When I was a child one of the phrases I heard a LOT from family members was “You are a weird little kid!” I had been told this over and over. I believed it. I knew I was a weird little kid by the fact that I was smaller than everyone else. I was strange by the fact that I loved to read and ask questions. I loved to learn and I wanted to know everything about everyone. What were they thinking? What were they feeling? Why were they thinking and feeling like that? I was also told that I was “Too sensitive!”
I cannot express to any of you what this can do to a child. You are told again and again that you don’t fit. That you are too much of something! The truth of the matter is that I liked who I was. However, when I would look to the those who were there to mold me and they were saying that I was weird and overly sensitive, I would learn to dislike who I was. I felt alone and isolated. I remember having a recurring dream that I would be walking with Jesus and having nice little chats. We would sit on my hill by my house and we would lie in the grass and let the sun warm our faces. I would tell him what I thought and felt and he would just listen. I decided that I loved him very much because he didn’t think I was weird or too sensitive. He accepted me as I was. He would tell me that I was made exactly as I was meant to be. He would say that I was kind and loving and compassionate. He told me that one day I would meet people that would be thankful to know me. I loved these dreams. I loved my little talks with God because he was the only one who truly understood me.
I grew up and I still spoke to God but I no longer would hear his voice. I no longer had these dreams. I thought “I was a weird little kid! Dreaming that I was able to talk with God and have him at my side like that!” I carried on with my life going through high school and growing up. When I had my oldest daughter she said some things to me that made me stop in my tracks. She would have an angel come visit with her at night. This completely freaked me out. So I did what any new and young parent would do, I called my mother. My mother said to me “Well she’s your kid, this doesn’t surprise me! Don’t you remember when you would go out on walks with God?”
Me: Jaw slacked! Gaping mouth and in a state of shock. “What?” I had dreams of doing that but I didn’t think I ever told anyone.
“What?” I asked
“I would wake up and you would be outside sitting on the hill talking away. When you would come in you would say that you were out talking to God! Don’t you remember this?” She explained.
“UMMM?” pause in disbelief.
“You were such a weird little kid!” that phrase that made me wince.
When she told me about this it all came flooding back to me, the walks and the talks and the sun was always the warmest on these days. Yes, I remembered, but I thought it was all a dream. I thought it was all just a coping mechanism for my loneliness. I now have a daughter that says things like “Remember when that boy kicked sand in your face while you were climbing the ladder to the slide? I was there with you.” She was two when she said this to me…and I hadn’t remembered the slide incident until she spoke of it. As she did speak of it I could see it vividly.
I don’t know if it was a coping mechanism or if there really was conversations with God. All I can tell you is this, I was a lonely child in a home filled with people that I was very different from. I was a child that didn’t understand hatred or fighting. I was a child that felt incredibly inept in the world. I was a person that needed a warm compassionate person in my life to tell me that I was made perfectly. That my feelings mattered and that I had someone to lean on. That was God.
In my adult life I had an extreme shake up and my life was in turmoil. I had forgotten my peace and I no longer spoke with God. I shouted orders at him and told him how to fix my problems. I no longer trusted what he could do in my life. I wasn’t looking for comfort I was looking for everything to go my way and I was pissed that it wasn’t. I had turned away from my warm friend who believed in me. I even stopped believing in who he said that I was. I started to believe who the world was telling me I was. I was a weird person that was too sensitive and I was like no one else. I was all alone and I was fighting to get some peace…the strange thing about peace is that the more you struggle the harder it is to find. I was in a bad place and I asked a friend if I could go to church with her.
I walked into church broken and battered and feral spiritually. I sat down and the first words that I heard was “God loves you as you are!” I cried.
I cried because this was the same message that I got from my friend on the hill when I was a weird little kid. I cried because even though God showed me his face and he walked in my presence I still didn’t believe in him. I didn’t trust him the way that I had as a child. The worst of it I even told myself that those walks with God were a dream. How could it possibly be real? Why would God choose me? I was nothing special.
The truth is, I was special to God! We all are. He knows how many hairs are on our heads and he knows how broken and unfit we are in this world. He knows that our spirits are fragile and he knows that we struggle for peace. So today if you are struggling for peace the first thing to do is to rest. Peace isn’t a fight it is a surrender. Peace is when you can trust that the God that provides food for all animals will provide for you too. Peace is when you look at others and instead of trying to fit in or trying to change, you accept. Accept yourself for who you are and accept others for who they are too. Accept that your neighbor or friend won’t always think like you. Accept that your family members won’t always vote like you. Accept that your teammates won’t always look like you. Accept that your children won’t always behave like you. Accept that others won’t always love like you. Accept that other countries won’t always pray like you. Accept that even though they don’t do all of these things like you that we are all made correctly. We are not weird or wrong or too sensitive. We were all made in the image of God.
There is no moral of this story because this is not my story to tell. I don’t have all of the answers. All I know is this, I feel better and stronger when I have God in my life. I feel accepted by his love. I remember always saying that I wanted to be like Jesus because Jesus loves everyone and he makes them feel welcome. I apologize if this story offends people. I really wasn’t sure if I was going to even share it out of fear of being rejected. I am afraid that every single one of you is going to read it and say that I am weird. The truth is I have been told that my whole life. So if you think I am weird because of this story, I guess that is something I am going to have to deal with. That is something I am going to have to accept. I just hope that by telling my story that it helps just one of you. I hope that if you are looking for peace that you come back to this story again and again until you find it.
I will end this with a prayer. My Lord, Jesus, I pray that for every person that stumbles upon my writing today is brought here by your divine intervention. I pray that the message that you have helped me write here is read by those who will receive it with the intent that it is written. I pray that with all of the turmoil in our world that you are here with us and that you can help us to stand in your presence and in your strength. I pray for all of those who struggle for peace learn to rest in your truth. You are here for us because you love us and you want us to know how much. My Lord I pray for those who have been deemed by this world to be overly sensitive and weird, that they find just how uniquely special they are. I pray that they understand how perfect you think they are and that they know you put them here for a reason. I pray that they believe in you and understand that you believe in them. My Lord show your face to all that seek it. In your glorious name I pray, Amen!