followers???

          • My guess would be you are very popular, even though I no longer have proof that you comment more then me here, now that the comment ranking system is gone! lol. (On a side note, don’t you hate it when autocorrect changes lol to Lol?)

          • Sam S.

            lol yeah!
            I found the Top Commenters section.
            1. Brett
            2. Sam
            3. Trent
            4. Liam
            I can’t find the number of comments though.

          • lol. Yeah.

          • Amanda T.

            Probably because you post a lot on here, and you have good things to say! :)

          • Sam S.

            Thanks! You do too!

          • Amanda T.

            Oh, really?? Thanks! :)

          • Amanda T.

            You know, that whole “follow”ing tactic is smart!
            I personally (at least for the time being) have chosen not to “follow” people. I can’t give you a perfect reason as to why… maybe because I am still a bit nervous about being on such a public account. (If that sounds weird don’t judge!) But I have looked at your Soldiers of God page (I don’t know if “page” is the right word…) some and I like what I have seen. I also really like the stuff you have to say on here. So if it helps you promote your movement… I might make an exception :)

          • Hey Amanda,
            Thanks for taking a look! And it wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for Alex and Brett Doing Hard Things. I mean, imagine this:

            (1) Alex and Brett Harris sit at their (kitchen? table and their parents give them a bunch of books to read.

            (2) Alex and Brett Read those books and become inspired to Do Hard Things.

            (3) Doing Hard Things inspires then to start a blog and write a book.

            (4) My old youth leaderleader decides to do a group study of Do Hard Things.

            (5) I read Do Hard Things.

            (6) I get a computer for the first time.

            (7) Years later, I read Do Hard Things over again.

            (8) I get internet privileges for the first time.

            (9) I go to the Rebelution for the first time. (Which, unknown to me, has about 40,000,000 pageviews!)

            (10) I comment more and more.

            (11) I get into multiple debates, challenging my faith as a Christian.

            (12) I create a blog, after learning how to in a computer course for school.

            (13) That blog now has thousands (and continually more each day) of views and is influencing people for Christ.

            If even one of these things didn’t happen, the Soldiers of God would not be here today. Amazing how God works. :)

          • Amanda T.

            :) Wow!! God is remarkeable!!! He doesn’t need any of the qualifications we as humans see as important. (1 Sam 16:7) All He asks for is a willing heart! Through that willingness He can and will do so much more than we had ever thought! (Eph 3:20)

            That is actually extremely encouraging to me! I am at most a day away (probably sooner) from making my first blog post ever (aaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!) If you couldn’t tell when you read that, I am a bit nervous on a few different levels. I should have no reason to fear though, as long as I keep looking to Jesus I will be alright. Jesus first, everything else second. He can use anyone in any way as long as they are willing to follow!

          • Well, Amanda, for my first two blog posts, I had my parents read over them. Maybe that will help with you?

          • Amanda T.

            :) Thank you! I will probably have them do that. I remember for a while they looked over the devotionals I used to write for the dance ministry I was with. One day I was comfortable and they trusted what I was saying that they didn’t check me anymore. That is a good idea to do again.

            Hey mind if I ask you something? The only other blogger I have talked to is an adult and she has been blogging for six years so she has got this thing down a long time ago, but you and I can probably relate more as far as the stage of life that we are in. How do you balance writing your blog (and answering any questions readers might have) with school and other family responsibilities and other regular activities you are committed to? (Or is that just really easy for you – if so, lucky you!!)

          • Well, what I do, since I’m homeschooled is I write before school starts each day from 8:00 am – 9:00 am after exercising and eating breakfast from 7:00 am – 8:00 am.

            In reality, it takes me about 2 hours to write, and revise a 1000 word article. But my articles are very wordy, so 500 words should be good for you (and your readers). So, if you take 30 minutes a day at a set time each day, then you will have the time to write one article a week. :)

            Also, a tip for writing articles:

            Always re-read your article after you’ve written it but before you’ve posted it. Then, do it a third time after taking a break, so you have “fresh eyes”. Trust me, it really helps, making the article much more professional. :)

          • Amanda T.

