You Weren’t Made to Fit In

A couple days ago, when expressing frustration with his new employer, one of my good friends said, ‘the job is fine, I just don’t like this box they’re trying to put me in.’ It struck me instantly. I immediately empathized because I’ve felt that way more than a few times. However, it’s not just other people who try to put us in a box. We do it to ourselves, too.

Growing up, how many times did we hear this quote by Dr. Seuss? “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” It’s been said so many times, it’s become cliche. Cliche and overused it may be, it still holds weight. Everyone is unique. Personality quirks, appearance, fashion sense, belief systems. These things makes up the fabric of our individuality. But there will always be someone who thinks you are ‘too much’ or maybe ‘not enough.’ I’ve always firmly landed in the ‘too much’ category with my demonstrative personality and strong emotions. When I was younger and insecure, I remember attempting to tone myself down by holding in laughter or even not buying a pair of shoes I fell in love with because of someone else’s face when I picked them up. It took me a long time to stop being less me. I realized that I am who I am and there are people who actually love who I am. But more importantly, I realized who made me the way I am.

More than people trying to box you in, our society is continually slapping a label on you. For years we’ve been lumped into categories, and often, pitted against each other. Black or white. Democrat or republican. Blue collar worker or white collar worker. It goes on and on. I’d argue it’s worse than ever now with the constant push to divide us based on medical choices. What we need to realize is that this will never stop. The boxes they’re trying to stuff you in, the labels slapped on your chest and even the metaphorical duck tape over your mouth in effort to shut you up. As long as we’re walking the earth, this will continue.

So how do you break free? You simply remember to whom you belong. You are a child of the Most High. Psalm 139:14 says that you were fearfully and wonderfully made. We are created in the image of God Almighty and we must live as such. This world is consistently trying to tell us who we are, but we are not held to this evil world view. We answer to the Creator of the heavens and the earth. As Peter stated in Acts 5:29, “we must obey God rather than man.”

I won’t pretend it’s easy to be considered ‘counter culture.’ It’s incredibly challenging and truthfully, it feels like you’re fighting every single day, which is exhausting. Running to Him in prayer and finding comfort in His word is our only replenishment. If we allow ourselves to drive on E, so to speak, we’ll eventually cave to the pressure. God’s words in John 15:16-19 keeps coming to mind. “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other. “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” He chose us! The God of all creation chose you and has placed you right at this appointed time. God is not surprised by what is happening in the world. He is with us. Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” He is in control and has given us what we need to endure the daily struggle. Allow yourself to be encouraged by His great promises to us!

So when you find yourself carrying the weight of the world, remember it was never meant for you to carry. Lay those burdens down and run to your Father. Rest in exactly who He created you to be.

Until next time,

Erica Lee

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