To Conform or Not to Conform
I have struggled my entire life with self esteem issues. I really do not know why because I had parents that loved me. I had people that were vested in my life. I had my parents, my other parents, my granny, Becky Kelly, Edith Wallace, and so many more. I see now how loved I have been, but hindsight is 20/20. Back then, I did not see that. I just saw myself as the girl in the “stupid kid class” who struggled with adding, multiplication, telling time, or what a freaking adverb is I was stared at and made fun of, daily, by my peers. It was such a difficult time.
I remember in Kindergarten, the teachers wanting to hold me back because on a test, I was asked how many legs a dog had. I said 3. I remember my mother flying in and saying something to the effect of “she is not stupid, she has just never seen a 4 legged dog.” I mean, seriously people. I. Had. Never. Seen. A. 4. Legged. Dog. Let that soak in for a moment. I was 6. Wow.
In sixth grade, where there were hot guys, pegged jeans and jean jackets. It really didn’t matter what I did or said, I was never one to have friends, even back then. When I entered into sixth grade, I remember being put in the “stupid” class. I remember walking in line and having my peers stare at me and laugh. My mother ensured that I did not stay in there long, not sure what she said, but I was put back in the mainstream classes.
I just always felt different. I never really fit in with anyone or anywhere. I tried to do my hair like the other girls and my makeup (Tera, remember the school picture you dolled me up for and the mounds of blue eyeshadow…good grief!). I tried to dress the way other people dressed and have the “in style” clothes. I would say things that I thought would make me fit in, when in reality, I just looked like an idiot and I was further isolated from my peers.
I would put on the face to suit whomever I was in contact with. If I was in school, I would put on the “I don’t care that I have no friends and cannot understand my homework” face. If I were at church, I would put on my “sanctified holier than thou face.” If I were at home, I put on the “sullen no one understands me” face. I had several faces that I would take on and off, depending on my situation.
That “reed in the hurricane” mentality set me up for not so good things to happen in my life. There was abuse, anorexia, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and depression. My deep need to fit in led me down a scary path that, though I am sad because of the things that did happen, I praise my Father for protecting me from any further harm.
Over the years, I have transformed into a person that I think I can finally be at peace with. The exhaustion of being more than one person depending on the setting became too much for me. I no longer cared what anyone thought or felt about me. What is important is that I know who I am and WHOSE I am.
I have been told that I cannot be a submission, honoring wife because I am too bold and outspoken. I have been told that I control my husband and will not let him make any decisions in our family. I have been told that I only love my husband when he does things for me. I have been told that homeschooling is detrimental to my children because I am not smart enough to teach them and they will lag behind. I have been told that I am perceived as an adulterous person because I chose to pray with a man over his marriage. I will never be taken seriously, I am not perceived as intelligent. Blah Blah Blah.
My feelings have been hurt more than once because all these statements make me question who I really am. Then, I stop and I remember WHOSE I am. I am a child of the King.
Psalm 139:13-16 “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
For those of you who might want to know who I am or what I stand for….I love my Lord with all my heart and all my soul. I care for the needy and the destitute. I want to help the ones that no one wants to be near. I love my husband. I love my children. My Lord comes first and my husband comes second and children come third. Everyone after that will have to take a number. I have hot pink hair most of the time. I am honest, even to a detriment, sometimes. I hold those I love very close to my heart. I struggle with trusting. I can read people very well. I like to sit and watch. I love to feed people. I love to share my past hurts in order to help someone else. I use humor to hide my hurts. I struggle with making/maintaining friendships. I have a brain. I can forgive, though sometimes not easily. I can say I am wrong and apologize. I do not tolerate lying.
If you don’t like me or assume something about me…that is fine. If you want to know something, ask. For the love of all that is good…never look at a person a make a snap judgement call. Get to know them. Put your feet under their table and see how they operate. Learn their story. Be mindful of your speech.
I am different. I will NEVER walk the walk you are walking. I will never talk the talk you are talking. I will not be the person who matches (though I like to think I try). I will never be the one who is super smart. I will never be the one who will fudge the truth in order to make someone happy. I will always tell you how I feel and if you make me mad or hurt my feelings, I will let you know. I hate to cry.
My job is not to please people. My command is to love God and love my neighbor. That is what I do.
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:13-16
I will not hide my light. I will stand out. I will be noticed. I will be myself. I will encourage, feed and love you. Regardless if you like it or not. Salt and Light, people….salt and light. My hot pink light will shine up on that hill until the return of Christ. Enjoy it, embrace it, or walk away….your choice.