Writing is something that I absolutely love to do and I was inspired to write this post after reading Awaken by Priscilla Shirer this morning in my quiet time. Today was Day 10 of this devotional entitled The Difference. The scripture reading for today was from Numbers 14:24 (NIV) and it reads…
But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to and his descendants will inherit it.
For much of my life and especially as an adult, I’ve been told that I was different. That I think differently, talk differently and pretty much do my life differently than the norm. For the longest time this bothered me. I didn’t want to be different. It seemed that whenever my thoughts and opinions differed from my friends, when I chose to eat healthier or when I spoke about God and openly practiced my faith, I was getting some side-eyed glance or turned up nose from someone.
At one point in my life I can remember being so annoyed with being different that I just started going along with the norm. When asked, I agreed with the group even when I knew I didn’t share the same thoughts and opinions. I made choices and decisions based on what others said I should do and lived the way they expected me to live. The more I went along with the norm the more my head, heart and body ached. I seemed to always be physically and emotionally drained. I was tired and unhappy. I’d gained weight and developed anxiety. A few years ago as I sat talking with a friend about my struggles, stress and sadness, she said to me, “there is no way you can please everybody. Sometimes it becomes about self preservation. People are going to do what they want and you will be stuck in misery trying to live down to their expectations.”
Live down to their expectations…wow!
It was in that moment I realized I was more miserable living life trying not to be different rather than simply accepting myself for who I was and living life to my own expectations. So people talked about me and made fun of me. Yes, it was furiously annoying but I was and am much more happier just being myself. My quiet time this morning, reminded me that God purposely made me unique and different for a reason. No one else can be me. The path and life God has for me is for me and no one else can walk my journey. Since that talk with my friend, I’ve been living my life according to me ever since and have been better for it.
At church this past Sunday a gentleman sitting next to me said to me, “you must have a good life because you are always smiling.” When I woke up Sunday I really was not feeling as if I was living a good life. But after a moment of thinking about it, I had to agree with him. I do have a good life. We survived a hurricane with no damage to our home; my love, my son and my family are healthy and well and I am gainfully employed. I may be different but I am soooo very happy!
A different kind of spirit…:)