When I was a little girl, my favorite thing to hear was that I was weird. Whether the words came affectionately from the lips of my mom, or as a critical observation from the kid across the street, I didn’t care.
“You’re so weird” made me beam — because I was weird.
I was a girl who happily (and confidently) marched to the beat of my own very unrhythmic drum.
When I was seven years old, the year was 1989, and neon green biker shorts with a black polka dot skirt and fluorescent pink tank top was my favorite outfit. But I took the typical bright 80’s color scheme to my own Becky level. I was sure to complement my outfit with my beloved dinosaur canvas sneakers . . . that I got in the boys’ section. The shoes came with boring white laces that didn’t meet my high fashion standards, so I swapped them out for primary red.
Add to this charming ensemble the fact that I convinced my older sister to braid my hair in three sections and then crimp my bangs. Yep, weird was probably the word that came to everyone’s mind.
At the tender age of seven, I had yet to grow a self-conscious bone. I was just me. Tree-climbing, alphabet-burping, puzzle-solving, book-loving, roller-blading Becky. And I was hungry for affirmation of what I knew was true — that I was perfectly, wonderfully, and weirdly made.
Gosh, I was a great kid.
At forty-one, I’m still great, but somewhere between then and now, my hunger for compliments shifted. Somewhere along the way, I stopped wanting to be seen for exactly me, and I started striving to please others. Instead of weird, I wanted to be beautiful. Instead of being unique, I wanted to be accepted, influential, admirable, successful. I started caring about others liking me more than I cared about liking myself.
And even deeper than that, I started forgetting who God says I am. Instead, I tried to cram myself into a mold that wasn’t made for me.
Have you done this, too?
It’s natural for our childhood selves to mature into adolescents with greater self-awareness and then into adults with age-appropriate inhibitions. But that doesn’t mean shoving down, casting out, or numbing over the parts of ourselves that make us stand out for the sake of blending in or receiving someone else’s approval.
If you’re a dreamer, don’t cram yourself into the box of an analytical thinker.
If you’re loud, don’t let the world stifle your voice.
If you’re vibrant, don’t dull your edges.
If you’re intellectual or artsy, stoic or outdoorsy, don’t let an outside voice tell you that another personality or strength is more attractive, valuable, or palatable.
The amazing thing about God is that He doesn’t mess up. Your shyness is on purpose. Your love for a good debate is intentional. Your fast talking or slow processing is not a mistake.
Do we each have areas where we need to grow? Absolutely! We are all on a journey of being refined to become more like Christ. But, friend, hear this: acknowledging your growth edge doesn’t negate the essential beauty of who you already are.
One of my favorite quotes is credited to Saint Irenaeus, a 2nd-century Greek bishop, who said, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” God receives glory when we live out of the fullness of who He made us to be.
Have you ever known someone who just sparkles? Who shines from the inside out, not because of what they did but because of Who is in them? The Creator gets the glory when His creation stays true to His intentional design.
“For it was you who created my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made.
Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well.”
Do you know that you are God’s remarkable creation? If the belief has slipped into the cracks of time, let me be the one to remind you. Sister, the way God made you is wondrous! You are distinct. Set apart. A one-of-a-kind masterpiece!
What would happen if you lived like it?
These days I’m re-learning how to let the bright and bold confidence of my youth reemerge. I wear vibrant turquoise tennis shoes that clash with most outfits. I make up silly songs and sing them off-key in the kitchen with my kids. I stay quiet when people expect me to speak. I keep writing about Jesus even if it’s not the popular thing.
I think it’s okay that I no longer want to be known as weird. Instead, I just want to be known as loved. And from that place of being loved, I can embrace and love others — weirdness and all.
You, sister, are so loved.
When we walk with the assurance that we are God’s beloved daughters — holy and chosen and wonderfully made — we can confidently march to whatever beat He gives us.