Over the last 3 yrs I’ve noticed a consistent theme in my prayer life: wanting to be different. You’d think at nearly 38 yrs old I’d be over feelings of inadequacy, but nope… in my mind I still second guess EVERY THING I DO (insert exhausted emoji here). I try to see myself as God see’s me but I can’t see past issues with body image and my ability to say the most inappropriate things that keep me embarrassed long after the conversation is over. So yea, I’ve found myself in this constant cycle of “God why did you make me like this!” And then Saturday happened…
I was invited to a small dinner party to celebrate the 4th of July: just me and 2 couples in their 70’s. Don’t let the age fool you, the 4 of them kept me in stitches! What’s the Christian term for piss and vinegar?….that’s these 4! We talked about everything from politics, to race, religion and PDA (insert vomit emoji here) nothing was out of bounds. And because of age, race, and culture everyone had differing opinions. Finally we landed on the topic of children and I got quiet. Cue inadequacies. What could I ever contribute to this subject because these people had done it “right”…. married for 40+ years, financially stable, in ministry, biblical scholars, and plus their children are now my age!!! I was definitely the Daniel Son to their Mr. Miyagi. But as they talked candidly about the recent loss of my dear friend Erica, her brother 25 yrs earlier and the continued prayer for another child I started to understand why God made me just this way.
As I listened to each story of raising children it was clear the child could have benefited from someone they could relate to while trying to find their way. Someone who was considered “different” but loved to have fun and had a solid relationship with God. Perhaps if they had a friend who loved God but also loved rock music, crazy hair colors, and tattoos they would have been able to see themselves in the body of Christ…or where they could fit. I believe they would have connected with me a lot quicker than a straight laced conservative parent or someone who looks like their conservative parents. All I could think was “I could have reached him” and there’s still time to reach others!
I see that my awkward ways help me to attract non-traditional individuals to our Father’s love. Those who feel they don’t fit in at church but want/need the connection. Is there a standard that Christ Followers should have? Yes. However, I want to implore you to check your heart and determine if your standards are biblical truths or tradition. Jesus said that it’s not okay to simply follow the letter of the law but not live out the intention (heart) behind the law (Mathew 23:23-26, Romans 7:6). We need compassion, justice, and mercy for people we don’t agree with or who don’t look like us in order to lead someone to Christ. And these qualities come from realizing your own short comings and quirks. God sees my tattoos, piercings, and loud mouth as opportunities to stand out for Him. And the more I see it as an asset the more He can use it for His glory.
It’s weird and uncomfortable to be around people that don’t understand you but these are the exact times where God can be glorified. So here’s your chance! God wants to use you. Just like you are…you’re enough!