Are you struggling with being seen as different? I know the feelings since I’ve had to struggle with it since I was born. Because of my physical limitations, I had to approach things in a different manner. Yet, God created me with a purpose and a plan. Perhaps, you were not born with disabilities and didn’t face my challenges; however, we do face the same set of issues.
I would like to offer you some words of encouragement in overcoming the fear of being seen as different and the pressure to conform. For God, the Father did not weave our innermost frames to be cheap copies of the other person. For you were born with a unique set of gifts and talents to help you in what God, the Father is calling you into. You are not a mistake!
This is true whether you are a believer in Jesus or not. For King David says the following in Psalms 139:13-14:
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.Psalms 139:13-14 NASB
Is that it? No, David goes on to declare that God has a plan and a purpose for each person formed in his or her mother’s womb. Yes, this plan includes my physical disabilities. Yes, you read correctly. Here’s the deal. My mother was exposed to someone with rubella in ’64. Because we live in a fallen world, disease and sickness are going to happen.
It should never be used as an excuse to blame the parents, the child or God. If I had not run into this twisted attitude, there would no need to make this statement. Yes, I have been personally hurt by such baseless accusations and God helped me, in forgiving such individuals.
At the same time, I can’t imagine the how God the Father must feel. For Psalms 139:15-16 says:
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.Psalms 139:15-16 NASB
The above Scriptures are not the only ones that I’ve encountered in the pages of the Bible. For God is not deterred by life circumstances. Rather, God is able to work all things together for the good of those who love God. If you don’t know, I just quoted Romans 8:28 and it’s true. I’d be remiss to not thank Jesus for my parents.
I was raised to be very independent and a problem solver. Thanks to a love of fiction, it helped me to learn to think creatively. It’s a very handy skill when you are very nearsighted and have severe hearing loss. I really did have to think differently than others. Yet, I had a fear of sticking out like a sore thumb. sounds familiar?
All children grow up with such fear and it’s something the school punks love to prey on. Yes, I wanted to blend in and disappear; however, I could not do it. Though I did get my share of harassments, I was not intimidated by these guys. I went in the opposite direction.
These differences would prove very helpful in the future. How so? When it comes to blogging and creating videos for YouTube, it’s not uncommon to have issues of insecurities and fear the opinions of others. It’s especially true if you are talking about sensitive topics. The fear of others is quite real and it can be overcome.
Here’s what Paul wrote in Romans 8:29-31 and it’s why I say Christians should not be afraid to stand out, in a crowd:
29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?Romans 8:29-31 NASB
I can’t control what other people say, think or do and it goes for my online activities. However, I can control how I choose to respond. It’s not my responsibility to worry about the opinions of other people. Yet, I need to take responsibility for my own actions because they do have consequences. It’s why the Scriptures warn against rushing to judgements.
Let’s stop worrying about what other people think or say; rather we are to take into consideration what God thinks or say. I’d definitely encourage you to talk with Jesus about any issues that you have about sticking out like a sore thumb.
Here’s another tip for overcoming the fear of being different. Do not fall into the comparison trap! Give yourself permission to be as God created you to be. It won’t happen if you keep trying to be like a certain personality you admire. Find your own voice and let it be uniquely yours.
When I started blogging in 2009, I did not have too many people to compare myself to. If I was writing politics or tech related blog posts then it’s a different story. Then I’d be tempted to compare myself to certain personalities that I followed.
Today, it is a different story in both the blogosphere and on the YouTube platform. So, I do understand the need to be like certain YouTube personalities or bloggers. It’s not wrong to learn from such individuals. They didn’t get into that position, overnight! However, we’re not to be clones of such individuals.
Just be yourself! You have the ability to reach people that the celebrity personality can’t reach. Yes, you do have something to offer that other people can’t. However, it won’t happen if you’re too busy being a cheap copy of someone else.
Here’s my final point. You are not alone. If you’re in Christ then you are most certainly not alone in what Jesus called you into doing. Here’s what Jesus told his followers in Matthew 28:16-20. Be certain to reald the last verse:
16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:16-20 NASB
Did you read the last verse? Jesus promised to be with you always, even to the end of the age. It’s God, the Father who justifies the followers of Jesus and it’s the Son who intercedes for us. As for the Holy Spirit, he is not sitting inside of you twiddling his thumbs. Rather, the Holy Spirit is an ever present help in our walk with God and doing what Jesus is directing us, to do.
Of course, it helps to cultivate a relationship with God by reading the Scriptures and spend time talking to Jesus and listening to what God is saying.