I’m Britney and as Co-Founder of BFR and the owner of The Rev, people often come to me and ask me “How did you get here?” “How did the thought of Be Free Revolution come about?” “What made you want to do this?” I have thought that answer through so many times and keep coming back to this: God chose me for this, I didn’t choose it but I did choose to obey and I do choose everyday to persevere. I am able to see, in retrospect, that God has been preparing me my entire life for this. I am sure that I would have gotten here a lot faster had I not made mistake after mistake in my life but I guess that builds character and a broader perspective- or at least a “learn what not to do” perspective.
I spent a lot of my time pre-Be Free in a classroom, as a student at Jackson Central Merry in High School, then the University of Memphis in undergrad, on to Christian Brothers University for my Masters and finally in my own classroom at LaGrange Moscow Elementary School. Those many years in these classrooms taught me that diversity is beautiful, God honoring and strengthening, that even though tough days came I could go again the next day and that empowerment came through responsibility and ownership- it gave me purpose as a student and gave my students purpose even as kids. I learned so much about life, leadership, love and perseverance within the walls of those schools. It lead me to mission trips that helped to shape me and get me where I am today.
Once my days in the classroom where coming to an end and Mom Life was drawing near, I was excited to pour into my little girl, Lynlee. As I prepared for my daughter, God was also preparing me for my the next chapter in life and His grand vision for it. He gave me several opportunities to step out in faith and in leadership. During my pregnancy, I was leading global mission trips and was later asked to come on staff at a local church helping organize, plan and execute mission trips. It was 2 years of mission trip leadership before God called me into Be Free Revolution. He was prepping and preparing me and He was also prepping and preparing the team that He would use to bring this to fruition. It was in July 2011, when Lacey joined a trip I was leading and that trip changed everything. That trip I was given a choice- yes or no, in or out, serve or observe. I chose yes.
In the past four years I have experienced so much, some of it amazing and miraculous, some of it heartbreaking. I have travelled thousands and thousands of miles, sat face to face with those that felt hopeless but were restored, I have been alongside teachers and church leaders in some of the largest slums in the world and helped them thrive right where they were, I’ve trained leaders and witnessed them thrive and excel and I have seen God take things that seem like nothing and make it into something beautiful! You can read more about BFR’s Mission and how God used so many things to bring us where we are today.
I have 6 things that I try and keep in mind as I am navigating this calling upon my life. There are times that the weight of it all can feel overwhelming, almost too much to bear but I renew my mind and remind myself of these 6 things and keep moving.
1. Make decisions wisely, swiftly and with the big picture in mind. God has given me…and you… knowledge, experiences, His Word, wise counsel and authority to make good, educated choices. Not saying they will always be right or that mistakes….or growth opportunities as I like to say…. won’t come but I practice moving wisely and quickly which enables me to fix mistakes swiftly,, learn from them and move on. I do not dwell on mistakes- it gets me nowhere and helps no one. Wisdom comes with time and experience. If I am needing to make a decision on something that I haven’t lived through, I reach out to those who have then listen intently and learn from their experiences and how they pertain to my situation then I prayerfully move forward.
2. Balance is important and necessary. This one can be tough for me because I am a doer. I inherited a large capacity for doing and working from my momma, so pulling up my boot straps and getting to work is my default. I am most effective with a full calendar and cannot remember a time in my life I wasn’t multitasking. For me, as a mom of two, wife, Co-Founder of BFR, owner of The Rev and follower of Christ I have to strike a balance or all things around me will crumble. This starts first with my relationship with Christ. Took me a minute to learn that was the biggest factor, but once I did I can pretty much put my finger on it when things go out of whack. I try and remind myself that as important as it is to help the hundreds that we are in Kenya and Uganda I have to put a substantial amount of energy into my relationship with Christ, myself, my marriage and my kids. This isn’t always easy and takes planning, sacrifice and a willingness to ask for help if I need it.
3. Strive to help those in need and those around me. This is something I do- almost to a fault. I genuinely love helping people. I like seeing them go from where they are to a step closer to where God wants them. Need doesn’t look the same for everyone and help certainly doesn’t. Sometimes the best help for people is a listening ear and knowing that someone cares. Often times for us in Africa it looks like believing in them and walking through life with them then giving them a chance to work hard for their families. That is what sparked the idea for The Rev. We wanted to extend our reach and help more people while still allowing some balance in our lives and not repositioning our mission and brand to do so.
4. Remember those who champion you! There are a few people in my life that at any given point they will be my biggest cheerleader, will challenge and stretch me and will be a safe place for me to land. They don’t coddle me, they don’t judge me and they expect greatness from me. These people know my heart, they know God has put me here, in this life to impact it and they know I don’t always want to continue with all of this, but they don’t let me even consider quitting. Quitting this calling would be like giving up on my life. I am forever grateful to these few that make me better everyday, they teach me how to be a better mom, friend and follower of Christ.
5. Do your best, be the best. Now I am not really a competitive person by nature, but I do set myself to a very high standard. I believe as Christians people should expect excellence from us, not perfection but excellence. If I am going to bring something to the table, especially for Be Free it will be my very best. Full circle is a big thing for me which means not letting things fall behind. When I am completing a task I try and look at it full circle- how can I be the best start to finish. I also try and re-assess constantly. How could that have been better? How could I improve? Who can I learn from? This is a constant for me. I believe if you aren’t moving toward your goal you are moving away from it. There are going to be bumps in the road and growth opportunities, but that is not an excuse to not bring the best and be the best. Sorta sounds competitive huh? Guess it comes from the college cheer days! #nationalchamps #gotigersgo
6. My strength is not enough, it is only strength from Christ that moves me, BFR and my family forward. Not to sound overly churchy but this is the legit truth. Through these past 4 years I have learned this first hand. God has sustained me through hell’s that I didn’t think I would come out of, trying times where I thought for sure I was done- He brought me through. He did, not me. He brought me to my knees, to my face showing me that apart from Him I am just a girl that is trying to make a difference in the world but with Him that difference is being made. 100’s of people’s lives are visibly different, hope is restored not because of me but Him through me…and a ridiculously great team!
I would love to hear the aspects that you keep in mind as you are navigating your life. What do you do to come back to your center?