Updated: May 12, 2020
When my daughter was little, she would carry candy in her Bible cover to give to visitors at church. She loved to make other children feel loved and welcome. She never even ate a piece for herself, she just kept it to give away.
She’s older now and it’s not as easy to make friends by sharing your candy. She’s got to come up with something new. She told me last night on the way to church, “Mom, I’m just different. I don’t belong in the youth group.”
My heart could feel her anxiousness to fit in, to be welcomed and loved. My first instinct was to give her a big bowl of ice cream and put her on the couch with her baby blanket to watch Veggie Tales. Apparently you can’t do that with a 12 year old (who knew?) so I wanted to make sure she knew one thing.
“I want you to be different. I am so thankful you are different. That’s why you have to go, someone has to show them they can be different too.”
God intends for us to be different, too. The Bible calls it “set apart.” But what good does it do if we remain separate from the world? I could have given her an out, a reason to stay home, but I encouraged her to #dohardthings and face her fears.
And I also whispered, as she turned to walk toward that huge group of teenagers, in my best Harry Potter voice, “Be brave, Professor.”
I prayed for my big girl. I prayed that God would show her His desire for her. I prayed for friends and for purpose. And I thanked Him for making her different.
It’s hard to be different. It’s hard to be set apart. But my friends, it is a worthy goal to allow the God of heaven to sit on the throne of your heart. To submit every fleshly desire to His will so that by His grace others may get a glimpse of Him in YOU.
I long to be different because of who Jesus is in my life. And I pray that you will choose to be different too.