Normal…this seems to be the word I am learning more about this week.

This word makes me think of my favorite book title, Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them. It’s weird to me the different emotions and the different stigmas we attach to this one word.

We want to feel included and accepted. We don’t want to be an outcast to our peers. We might strive to be normal…to fit in.

Over a decade ago when I was struggling with an addiction to alcohol, I found myself praying pleading with God to please help me drink like a normal person.

I recently had a conversation with my son. He worries about being normal. He doesn’t want to be normal. I discovered that, to him, this means he fears being average. He has a strong desire to excel at something and to have a cool talent.

This is often a desire we carry into adulthood with us. I even remember telling my husband a few years ago that all my life I have felt like I am good at LOTS of things…I just don’t feel like I excel at any one thing. (On a side note, it really used to tick me off when I would come across an individual who seemed to excel at everything. They could sing, dance, act, juggle a dozen poodles over their head…;) You name it, they could do it.)  The comparison trap is an ugly trap.

The other day when I could see my son struggling with feeling normal and average, I reassured him that he was so much more than this. He was special. As I spoke, he started crying.

His response reminded me that we have such a hard time believing this about ourselves.

My son then brought up an interesting point. He said to me, “But how many kids are told they are special?” I know what he was getting at. He wad implying that if all kids are told they are special…then they cease being special.

My response to him was the same response I would give to anyone who might be feeling average or normal:

I hope that everyone on this earth is told that they are special. Sadly, I know this isn’t the case. There are some kids (and adults) who never hear this. Or worse, they are told they are nothing. I told my son that he is special because when God created him, He created him to be one of a kind. There is no one in this world exactly like him.

We make the horrible mistake of allowing others to dictate our identity.  We compare our talents and abilities to the people around us and we fall short.  And every time we do this,  I can almost feel God ache, just like I ached when I heard my son making this mistake. Child, you are so special.  Don’t you understand this?  You are special because I say you are special. Stop listening to what the world says and listen to me!

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14)

Linking up with Shari today for Legacy Leaver Thursdays.

18 thoughts on “Special

  1. Tracy

    Love this and I just have to smile. I have read 3 blogs this morning on comparison and I wrote about it on mine too. Ok I think God is trying to tell me something!!! Thanks for sharing truth in your special way:)

  2. Pam

    Yes! I’ve been thinking lately how easy it is to compare what we do to what others seem to do more beautifully. And God is saying, He is unique enough to make us all shine in varying ways – that it is when we try to imitate exactly as another that we lose the special and unique way He wants to use us. And though it is good to be inspired by others, to take and learn from them, the old adage remains… be who you are, not a carbon copy of what looks good… Otherwise, there are no new lights… Love what you told your son.

  3. Tracy

    Hi Eileen, I love being normal, my normal anyway and its true everyone’s normal is different. Great post and of course, loving the tea pots, especially the special one.
    Grateful that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
    God bless

    1. Eileen Post author

      Tracy, you actually came to mind when I picked out the picture! You’re right, I honestly to don’t thing there is such a thing as “normal” when it comes to people.

  4. David Helms

    This something that I have struggled with in the past. Feeling ordinary, average, but still not fitting in. In Donald Miller’s new book Storyline, I read this that is continually wrecking me, keeping me from being comfortable “There are probably days when you feel like the world would be better off if you stayed in bed but it isn’t true. God created you and He created you with the power to bring light into darkness and order in chaos. You are necessary. And the sooner you believe that, the sooner you’ll bond with God in living a great story.”

  5. Rachel @myheartsmission

    God has been speaking to me about this subject as well. Comparison can beat us up and I feel like I am living defeated. I can always find someone more talented than me by the world’s standards. But praise be to God- all He asks of me is to be who He has created me to be- to do the tasks He has prepared for me to do (Eph. 2:10). To live in His presence and love Him. Glorify Him, enjoy Him- and just be me. 🙂 I love God’s way so much better than our way. God bless you, my sister.

    1. Eileen Post author

      Very well said, Rachel! I’ve been seeing Eph 2:10 ALL over this week. And, the ladies Bible study that I lead at church just started a study in Ephesians. It’s such great verse.

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  7. Shari Miller

    This was so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this Eileen. Sometimes, I find it’s myself and not others that are doing the compairing, which is a very bad spot to be in. I need to remember that I am special because God made me in His image. Thank you for linking up and for this reminder!



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