Hi, my name is Nancy, and I’m a bit of a weirdo.
If you know me personally, you’re probably just shaking your head in that knowing “ah yes, bless her heart” kind of way (we’ll get into what “bless your heart” really means in a future post). And if you don’t know me, well, we’ve just opened up a whole can of weird worms, haven’t we?
Now what I mean by that is subject to a whole spectrum of interpretation, of course. What is “weird”, anyway? Perhaps some clarification is in order. Are we talking quirky and endearing eccentricity, like Phoebe on Friends? (if you’re under 30, look it up on Netflix) Crazy Auntie with Tourette’s Syndrome episodes of uncouthness? Or maybe “avoid eye contact by all means and just keep walking” full on freakshow? Well, I suppose that’s for you to decide. Weirdness, after all, is in the eye of the beholder.
Maybe “Misfit” is a preferable way of putting it. Non-conformist? Even better; it has purpose and nobility built into it – “I’m not gonna let The Man keep me down!” No longer merely freaks for the sake of freakishness, now we are talking about a high calling. Sign me up for that! #downwithTheMan
The problem is, most of the world doesn’t see our nonconformity that way. Unless, of course, we are nonconforming in the same sanctioned way that they are. Coloring outside of the lines is cool… but only if you use the same colors and strokes the cool weirdos do… which, when you think about it, kind of defeats the whole purpose of being a misfit, doesn’t it?
We desperately want permission to be who we are. And we desperately try to convince the rest of the world who is also desperate to be who they are, that we are who we think they want us to be. (is this hurting your head yet?)
Because the truth is, we are all weird. And we are all conformists. All at the same time.
We spend a lot of time trying to hide our weirdness, while longing to be appreciated for it. So we keep it tucked away, safe from the criticism of other weirdos in hiding… but every once in a while, we poke out heads out and let that weird light shine. And for a fleeting moment, we begin to see a Light that shines brighter than us.
I was once called off-stylish. I think it wasn’t meant to be a compliment. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was not (you’ll have to trust me on this), but… I chose to take it that way, anyway, ok? Let me have that much. Because the thing is, not everyone will describe your weirdness in a laudatory manner… in fact, they may do the backhanded compliment thing, the passive aggressive dig, or the outright S-LAM. But that doesn’t mean you have to agree with them. Because comments like that, whether backhanded or in your face, are at the very least acknowledging something very important:
You are not meant to conform with someone else’s idea of who you should be. Weirdness and all, you were created for God’s glory.
And it doesn’t mean that all of your weirdness is healthy. Or based in truth. It may even be downright dysfunctional. But here, my friend, is the whole beautiful point of this post, and why I have invited you to join me on the Isle of Misfits.
You are a weirdo, yes it’s true. And God loves you. With all your weirdness. With all your strengths. Talents. Endearing quirks. Annoying habits. Outright awkwardness. Just the way you are. Sure, there are things that need some slight adjustments… Ok, drastic overhauls. But the most wonderfully weird truth of all is, that it is in our weakness His strength is made perfect. But don’t take my word for it.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Don’t run from your weirdness. Own it. Take it to God. Oh, you’ll still be weird. But a free kind of weird. And that’s the best kind of weird to be to be.
So welcome to Misfit Isle, my friend. Let’s be weird together.