My 20th class reunion is coming up, and it’s hard not to reflect on the ol’ high school years in light of something like that. Perhaps one of the things that stands out the most to me is the fact that I was voted the “most unique” girl in my senior class. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that most people were thinking “weird” instead of unique when they voted. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me – back then. But I’ve gotten to a point in my life – and my faith walk – where I truly understand that God fashioned me in a specific way for a purpose. It sounds cliche, but I was never meant to fit in. In fact, one translation of my middle name is “consecrated (or set aside) to God.”
So, while it may have been weird to my third grade classmates that I skipped the daily bathroom break and chose to get a new book from the library, that’s how God created me. And I fed my appetite for reading from that point on. I may not have been a part of the “in crowd” in high school, but I enjoyed my circle of friends just fine. In fact, that was probably just what this introvert needed. I may not have been “most popular,” but I got to do a one-on-one interview with Blair Underwood for the Chicago Defender when I was sixteen. I’ll take that trade-off any day!
Truth be told, I spent most of junior high and high school trying to heal from the emotional trauma of my elementary school years. (Side note: Parents, please teach your kids to live by the Golden Rule, and don’t give in to the “kids will be kids” mentality.) Despite the drama, it all helped shape me into the person I am today. As I practice dwelling in the presence of the Lord, He allows me to look back over my life and see His fingerprints all over it. I am who I am as a result of my experiences and the gifts/talents/personality I had at birth. When I understand this, I am able to fully comprehend David’s praise: “…I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”