Kathleen Cooke: In life, we can have uncomfortable challenges that make us fearful and unsure of our own abilities. What has God taught you about overcoming those challenges?
Brenda Crouch: Be cautious not to take offense when friends and colleagues challenge you to rise higher than your current victories instead of pausing to celebrate your personal achievements. The book of Proverbs says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” revealing that the strength in one person will sharpen or hone the same gift in another and vice-versa. There are times that God ordains connections that might initially feel uneasy or threatening, but we must be sensitive to its intended purpose and potential. Some of my most enriching relationships have come from the most fragile beginnings.
Kathleen: As women working in media and entertainment, we have all met women in the industry who can be overly ambitious and often obnoxiously focused on only themselves. What have you learned about when it’s appropriate to push and when to humbly pullback?
Brenda: Scripture tells us that our own hearts deceive us and that our goal is simply to know Christ. When a person’s identity has been hindered, ambition is usually fueled by the search for significance rather than being divinely driven. There is a vast difference between fighting for a selfish agenda and fighting the enemy’s strategies. Knowing the difference often requires stillness where there is resistance and a shift of one’s perspective from self-realization to simply realizing Christ in every situation.
Kathleen: As you said, we often get deceived by the king of deception, Satan. But you nailed it when you said our biggest defense against deception is knowing God intimately. When it comes to forgiveness deceptive lies can destroy us. What has God taught you about how to break those lies and live victoriously?
Brenda: I’ve lived long enough to learn that this human journey involves countless opportunities to overcome our fragile and flawed perceptions. “Hurt people” will always hurt people. But when Christ invades us, we become less threatened by these wounds of betrayal and offenses because we begin to see the bigger picture through His eyes. When we finally understand the deception behind the actions, which are wrongfully perpetrated against us, we can finally lay down our defenses and break free through the power of forgiveness.
Kathleen: Your recent book, “Fight Forward: Reclaim the Real You,” revealed so significant events in your life that others might have wanted to hide from public knowledge. In our era of social media and the internet, such vulnerability makes us targets. What made you be able to speak out courageously enabling women to be women of influence and not victims?
Brenda: In the words of Brene’ Brown, “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage…” As I began to tell my own story there came a point that I wondered if it was a mistake to have been so dangerously transparent. However, the confirmation of my call to be an influencer came as the sweetest reward in the form of letters from people around the world finding hope and freedom through my book. Their expressions of newfound courage to fight the good fight and win have brought immeasurable joy. Helping others discover their value and purpose is worth every sacrifice.