            Thank you so much!!! :) I think a schedule like that could work very well with me. (I’m homeschooled, too!) At the very least, it gives me a starting place! :) Thank you, again!

          • Amanda,
            I’m also a teen blogger who is homeschooled. (High fives!)

            I have found that sometimes what I write is awesome and sometime it stinks. (i”m Kinda in a “It sticks” phase right now…)

            And when what I have to say doesn’t “Flow” (Or it sticks.) Then it takes forever.(And ever. And ever. You can kinda tell how my writing life is by how much I comment on Therebelution…)

            But If I’ve thought it through before, (I have a big ol’ note book that has all my ideas in it..) then it doesn’t take as long and I can go rule the world.

            Also I try (*Ahem* This is happening for the first time this month. I’m so proud of myself!) To have each post done two weeks before I want to publish it, that way I can look it over about a gazillion times before I publish.

            I hope that helped you and didn’t confuse you any…

          • Amanda T.

            Thanks! That does help.

            Good job on the whole being ready early with your posts! :) That is a very good situation to be in.

            Yeah, I might try making a notebook specifically for my blogging ideas. Right now I am juggling a pile of sticky notes, and I figured out real quickly that that wasn’t going to work at all long term!

            My stuff never “flows” when I’m sitting down to write :( I have really great ideas and they all form coherent sentences until I sit down to type them out! Everyone keeps saying it will get easier the more I blog, but that doesn’t help with still getting the first post up!

            Thank you for taking the time to answer my question, too!! That’s very sweet of you :)

          • Sarah Phillips

            Another tip on editing: don’t do it just from the computer. Printing it out and reading over it with a red pen to revise/edit really helps me! If you do this, make sure your margins between lines of print are big enough to write in. Also try reading posts aloud. If you have a hard time reading a sentence out loud, chances are it doesn’t flow well. :)

            (I speak from zilch years of direct blogging experience… LOL! Yet I know some VERY talented editors and they give me great tips on things like this!)

          • Amanda T.

            :) Hey! Every idea counts!!

          • Sticky notes… why didn’t I think of that?

          • Amanda T.

            Hahaha! :) Well, it is nice because they are small and always right there for whatever fleeting concept jumps in your head and starts to run off again, but if you don’t have one master place to organize all the little random ideas, it quickly gets impractical! Maybe a combination of the two is good?

          • I’m totally going to do that, because sometimes my thoughts aren’t that brilliant or are so fleeting that I forget them by the time I find my note book. (Yes. I just said that. Another “waytogo Rachel” moment.)

          • Amanda T.

            Haha that is alright!! All by best blog ideas come between 2am and 5am when I wake up and can’t sleep. But even the sticky notes aren’t infallible – I am chasing the ghost of an idea that I forgot between the time I woke up and got my pen so… :) and there is another note that I made but still can’t figure out what I was trying to say!

          • I KNOW RIGHT!! All my ideas come in the middle of the night and i forget them after i wake up for real.

          • Lol yeah…… I did that this morning. Awesome moment.

          • Amanda

            That is a cool story! :) Looks like we have 2 Amandas now…LOL :)

          • Amanda T.

            Haha :) yes! Hi!!
            I saw you on here before I made my account, so I made sure to specify my name so that we didn’t look like the same person!
            How long have you been part of the Rebelution?

          • Amanda

            Yeah and you have a profile pic and I don’t, so that helps too. :) I’m not really sure how long I’ve been on here–maybe 2-3 months or so? I started subscribing shortly after I got my email address, which I think was in the beginning of September.

          • Amanda T.

            True, I do have a picture :)
            Okay, yeah I don’t know 100% either, but I would guess I’ve only been commenting here for about a month, maybe. I read everyone elses comments and debated stuff in my head for about a week or so before I created an account!

