God, why won’t you rid me of my flaws? I’m too expressive, too passionate, too talky, too LOUD!
Have you ever caught yourself crying a similar prayer?
Have you ever wondered why you feel like you don’t fit?
Childhood: Stupid Fantasy No. 1
As a child, I used to fantasize that I had been born into the wrong family.
I wondered if, perhaps, I actually belonged to a loudly expressive Latino family, or maybe a fast-talking Italian family. I believed my personality would fit better amongst the passion, emotion, and sheer volume I associated with these cultures.
It’s just that I grew tired of feeling like I didn’t quite fit: I was the loud one, the dramatic one, the one who couldn’t for the life of her control the volume of her voice or the surging of her emotions.
Adulthood: Stupid Fantasy No. 2
I’ve grown older, but foolishly I still fantasize.
Rather than imagining that I’m in the wrong family, however, I imagine the distant day when my personality will be perfectly mellowed (demure, even), when every quirky, talky, loud “flaw” will be wiped away. (Ever heard of a moral perfectionist. Mm-hm.)
To be sure, Stupid Fantasy No. 2 is pure misery – worse than Stupid Fantasy No. 1.
Don’t Want No Quiet, Quiet Mom
Years ago, when I was snuggling in my toddler’s bed for his bedtime story, Stupid Fantasy No. 2 suddenly reared its lying, ugly head.
While we shifted and arranged pillows to get comfy together, I envisioned those picturesque moments in movies where moms sweetly read bedtime stories to their children, and then the children are lulled to sleep by the sounds of their mothers’ soothing, gentle voices.
Just once I wanted to be those mothers.
So, I opened the book and manipulated my voice into a rhythmic, hushed tone. Almost immediately, my son placed his pudgy hand on the page to cover the words and scowled up at me.
“Mommy, don’t do that,” he said.
“Don’t talk so quiet. Read it LOUD.”
Out of the mouth of babes. I could have cried. Okay, so my voice doesn’t lull my children to sleep, but they prefer me the way I am. And I’m happier when I accept who I am.
A while back, my friend and I were sitting at my kitchen table chatting and laughing. At one point in our conversation, I began to earnestly and passionately share advice with her. I even told true stories about my personal experiences to support my opinion on the topic.
Suddenly realizing what I was doing, I stopped talking and apologized for my “preachiness”. Then, I bemoaned my stubborn flaws.
“Sara,” my friend said, “your passion is one of the things I like best about you. You say you’re preaching or ranting; but what you see as ranting, I find encouraging. It’s often just what I need to hear.”
Oh, the salve of kind words on old wounds and wrong belief systems.
Does my talky-ness get me into trouble? Oh, yes. But I can learn and grow in wisdom. And in the meantime, denying the Father’s passion – expressed through my personality – makes me entirely miserable.
“… let your words be few.”
Ecclesiastes 5:2b (NLT)
I hate that verse up there. Rather, I hate when people use it out of context. (Read the full passage to see what Solomon was really talking about: Ecclesiastes 5:1-7)
Talking – even a lot of talking – isn’t bad in and of itself.
Jesus hung out for days talking in the temple.
He preached. He socialized. He taught, told stories, and even scolded. People were amazed at all he had to say.
I think, just maybe – I mean, I could be wrong, but I believe – it’s biblically obvious that Jesus talked a lot.
So talking isn’t bad. But, God, I’m still tired of messing up and saying the wrong thing. Can’t you fix me? Can’t you make me un-talky so I’m not always preaching at everyone? Don’t I need to die to this expressive chattiness?
“Oh, Sara, I hope not,” God says. “I made you talky, and I don’t make mistakes.”
You Fit. I Fit. We All Fit – Believe It!
So, here’s where the truth comes in:
There’s an ancient, evil lie that I struggle with. (I’ll venture to say we all struggle with it from time to time.) It says that God is displeased with who I am, that He wishes I were different, and that I won’t fit until I’m sufficiently changed.
But the truth is I already fit.
I fit when I was a child, and I fit now.
And you fit, too.
Are you believing lies about yourself?
Has Satan been beating on you lately, attacking your heart or your personality?
Well, he’s a liar.
And he’s the #1 reason why you feel like you don’t belong.
We don’t have to keep listening to lies. We can choose to believe the truth.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Help us to see how beautifully and wonderfully we’re made.
In Jesus’ name, I tear down every lie that we have believed about ourselves. Holy Spirit, show us your truth.
Thank you for loving us just as we are, and thank you for your kind guidance and loving discipline, which help us to grow in Christ Jesus.
You fit, I fit, we all fit: Believe it!Tweet
(P.S. Want another opinion on the matter? Sarah Butterfield shares her story of struggling with feelings of not belonging here: https://sarahkbutterfield.com/2020/05/25/how-to-belong-when-you-dont-fit-in/#respond Check it out!)