Super honored to have my friend, Jenny Sulpizio, here today to encourage us.
As I sit here pecking away on my keyboard, it just hit me that this year? This is the year I’ll be celebrating my twentieth high school reunion. Friends, it’s been twenty years (!) since I last walked the corridor of my alma mater. Twenty whole years since I donned my cheerleading skirt, exchanged books from my locker and belted out that fight song at a pep rally. Twenty years!
Remembering high school? People usually react in one of two ways; they either think back and reflect upon those times with fondness; or they distort their face, furrow their brow, and sigh in relief—thankful those tumultuous years are a thing of the past. For most of us (my hand’s raised high on this one), high school represented a time where most of us yearned to fit in. I mean, no one wanted to feel like an outcast, right? No. We wanted a niche, a safe place and the security that comes from feeling like we belonged.
And yet even though those days of teenage angst are gone, that longing each one of us has to fit-in never really goes away. Those feelings are still present—that desire is still there. I sense it too. However, when it comes to measuring up to our society’s standards of what we should look like, how we should act and who we should be, I’ve finally accepted the fact that I don’t belong…that I don’t fit-in. Not anywhere close, actually. And you know what? It’s okay.
It took me almost twenty years to figure this out. Twenty years to realize that it’s who I am in the eyes of God that’s of utmost importance…that it’s my identity in Him where I’ll find the safety and security I so desire.
With Him and in Him is where we truly belong, friends. And yet the world says differently. It flings its disapproval in our direction, telling us over and over again that we’re not enough. And the worse part? We listen.
The Bible says were sojourners and strangers to this world (Psalm 119: 17-24). It tells us that fitting-in and gaining others’ approval is not our goal. It’s not why we were placed on this Earth. Instead, we’re here to bring honor and glory to Him. We’re here to do his work, to become the hands and feet of Jesus to another, to live for Him.
Girls, when it comes to professing Christianity and claiming to be God’s girl, your interactions with others may not always be pleasant. Hey, you may even get strange looks from time to time. Some may laugh at you. Others might roll their eyes and mock your beliefs. Your friends may distance themselves and your relatives may think you’ve lost your mind. See, when it comes to a relationship with your heavenly Father, by our culture’s standards, it’s not considered the “in” thing to do, but if you think about it—we weren’t placed on this Earth to impress its residents. Nor are we living for their approval. Our focus should be to shine the light on God, not ourselves.
Friend? Let others think what they want, allow them to poke fun and make comments. It’s going to happen. But through it all, set your sights on Him by refusing to fit-in…on this side of heaven, that is.
Read His Words, remain obedient to His call, seek His will and you’ll never go wrong. Besides, you were never meant to fit-in to this world…to your surroundings. Rather, you’re here to be bold in the name of Jesus.
Jenny Lee Sulpizio is a Christian mom, wife, and author of the recently released, For the Love of God: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Faith and Getting Grace. She and her husband Michael reside in the uber warm state of Arizona with their three children. Connect with Jenny online by visiting her website: www.jennyleesulpizio.com