I think my students might have believed that “fitting in” is strictly a teen concern, but the truth is we are relational beings. God made us that way, and at every age, we worry about and sometimes struggle with being accepted. We want to find others who think like us, feel like us, believe like us. Those are the ones with whom we can be ourselves.
If we can’t find a group or if that group excludes us, sometimes we will change who we are to fit the group that is willing to include us. Many times, though, this dissonance causes unrest and discontent in our very soul.
Paradoxically, tied to this idea to “fit in” is our desire to “stand out” at the same time. Once we have a place, once we feel safe and feel valued, now we want others to take note of us as an individual, to notice our special gifts, to praise us or recognize us for something that we alone did. I found it extremely interesting that as I was looking for a graphic for “fitting in” and then one for “standing out” the exact same pictures came up. The one yellow umbrella in the sea of grey ones, but remember, they are all umbrellas to start with. The one red rose in the field of yellow ones, but again, they were all roses to begin with.
As usual God had this figured out from the very beginning. He created the most solid of all relational foundations through not only reconciling us to Him through the sacrifice of his Son, but also providing that sacrifice as the cornerstone of the body of Christ. But then God spent time creating each one of us individually. As Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you . . .” and Matthew 10:30 says, "But even the hairs of your head are numbered.” He gave us special talents and gifts, both spiritually and worldly.
Rest secure knowing that not only do you have a place to belong in Christ but that you also are unique.