Do You Ever Feel Like a Misfit?

How we perceive ourselves can have such a dramatic impact on everything–how we interact with

Photo by adamr taken from freedigitalphotos.net

Photo by adamr taken from freedigitalphotos.net

others, how we perceive others interactions with us, how we perceive our world, whether we take risks or shrink back in isolation. No wonder Satan works so hard to distort our thinking in this critical area! Today a sweet friend, young adult author Mary Hamilton is talking to all the misfits among us, which I suspect applies to us all at some point or another. As you read her thoughts, ask God to show you where your self-image has become distorted and then ask Him to replace that deception with truth. Ask Him to show you who you are in Him.

Ever Feel Like a Platypus?

by Mary Hamilton, author of See No Evil

Photo by OpenClipartVectors taken from pixabay.com

Photo by OpenClipartVectors taken from pixabay.com

The platypus is a curious creature. His legs are way too short in proportion to his chubby body. He hunts for food underwater like a fish, has webbed feet for swimming and lays eggs like a water bird, but is considered a mammal. He has the body of a beaver but the beak of a duck. Even his name sounds goofy. Platypus.

 

Have you ever felt like a platypus? A misfit? Ever complained that you’re too fat or too short. Your nose is too long, your legs too chubby, your hair too frizzy/curly/straight? I know I have. At different times, I’ve wondered, why can’t I be athletic like him? Why can’t I look more like her? If only I could play an instrument or sing like So-and-so. In other words, God, why didn’t you make me different (i.e. better)?

Remember those funny mirrors that distort your image, stretching your body out long or squishing it together? That’s how Satan wants you to see yourself. Distorted. Out of proportion. A misfit. He’s been at it since the Garden of Eden, where his whole strategy was to make Eve dissatisfied.

Eve? Dissatisfied? She had a perfect husband–they were made for each other. She lived in a

Photo by evert taken from pixabay.com

Photo by evert taken from pixabay.com

beautiful garden home with pets of every kind, fresh food every day, and she and Adam walked with God every evening. What more could a woman want?

The one thing God declared off limits. “If you eat from that tree,” Satan whispered, “you’ll be like God.” Hear that hiss of dissatisfaction? Suddenly, it wasn’t enough to be the woman God made her; Eve wanted to be like God himself.

When we look into the perfect mirror of God’s word, we find that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, woven together by God Himself in our mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:14-15) Thread by thread, over and under, God wove each of us together—hair, eyes, nose, chin, body, arms and legs, hands and feet, fingers, toes and personality.
The next time the Enemy whispers dissatisfaction in your ear, remember that distorted mirrors give you a warped view of yourself. Look to the Lord for a true reflection of who you are, who God made you to be.

***

Alt. headshotMary L. Hamilton grew up at a youth camp in southern Wisconsin, much like the setting for her middle-grade Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. Each book tells the story of kids who bring their baggage to camp—and learn how to carry it.

Mary is a graduate of Long Ridge Writer’s Group, a member of ACFW and CAN. Her writing has won recognition in several contests including the Genesis and Selah contests.

When not writing, Mary enjoys knitting, reading and being outdoors. She and her husband live in Texas.

Visit her online.

See No Evil:

(Christian fiction for teens / tweens / middle grade.)

Taylor Dixon knew having his younger sister at camp would be a pain, but he never expected the SeeNoEvilFrontDropCroppain to go so deep. At 15, Taylor dreams of getting his driver’s license and driving race cars when he’s older. His sister, Marissa, is the only one who believes in his dream, but her adventurous spirit keeps landing him in trouble. Consequently, Dad won’t let him get his license and predicts Taylor is heading for the same jail cell as his once-favored older brother.

Taylor returns to Rustic Knoll Bible Camp expecting softball, swimming and sermons. Then he finds a classic Mustang in the camp’s garage and jumps at the owner’s invitation to help restore it. But when Marissa falls for his snobbish cabin mate, the war of words and pranks escalates until it threatens both the car and his dreams for the future.

Will Taylor fulfill Dad’s prediction and end up in jail? Or will he finally learn the Truth found in the old car’s engine?

 

The Dangers of Comparison

However strong you are, there’s always someone stronger. There’s always someone smarter, more talented, more patient… a better cook, a better parent, a better spouse. Surrounded by so many folks who are better than us in so many ways, how can we ever measure up???