          • Amanda

            Yeah I kind of did that too. I still try not to comment too much though; I don’t want to say something I’ll regret later and have a whole bunch of people able to see it! :) But I do comment pretty often these days.

          • Amanda T.

            Yes, I get you!! I usually don’t hesitate to post something if I have something to say, (God has been teaching me a lot these past few months to speak up more and not just sit quietly on the side) but I always take forever to actually post it because I way overthink everything I say!

          • Amanda

            Yes me too…I overthink everything. And I used to be super shy and didn’t speak my thoughts very often, but God has helped me with that too. :)

          • Sam S.

            Oh I do that all the time. Good for you to be smart :)

          • Sam S.

            It’s actually been 21 days, but who’s counting?

          • Amanda T.

            HAHAHA! What? :) How do you know that?! Tell me you don’t just know that off the top of your head! How’d you find out? :) lol haha that actually kind of just made my night

          • Sam S.

            LOL! I just looked at your profile to see when you posted your first comment!

          • Amanda T.

            Okay, gotcha! :) You are quite resourceful! I can never manage to successfully navigate this site!!
            Haha, I can’t believe you went all the back to the beginning of my profile just to find that out …it sounds like something I would do!!! :)

          • Sam S.

            It didn’t take long. Apparently you don’t have many comments. Wow. I thought you had been here forever :)

          • Amanda T.

            Haha! Aw :( and I just threw myself a party today when I hit 50 comments! Lol I thought I was doing so well. One day, though, right?

            Yeah, I’m pretty new! :) I read the book in Aug/Sept, asked my dad if I could get an account here to comment. At first he said no, but then later – 21 days ago it seems :) – he said alright but be careful. So yeah, that is how I got here! (My dad was the one who read the book first!) I actually never commented on the post that made me want an account enough to convince my dad, :( is there ever a “too late” to comment??

          • Sam S.

            Nah, it’s not too late.

          • Amanda T.

            I might do it still then! It was the one about God speaking to us! It made me so excited!!

            Hey, side note… or question:
            Do I talk too much when I post?? Really!? I feel like everyone says a little thing here or there and then I go and end up with a book by the time I am finished – every single time! Don’t. Be. Nice. Be honest!! Please

          • Sam S.

            A few of us have discussed that very topic and decided that rambling is OK :)

          • Amanda T.

            Haha! Ok, yay :) Because (I’m sure you know) I’m good at that!

            Well, I don’t know where you are… wait! Yes, I do remember! You’re in Michigan aren’t you?! So we would be in the same time zone I guess… anyways :) I’m gonna head to bed (more or less :) ) It was awesome talking with you today!!! I’ll check in tomorrow :)

            God bless!!

          • Amanda

            Seriously don’t feel bad…you’re not the only one. I write super long comments sometimes. I ramble a lot. :) But sometimes what God has to say through you can’t be expressed in a few short sentences, so it’s OK!

          • Amanda T.

            Okay :) thanks!

          • Amanda T.

            Hahaha :) I know, I just said I wasn’t going to be back until tomorrow… But I was thinking back to when I first commented here and you said it was 21 days ago. I looked and that was Nov 4th, which was a Tuesday. I remember that day now. I commented, I think that afternoon, and I was going to get to dance two hours early that day. So I took my computer with me and kind of sat there wondering of some random person was actually going to see what I had said. That was the first time I talked to you, I think that you were the first person to respond to my post. Then by the time I was headed home that night I think you had “follow”ed me. Ok, that all had really no value in it huh, so now I really will shut up and go to bed :)

          • Sam S.

            Hahaha. I just looked at your first couple posts. There were really great books on the discussion question I submitted. I probably wondered why I hadn’t noticed you before. I only follow people on the first day if I’m particularly impressed by them. Good job!

          • Amanda T.

            Haha :) Well thanks! I don’t even remember what I said, but that is okay. Whatever it was, if God can use it then that is all that matters!

