July 26, 2007

Feeling Different

By Laura Boggess, She Speaks graduate

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.” Revelation 2:17 (NIV)

Devotion:

“If I could change three things about me, they would be my hair, my freckles, and my name.”

I looked in the rear view mirror at my redheaded, freckle-faced boy named Theodore, and my heart ached.

“I love those things about you. They’re part of what makes you who you are. Why would you want to change them?”

“Because they’re different. Everybody else just looks normal, and has normal names. Not like me.”

I chose my words carefully, trying not to chastise or judge. Something in his tone reminded me of a little girl I used to know. A little girl who hated her freckles too.

“That’s what makes them so special. Believe me, sweetie, it’s not a good thing to be like everyone else. That’s boring. That’s why God made us all different. It keeps the world interesting.”

“Oh, Mom, you just don’t understand.”

Some truths are given little credence when spoken from a mother’s lips. No matter what I said, he remained unconvinced. I felt like I had failed him somehow.

My son is not the only one who struggles with feeling “different”. Countless adults battle feelings of inadequacy every day when they look in the mirror. Whether it’s that extra ten pounds, an undesired birthmark, or a secret emotional scar; we all have some mark on our being that we are sure others will revile.

Our differences can leave us feeling insecure and alone. Still, there is One who celebrates our uniqueness, One who is charmed by our oddities and loves even our scars. This One sees every part of us and still calls us beautiful. He is El Roi, the God who sees.

Yet, we, like my son, turn our ears away from our loving Parent. It’s too difficult to grasp that He loves us with all of our flaws and imperfections. We say, “Oh, Father, you just don’t understand.” But we are wrong. He understands all too well.

Scripture tells us, “…He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering…” (Isaiah 53:2b-3a NIV).

Yes, He understands how it feels to be different.

That week, I prayed for God to help me explain this truth to my son in words that he would hear. I wanted so desperately for him to understand how special he is, not just to me, but to his Heavenly Father, as well.

The Lord is faithful, and He placed Revelation 2:17 in my hands. I sat my son down and shared this scripture with him, explaining that God has a special name set aside just for him. I told him that no matter what he is called during his time here on earth, there is a name waiting for him in heaven. A name that will have nothing but love attached to it.

While we were at it, I read him Psalm 56:8, and told him that God loves him so much, He keeps track of every tear that has fallen from his eyes. Then: Luke 12:7; He knows the number of hairs on our heads. (No matter what color they are!) And He probably counts freckles for fun.

We are set apart, dear ones, but we are not alone. Our Heavenly Father sees us... all of us ... every secret scar and past sin... every freckle that has ever graced a nose... each and every red hair.

And He is “enthralled” by our beauty. (Psalm 45:11NIV)

Dear Lord, I know with my mind that you love me. Help me to know this with all of my heart. Help me to see my differences as you see them. Show me how to help others to accept the beauty of their differences by loving them as you do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:  

Visit our website at www.proverbs31.org and check out our many articles, resources and special limited time offer for a Girl’s Get-A-Way Cruise with Lysa TerKeurst and friends!

Application Steps: 

Read the scriptures in today’s devotional and take them to heart.

Make a list of all the things about yourself that have ever caused you to feel different or ashamed. Write down today’s scriptures and place this paper over the first one. God’s love covers you in all things.  

Reflections: 

Do you believe you are special?

Do you believe that God loves you?

How does your view of your worthiness affect your children or those that you love?

Power Verses:

Ephesians 5:-2, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (NIV)  

1 John 3:1-2, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (NIV)

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