I apologize to my four readers for not posting in two weeks… I have been very busy with the holidays, and not in a writing mood! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are enjoying 2009!
Have you ever felt like you are being bombarded with a subject or something in particular? In the past two weeks or so, I have kept seeing the word “expectations” everywhere. I don’t usually stop and think about it, but it hit me rather hard.
If you know me very well, you know that I have a hard time making friends and reaching out to people because I am shy. Not painfully shy, but reserved enough that I don’t talk in public unless I am spoken to first. This has been a real problem for me since I was little, and especially now since I am in high school.
About two and a half years ago, my family decided to find a new church. We found Dayspring, and placed membership after about six months of visiting. If you have ever changed churches, you know that it is very difficult to fit in at first. Although it does not compare to moving to a different state, it is still hard. For me, it was weird to come in and suddenly be an outsider. I had gone to our previous church for nine years, and there was only one other girl in my grade level, so it was not a struggle to be accepted. When my family joined Dayspring, I was going into seventh grade, so I was placed in the middle school class. Almost every kid in the class went to the same school, was in the same class, and had grown up together. I did not know what they were talking about half the time, and felt like I was standing at the zoo looking in at the animals, but not able to connect with them in any way.
Right now, I am in the high school youth group and am the only homeschooled kid. It is incredibly hard to try and fit in, and pretend like I am just like them. For two years I have tried to make them like me (which is very difficult when you don’t talk out loud very often), and have hoped that one day they will see that I am no different than they are. I am not saying that the kids in the youth group are mean or pushy (they are actually very nice), but they can tell that I am vastly different from them.
Two weeks ago, it hit me.
I don’t have to be like them! I don’t have to pretend that I know what public high school is like. To live that way would be a lie! It’s okay to be different.
I am a people pleaser, and it is not always a good thing. I strive for acceptance and want to make everyone happy. I don’t like being an outcast, and I have cried many nights because I am so different from the other teens my age.
I’m slowly starting to realize that it is okay to be different. God made everyone unique in their own way, and we should not be ashamed of how we are. If we don’t like who God made us to be, we are insulting His creation.
The expectations of this world are drastically different from what God wants. The world is like a candy mold; we have to fit in just right, or we will stick out conspicuously. God wants us to follow his ways and not compare ourselves to anyone except Jesus Christ. It is His example we are to follow, and no one else’s.
Please don’t get me wrong. I would not trade homeschooling for anything in the world. I don’t mind being different, and not all homeschoolers are outcasts. I have chosen to be different, and it is okay. I am just one case in a million, so don’t base your view of homeschooling solely on my account.
I think one of the biggest expectations that the world has is friendship. The world expects us to be friends with our peers. I do not have very many friends that are my own age. (Yes, a shocker, I know.) My very best friend is my mom, and she is twenty years older than me. The world does not expect any teen girl to have a good relationship with her mom. The world doesn’t frown upon it, but it is not expected or normal.
On Tuesday, I went to Starbuck’s with my dear friend Candice McLaren. She is a young mom with five children. Obviously, I am only fourteen, don’t have children, and can’t even drive! And yet, Mrs. McLaren has reached out to me, and has befriended me. She has shown me so much about God, and has acted not only as a friend, but as a mentor as well. I am dearly grateful for her friendship. The world may think it is weird for me to be such good friends with someone in a different stage of life, but I think it is cool.
The teens of this world get into so much trouble nowadays. I can only wonder if it is because they only look to their peers for advice. I think having a friend that is a lot older than you will help you gain wisdom and knowledge.
Not only am I friends with people over twenty, I love children, too! A little girl at my church, Sarah, is one of my dear friends, and she is only six years old. In fact, on New Year’s Eve, I played hide and seek with her for nearly an hour. I did not do it just because she asked me, I did it because I wanted to.
Well, now that you’ve read this blog, you probably think that I am totally nuts. I just want to say that this year, I am not going to try to fit into the image of the world, I am going to be who God made me to be, and reach out through who I really am. I am so grateful that God has shown me my mistake, and I am going to strive to compare myself only to God.
2 years ago