          • Amanda T.

            Hey, Sam, (or anyone really) I just posted a comment back to someone and when I look at my Disqus account page that shows all the stuff I have posted, the comment has an oragne rectangle next to it saying that my comment has been “detected as spam”. That doesn’t sound good. When I refreshed the Rebelution page I don’t see it. Should I try to post it again??

          • Sam S.

            Is that your reply to Rachel? It looks like you reposted it. I got two emails but the first comment does seem very much gone. Maybe someone flagged it? Anyway it looks good now.

          • Amanda T.

            No, it is not. The one to Rachel was the one that got pulled for review. I retried it and then when it did the same thing

          • Amanda T.

            No, it is not. The one for Rachel was the comment the got pulled for review a little bit ago. I gave up on it and tried reposting it. When it pulled it again, I changed the word that I had a feeling was triggering it and it posted fine. That is what you see now.

            My other comment was a response to Julie from a few days ago. I don’t think it ever went up at all. I guess I’ll try reposting that one as well and pray that it works? Thank you for looking for me!

          • Sam S.

            I got a notification about one of those yesterday. I also got one an hour ago, and it looks good. So, all good?

          • Amanda T.

            Yay! :) Yes, it seems to have posted fine today! That seems to be confirmed since you can see it as well :)

            I don’t know why it didn’t work before… I didn’t change anything today before I posted it again. I guess it just wasn’t supposed to be there yesterday. Everything in God’s timing, right? :)

          • Sam S.

            Those are great replies. Thanks for showing us what the Bible says. :)

          • Amanda T.

            Oh! Thank you so much!! That is so encouraging to hear because I am often nervous about doing something like that.

            This site has been so amazing!! Especially with comments like those I just posted; it has pushed me to dig deeper into scripture and really look at what it is saying. I have to not only just repeat what I have heard my whole life growing up, but I have to go back and find where that comes from in God’s word. I have grown a lot over the past few weeks of commenting here with y’all.

          • Sam S.

            Exactly!

          • Sam S.

            I already got you two confused once…today.

          • Amanda

            LOL whoops

          • I was wondering the same thing!

          • I have no clue. It just worked (For the first time in forever… oops. Sorry, I have that song stuck in my head.)

    • Kori Buchanan

      Rachel — yeah, in that sense, I don’t think any of us are normal. As we say around our house, normal is just a setting on your dryer. 😉 But normal as in ordinary, mundane — the chores, the homework, the job. The things most people have to deal with everyday while still striving to live sold out for Christ. That’s what I meant. =)

    • Amanda T.

      :) That is a good question, Rachel. How can you define normal in a world of people so vastly different? Each and everyone one of us was created by God to be an original work of art that belongs to Him – we are all unique. So how then can you take such a diverse population and decide what is “normal”?

      I think “normal” is overrated. In fact, as I am typing this, I am
      thinking… perhaps “normal” is even a not-good thing. Satan tries
      ceaselessly to destroy to good and beautiful things that God has created
      (relationships, marriage, purity, love, beauty, trust, unity…) Is not
      the urge to fit in and be like everyone else the exact opposite of what God
      created us to be? Does that not destroy the beautiful and perfectly unique
      masterpiece that He created? When the Bible talks about the body of Christ it says that we are all different and made for different parts (1 Corinthians 12). If we all copy one another in an attempt to be “normal”, the
      wonderful thing that God designed of different people working together falls
      apart.

      Creating a category of “normal” also opens up a door for judging. As
      the body of Christ, we are to have unity and be one together. Categorizing and judging each other only creates division and hurt. That, also, destroys the beautiful picture that God designed.

      Also, if we as Christians all fit into “normal”, chances are we will end up all blended in with the world. If we blend in, how will we shine light?

      I’ve given up trying to fit in with what is normal. I am glad for how I am
      different because that is how God made me, and what He does is for my total best!! As I look back on my life, I can see that that is true!

