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Praying Woman

When You Feel Different

When You Feel Different

by Hannah Bollinger, Woven Beautiful

I stood behind a locked door, waiting for the minutes to pass and the bell to ring. Why I decided hiding in a bathroom stall was safer than being seen, I don’t remember, but it was. All the changes of adolescence were overwhelming and I was a young, insecure junior-high girl who opted to spend recess in the bathroom because I didn’t fit in, at least not from my view.

I felt different, like I didn’t belong.

While those years are now a distant memory, there are still moments when I feel different and out of place. But the difference now is that it doesn’t bother me like it once did.

It doesn’t bother me as much because the Truth is setting me free.

So much in our world feeds the lies and tells us that we need to change and conform if we want to be accepted. There’s opinions around every corner, a world of social media that measures our worth in likes, and technology that gives us instant access to all the noise.

And while it’s tempting to want to fit in, when I open the Bible and lean in close, I’m both comforted and challenged as I read things like:

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” ~ Romans 12:2 {NIV}

“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.” ~ John 15:19 {NIV}

“So set yourselves apart to be holy, for I am the Lord your God. Keep all my decrees by putting them into practice, for I am the Lord who makes you holy.” ~ Leviticus 20:7-8 {NLT}

“Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.’” ~ Luke 9:23 {NIV}

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” ~ 1 Peter 2:9 {ESV}

As I navigated my awkward teenage years, I never was popular—and I’m still not. But what I am is a child of God and the more I embrace my identity in Christ, the less I long for the world’s approval. Instead, I long for holiness and righteousness and purity. In my humanness, I fall short, but as I yield to His Spirit alive in me, I find strength and courage to live set apart.

And if that means being different, I’m okay with that.

While popularity seems appealing sometimes, what others think of us doesn’t define our worth, nor can any amount of human praise offer lasting satisfaction. Human praise feels good for awhile, but eventually it fades like a song that’s played on repeat too many times.

The moments we feel different and out of place are opportunities to draw near to Jesus. They’re opportunities to cling to what is true, and what is true is that we matter greatly to the One who made us. While we might feel strangely out of place in this world, we belong to God. We are fully known, deeply loved, and incredibly valuable.

Maybe feeling different in this moment is a blessing after all.

The post When You Feel Different appeared first on Woven Beautiful.

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Articles to inspire, encourage and equip women fiercely devoted to Jesus Christ—warriors at heart—armed with the Word of God and dangerous to the kingdom of darkness.