Mama’s Got a Brand New Bag!

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

Copycats…right down to the jeans you wear, to how you style your hair, to the same schools you attended, degrees you earned to the professional titles you hold…and now to the SAME RED bag (purse) you carry. Where does it end??

The good news: I keep it real. The bad news: I keep it real. 

This topic is inspired by a powerful phone conversation I enjoyed with a dear friend a couple weeks ago. We’re alike in many ways, understanding very well each other’s line of thought, moral base, systems for operating, etc. The crescendo of our conversation entered the two-hour mark and by that time I responded to her, “Preach, woman!”

In short, she shared how a former college classmate and work colleague has copied her path. It’s questionable if the particular profession she’s patterned after my friend’s is even her true heart’s desire. The copycat simply fixed her eyes on the heights my friend’s path has taken her to and she wanted to acquire that same territory. My friend’s unique path has become the copycat’s idol. So much so, that she purchased the SAME red bag that my friend carries. Lord help!   lrg-red-bag

In my keeping it real with you, understand these three truths:

TRUTH 1: Everybody wants your formula for obtaining YOUR success. But they could hardly know all the sweat, tears, frustrations, lessons learned, starts and fits, doubts, pep talks, prayers, worries, second and third winds that are intricately blended into your “secret sauce.” They simply want the cookie-cutter pattern, the 11 secret herbs and spices without going through the laborious efforts, the hills and valleys or the necessary stretching to reach the next level.

TRUTH 2: It’s a privilege to mentor someone to aid them in successfully walking out their own unique path. It’s also a blessing that perhaps you’ve lived your life in such a way that people desire to pattern their lives after you. But taken too far, it becomes idolatry. The only One we should seek, pursue and pattern our very lives after is Jesus Christ.

TRUTH 3: You are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). No carbon copies. God says in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (New International Version). You’ve been set apart—for His purposes—for paths and purposes unique to you, not to be compared to others. You’ve been equipped with unique gifts to reach a specific population of people. As told in Proverbs 18:16, A person’s gift opens doors for him/her, bringing him/her access before important people. (International Standard Version)

Our God is Awesome! God is always doing new things (Isaiah 43:19)! We should always be growing, doing new things because this is what He desires for us! Frankly, what God did for you in 2013, won’t be the same thing He does for you in 2015! So those who seek to copy you and get your “secret sauce” will be working from old material! God is already directing you somewhere new!

There’s no secret formula, only to walk the path you are called to.

Get your own color bag because we’re already onto the ‘new.’ Mama’s got a brand new bag!


Nicole D. Hayes is the founder of Voices Against the Grain, a bold teaching ministry launched in May 2013. Nicole’s purpose in creating Voices Against the Grain is to be light in darkness, to boldly instruct truth amid confusion so as to bring clarity and restoration.