      ————————————————————————————————

      All that being said :) I understand that the “normal” talked about here, is just the small things. It is the little things that God calls us to be faithful in. That is what I find the hardest to do! Maybe right now (or maybe never) I am not called to be world famous, but I can still glorify God in the small!!

  • Jess jesse

    bingo :)

  • Elisabeth

    Thanks for the post! What you said is definitely true. I would love to work in another country or for a non-profit organization, but this is a good reminder that I need to be content with wherever God places me. I can always improve on humility and trust. Thanks again!

    • Kori Buchanan

      I’m glad it was encouraging to you, Elisabeth! Praying that God gives you joy as you seek to serve Him faithfully wherever He leads! =)

      • Elisabeth

        Thank you!

  • Charisse Mercado

    Thanks. My ministry isn’t really fabulous in a worldly sense (I’m a prayer warrior for our local church and I write devotions for them, I’m also in the service evaluation team and registration team, my small group consisted of only two members- me and my spiritual daughter). I’ve also dreamed big (missionary stuff, singing for the band, small group with many members and them leading their small groups as well, writing a novel or non-fiction book that will glorify the Lord). But there were too many circumstances that hindered me. I felt alone and inadequate at first. I was like, “Well, maybe I’m not as Christianly as my peers. Their ministry seems fabulous. Their disciples are now discipling other younger people.” And it occurred to me that it’s never a matter of size. God is teaching me how to be patient. Thanks for the article. I’m really blessed. :) God bless!

    • Kori Buchanan

      You’re right, Charisse! God is not impressed with the size of our ministry, but with our obedience to Him. And He’s usually working even when we don’t see it! May God bless your ministry for His glory!

  • Megan Yost

    But what if I get…confused? o.o

  • Matheus Castanho

    I’m really glad to read this article, and to realize that we can still serve God and give Him our best even doing things that we consider small. We always tend to pursue our dreams as hard as we can and it’s frustrating when things don’t happen the way we wanted them to. But God is the one who knows the big picture, and He knows where and how we can serve the Kingdom better. If we do everything for His glory, we can impact other people’s lives more than we can realize.
    God bless you all!

  • Chloe McKinley

    What you wrote is exactly what I’m going through. I’ve always wanted to make a difference, do something remarkably awesome, etc., but the older I get (although I’m still quite young), the more I realize that it probably won’t ever happen! It’s kind of depressing to think that all that I’ve wanted is most likely not meant to be, but like you said, maybe it’s God’s calling for me to NOT do that. Great things come in small packages, and you can’t run a thousand miles without taking one step first. Doing the little, meaningless things can sometimes make a bigger impact than a larger, more obvious action. For example, what if you give a gospel tract to a non-Christian, and they got saved and become one of the greatest missionaries of the 21st century? You never know how much your ‘meaningless, unobvious action’ could mean for someone else. It could lead them to do remarkable things. To not be normal.

    • Kori Buchanan

      I love your point! I think God loves to work like that — we obey in little, apparently unimportant actions, and then God does something huge with it. His ripple effect is amazing, and sometimes we never even see it. =) That way, there’s no doubt that God deserves all the glory!

      • Chloe

        Thanks :)

  • T.

    I sooooo needed this!

  • Sarah Andrew

    Thank you so much, Kori! This has really been a blessing to me! God bless you!

  • Ericka Galang

    Thank you very much for sharing this. I’ve been having the exact same thoughts recently… I had so much high expectations about myself, and what I’d be doing for God’s ministry that I keep forgetting, that it’s never about me.

    I’m still looking forward to being used by God more, and I think we still have to have that expectation from Him. After all, we’re all Frontliners of His army.

    God bless you!

  • Kori, thank you so much for writing this. It has come at the perfect time for me.