DSC_0065Isn’t it nice to know we don’t have to? Today my sweet friend and Young Adult Author of Saving Yesterday, Jessica Keller, shares her thoughts on this ugly and self-defeating game of comparison.

Note: Jessica is giving away a free copy, print or kindle, of Saving Yesterday. Winner will be randomly selected from the comments left on this post. 

***

“For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” -2 Corinthians 10:12

I’m going to come right out of the gate with a shocking confession for you—sometimes I compare myself to others and really find myself lacking. The situation changes, but the same thought still nags at the back of my mind. You don’t quiet measure up.

Have you been there?

The internet doesn’t always help this feeling. Pinterest tells me I’m not creative enough. Etsy says I’m not industrious enough. Facebook tells me I’m not liked enough. And Twitter says not that many people want to follow little old me.

It’s so easy to wander into the land of “if only” when these thoughts start to hound us. If only I were smarter. If only I if only I were...had more energy. If only I had more money. If only—then I’d feel confident and secure in who God made me to be.

In my book Saving Yesterday, the heroine Gabby Creed really struggles with this. She’s tossed into a world where everyone else knows all the rules and she’s making mistake after mistake. She just wants to belong—to be like them, all the while forgetting that she’s created special and different for a purpose.

We can all take heart because we’re not alone in these thoughts. In fact, the very first woman we meet in the Bible struggled with this too. From the moment God breathed life into Eve she knew her position as a child of God and the highest point in creation. She was surrounded by love from God and a man who adored her (Adam was pretty excited when she was created). Eve had what every woman longs for—love, intimacy, purpose, and significant. Pretty amazing, huh?

Even still, all it took was a whisper reminding her what she wasn’t and what she didn’t have for her to feel insecure. The serpent only had to say once that Eve could have more and be more if only God didn’t hold out on her—that’s all it took for doubt to take root and doubt almost always turns into poor choices.

If Eve in her ideal situation couldn’t help but measure her life against an absurd ruler that didn’t even exist—what hope do we have? Plenty. Know what would have changed everything in Eve’s situation—and can change us? Instead of focusing on who we are not and what we don’t have—flip that—and focus on who we are in Christ (a child of God) and what we have (a relationship with Him, keys to the Kingdom, an eternity spent worshiping the one true God).

You are loved beyond measure and understanding.

Jessica Keller holds degrees in both Communications and Biblical Studies. She is multi-published in both Young Adult Fiction and Romance. You can find her at www.JessicaKellerBooks.com, on Twitter @AuthorKeller, or on her Facebook author page (www.facebook.com/jessicakellerauthor)

SavingYesterday_CVR_MEDSaving Yesterday:

Her blood holds secrets she never knew existed.

Despite the fact that she acts as a parent to her alcoholic father, Gabby Creed feels pretty normal. But her life is turned upside-down on her seventeenth birthday when a bracelet appears on her wrist and sucks her back through time.

Turns out she’s not even a little bit normal. She’s a Shifter—a protector of humans and of history itself. And she’s not alone. The other Shifters believe Gabby is special, even more special than the mysterious Michael Pace. Oh, and the Shades—seriously creepy creatures who feed off of human despair—are determined to capture her.

It’s all a lot to absorb. So Gabby’s grateful to have Michael as her Trainer—or she would be if she could get her rebellious heart under control. Then again, if the rumors about her blood are true, saving yesterday will be the least of her worries.

Purchase it here: on Kindle and print.

Let’s talk about this! I’m pretty sure we all play the comparison game. We measure ourselves against what we “see”. The ironic thing is, we only see or hear the soundbites, the highlights, not the hidden struggles. In fact, that very person we compare ourselves to may livingbygracepic.jpbe comparing themselves to us! Oh, to see ourselves as Christ sees us: transformed, redeemed, immensely loved and set on a trajectory for eternal greatness. If we’d but take our eyes off everyone else and re-center them squarely on Christ, this journey toward growth and transformation would be so much easier!

So how do we do that? What are some ways you’ve successfully battled this cancer of comparison? What verses make this easier? How does your relationship with Christ help with this? We’d love to hear about your struggles and successes. 🙂 Share your thoughts here in the comments below or at Living by Grace on Facebook.