Cuddled under her blanket, tears wiped into her hairline, struggling to verbalize her sorrow… Being a parent is gut wrenching sometimes.
We were having a “check in” with the girls. Every so often we ask them to share anything that might be weighing on their hearts; anything that anyone may have said or done to make them feel sad, scared, or uncomfortable. We sat there on the side of her bed, waiting patiently and praying that the Lord would give her the words to say. I held her hand, and although my heart pounded, and fear in the unknown welled up within me, I maintained a calm demeanor and encouraged her to share.
Finally, after what seemed like eternity… my sweet girl, through her tears, spoke the words “I don’t fit in.”
Relief and yet a deep sorrow both rushed through me. And then I held her. I told her all about God’s love for her. I explained how beautifully different we all are and I taught her about the body of Christ. We giggled as I expressed that we can’t all be eye balls and that toes are just as important as elbows. And I invited her to consider how she might fit in to God’s kingdom and plan for eternity. We talked about lies and feelings and thoughts that are untrue. We talked about the real hurt we feel when others make selfish decisions, and yet, we can choose to love with the love of Christ and He can equip us with the humility to invite others in, even after they have pushed us out. I encouraged her to let no corrupting talk come out of her mouth, but to build others up and display the grace of God; the grace that wins others to His Glory.
As much as my words were for her, the Lord used that moment to remind me of those truths. We’ve had to say no more often to things that cost money or that conflict with meetings. Sometimes, when everyone else is doing something we can’t, I too feel like I don’t fit in. There are days that my heart has ached and friends have failed me, and the gap between going and living here is widening, and deep inside I long for home… that longing, that longing to belong and to fit in, that desire to go home… it’s a longing our hearts were designed with… a longing meant to be perfectly filled by the God of the universe whose love for us is infinite and who designed for us an eternal home.
Instead of planning our own exclusive events, instead of demanding justice or making an argument for ourselves, instead of letting our hurt turn to anger… We cried together. We mourned the brokenness around us. We prayed for those who hurt our feelings and we agreed that we didn’t want to be the cause of anyone else feeling like they don’t fit in. We decided that while the cost of following Jesus might be great at times, that it’s worth it. We rejoiced in all the good things God has given us and the people who love us. We thanked God for our family and all the friendships within it. We praised the Lord for how he has made us and for his faithfulness to make us more like Jesus. And we thanked him for the hurt… that He used to draw our hearts to him, to remind us of what is true, and to show us how he wants us to love others.