    ~Annalysa

  • I know I’m late :) but I just want to say thanks Kori for this. It really touched my heart as this is something I struggle with. <3

    • Kori Buchanan

      Thank you for your comment! I used to feel pretty alone in my struggles, but now I’m realizing that they’re not so unusual. God bless and encourage you as you strive to follow Him!

  • Melody McCusker

    Oh, wow, thank you so much! Reading this has made me understand a little better where God wants me to be. Also what I need to work on; like humility, and contentment.

  • Ezra Walls

    Wow, thanks for writing this Kori. Cut me to the core, especially the point’s about willingness and contentment. It reminded me of the line from a song Steve Green used to sing: “Across the street or around the world, the mission is still the same: proclaim and live the truth in Jesus’ name!” Keep it up. God Bless.

  • While few would consider me normal :), this is a really good lesson for me to learn. We don’t have to do big things that others may notice to please God; God has placed us where we are right now for a reason. Someday he may call me to do something big, and I pray that I will be open if the time comes, but in the meantime, I’m ready to serve where I am.

    (btw, nice last name!)

    • Kori Buchanan

      Great attitude to have, Brandon! Totally agree.

      Haha, yeah — maybe we’re related somewhere way back! =)

  • Kori! Thank you so much for opening your heart and writing this. Ever since I was little, as well, I’ve loved the missionary stories and actually read “Do Hard Things” for the first time when I was 12. I think I have a tendency to be really fearful about not actually ever getting to do the things that I, in my finite opinion, consider big. Reading your article was such an encouragement to remember, though, that God may not always give us what we want, but He sure gives us what we need. We just need to throw our whole hearts into whatever He puts into our path – “big” or “small” to us – and that is enough. I love your line: “God withheld my deepest longings and gave me Himself.” I pray that we may keep that focus – to receive more of God – and love just loving Him. Thank you so much!

  • Karen Inguengan

    This post has been very helpful. Kinda like what I’m going through right now. It seems that God has an even greater plan, meaning for His ultimate glory, which doesn’t require us to be in the limelight. It definitely teaches us so much about humility. It is true though that all the experiences and the insights we gain serve as instruments to further equip us. As we walk with God and trust His word, we would be amazed at God’s wondrous works especially in times we least expect. He will open doors for us according to His timetable, and thus magnifies His glory. Another important thing is our contentment and willingness to actively respond to God’s call for us right here, right now–in our own mission field. So in any form of service, whether it be surrendering to God full-time, or giving a Gospel tract and sharing it to your classmates or a stranger, may it all be done for God alone. :)

  • Megan Yost

    -raises hand- yup I’m normal! And out of food despite just having Thanksgiving…

  • leinad

    Thanks for writing this Kori
    This article reminds me that God is always in control even if it might seeem that we aren’t in the right place God has placed us where he wants.

  • Beth Helton

    You are so young and have so much to learn. You don’t have to GO anywhere to do great things for God. You are touching the lives of your students TODAY so that TOMORROW they will come back to you and say thanks for being there, thanks for letting me talk instead of doing our piano lesson, thanks for helping me learn scripture so that I can tell others. The 12 apostles were told to Go but how can 12 go into ALL the world?!?! Pentecost. They did what they were commanded to do, folks were saved and went out and followed God’s command. You are right where you need to be for today. You are doing great things for God, perhaps it feels like your contribution is small but “in as much as ye have done it unto the least of these” you have done it unto Him. Steadfast in service. Sometimes we just need to be willing.

  • Misschirp

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I’m 22, about to graduate, and don’t know what the ‘next step’ is yet–I mean, I know I’ll have to get some sort of career to free myself of some minor student debt, but other than that I have no idea. I’ve always believed that God has great things for my future, but I’m starting to realize that my definition of ‘great things’ may not be His definition. I was bitter about this for a while, but now I realize that all things are for the good of them who love Him. Now I’m excited about what God has in store for me, and what plans He has–even if it is just a normal, boring, rather-little-thing life. Your post was soooo encouraging, and I’m bookmarking it for future reference when things get tough. Thank you!

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