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.
I loved this Becky. So heartwarming and inspiring. I cannot stop smiling. Great way to begin my day!
Becky Keife says
And now you’re making ME smile! 🙂
Oh, how I wish I could see a picture of that 7 year old Becky! What a delight she must have been. This brought back sweet memories of childhood and all the different versions of me that evolved through the years. In this senior season of life I think I can say that I’m thankfully not as concerned with how others see me, but more focused on letting God’s love and light shine through me. At least that’s the goal. Still I do struggle to figure out how to live within myself, what I see as limitations that perhaps He intended as gifts.
Becky Keife says
What a wonderful goal, Gail! And yes, I think most often our limitations are indeed a gift–opportunities to see God’s power and provision in ways we couldn’t if satisfied and dependent on our own strength.
Michele Morin says
Thinking right now with a certain fondness of my blue and purple saddle shoes from 4th grade…
Becky Keife says
Oh, I love that, Michele!
Becky, this resonates with me. “Different Drum” has been my theme song since forever. I have spent a lifetime of trying to live in someone else’s mold. I’m done with that and will be who God designed me to be. I would love to see 7 year old Becky. I know she was delightful!
Becky Keife says
D, YOU are perfectly and wonderfully made!
Ruth Mills says
May we each be growing in our knowledge of who God created & called us to be so that He will be magnified! Thanks for these encouraging words Becky!
Kathy Francescon says
If only the children of today could live out the innocence of childhood, being happy in discovering themselves. Instead of being told, they may not even be the sex that God chose them to be…
Oh the joy of innocence! Please bless the children, Dear God, to love and accept themselves just as You created them to be.
Bev Rihtarchik says
I smiled at the visual I was getting from your “colorful” description 🙂 Even at 60+ it never hurts to be reminded that I am God’s remarkable creation. Comparison and people-pleasing are like treadmills you jump on, but they never take you anywhere. The only way we can shine for God’s glory is when we allow our God-given bents to come to the surface. Thank you for a beautiful reminder today!
AMEN! I always think of being peculiar as in 1 Peter 2:9 KJV
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
Thank you, Becky! This is wonderful! Much food for thought.
Janet W says
OH MY GOSH…I love this Becky….and I smiled just as Bev shared. I love how God made me. As soon as I try to be someone I’m not, God stops me in my tracks! I am soooo grateful He does.
……”and then into adults with age-appropriate inhibitions”… this is definitely not me…hahaha. I am very loud and obnoxious and super immature and silly for a 61 yr old gramma, but I will take it anytime over an adult with no sense of adventure or love of nature, flowers and bugs and ice cream!
Thank you so much for such a beautiful and simple reminder that we are wonderfully made \0/
Amen! I am right there with you! I thought as I aged my wild crazy little girl me would change and we do as we grow but hopefully we remember whose we are and then we are filled with joy, peace, and a unique love for all the kindred spirits we meet along the way. You are a beautiful young soul that has touched so many hearts through honesty, joy and grace that flows from your lips into our hearts and encouragement is a great gift. You do it well. I pray God’s presence will continue to brighten your day and that “little Becky” will keep celebrating who she is in Jesus.
Janet W says
….. I do have to add…even though I’m not “the adult with no sense of adventure or love of nature, flowers and bugs and ice cream!”
God has made us all and we all have a purpose.
Becky, I love what you wrote, I can identify with you as well❤️ Thankyou for your honesty, transparency and wisdom ❤️ Please keep on writing more articles, I love reading them❤️
Becky Keife says
Grateful you’re here, Catherine! Thank you for your encouragement!
Sharon McRoy says
We wanna see pictures of that perfectly wonderfully and weirdly made Becky-child! In color! Thank you for sharing, Becky. Too often, mean-spirited kids and adults can zap our self-confidence, innovation and joy. Thankfully, being a child of God will instill a new confidence, innovation and joy . . . only in different ways. But, we should never be afraid to let out our weird inner child every once in a while. LOL
Becky Keife says
And now I feel motivated to dig through the garage to find those old boxes of photos!
Deborah Rutherford says
Love this Becky. Mine is, you are crazy.
Beth Williams says
This was me as a youngster: “Your shyness is on purpose.” Thank you for that. Used to blame most of my life problems on being shy. You have shown me that it was part of God’s plan for my life. I was born with two punctured eardrums & couldn’t hear a thing. Super shy growing up. After three surgeries the right one was fixed. Finally got hearing aid & then one day God fixed the left one. Now years later I’m a loud talking 58 yr. old.
You could easily label me weird. I listened to country music in the 80s-way before it got cool. Like you I did life my way. Didn’t follow conventional ways of doing things. Didn’t mind being called names. Interesting post!
ARIEL KRIENKE says
Love this article. We are wonderful just the way God created us to be. Great article.
Amen, Amen, Amen!
Amen. Amen. Amen. This was so wonderful and timely. God knew I needed this. Thank you, Jesus. ❤️
Blessings to you, Becky.
Deanna Day Young says
This is a perfect and timely devotion for me. Everything you said is so true for me. I love bright and bold colors. I am a writer, a creator and a speaker and I am who I am. I always embraced that until I quit my corporate job after 34 years a few months ago, and the devil made me think I was worthless. Your devotion reminds me that is not true! I love your book, The Simple Difference. I was introduced to you from Kathi Lipp’s podcast. I am on her ministry team. Thank you for writing from your heart that, in turn, touched mine.