Some days I feel like a weed--a misfit whose existence is all wrong. I know. It sounds a little melodramatic, but hear me out.
I am not looking for a pity party or some words of affirmation. I am just a gardener and nature photographer who often thinks in those terms and I thought that if I feel this sometimes, maybe there is someone else that feels it, too. So, here is what led to my thoughts.
I had spent the day in several social interactions with a group of people that I have been meeting weekly with for 6 months. In one, I felt like the observer in the room. It was a small group of ladies and one was doing most of the talking, but she seemed to exclusively make eye contact with her friends in the group. This is not a big deal, but it did remind me that I am not, yet, at friend status. I am welcome, but it probably would not make any ripples in the group dynamics if I am not there. At another point in the day, I tried to give some input on a situation and was met with a defensive response that seemed to indicate that I had misread the relationship. It was not, yet, to the point where I was considered someone whose input was welcome. Then shortly after walking away from that situation, I found myself standing alone in the middle of a larger group of people breaking up into friendship clusters to chat and talk about their frustrations and achievements of the past week or hopes for the next week. After a few moments a person talking near me, did make eye contact and turn to include me in their conversation, but again I felt the subtle reminders in the group dynamics that I was the outsider in the discussion group.
Add to these situations that I feel like an atypical woman. I do not really care about fashion, makeup, pedicures, manicures, or other girly topics, because I would rather be caught dead than be forced to wear a dress and cute shoes. When the topic of children comes up, my story is complicated and I cannot really join in the conversation on "normal" childrearing topics. I prefer to be digging in the dirt in my yard with my bare hands or laying on the ground getting a picture of a bug or mushroom with my camera than going shopping. I would rather be out camping in my tent and cooking over a campfire than having wine and a fancy candlelit dinner.
As I said, there are just some days that I feel like a weed in a garden full of beautiful flowers. Anyone else, feel this way sometimes? Maybe the things that make you feel this way are a little different than mine, but I bet there are more out there who have felt this than I realize.
Fortunately, I am a Christian so I have a Savior who I can bring these thoughts to with no judgement and He loves me while not letting me sit in a pity party. So that is what I did. Jesus and I talked about it. I poured out my heart to Him and He listened then reminded me of these two important facts.
#1-- I must remember whose I am and who I am.
I am a child of God. I am loved. I am created to be uniquely me. I am a flower that is beautiful and made with a purpose. I once heard a Master Gardener explain that weeds are not trash, they are simply plants trying to grow in the wrong location. The interesting thing is that by this definition, a rose bush trying to grow among the wildflowers would be a weed. Not the wildflowers. And visa versa. Any time I try to compare myself with other women, then I am trying to be planted in the wrong location. What makes me beautiful and useful is not by determining if I am a rose or a wildflower. What makes me lovely and amazing is that I was created to grow as the flower that I am to brighten another person's life. (Psalm 139:13-18, Ephesians 2:10)
#2-- A weed is not the same thing as trash.
The picture above is one that God used to remind me of this. When I am feeling like a weed, I catch myself listing all my flaws and sins as further proof that I am a misfit. A weed. Trash! The truth is that I am not a piece of trash because I have things in my life that need to change. I may need to do the work to get rid of the trash, but I am still the pretty purple flowers. Just because the flowers and the trash are in the same location does not mean that they are the same thing or share the same value.
With these things in mind, this next week, I will be going back to meet with this same group of people. More than likely, I will bump up against some more situations like the ones I experienced last week. Yet this time, I am going to approach things a little differently.
#1--I will remember that the rose never intends to make the wildflower feel like a weed.
It is so easy for me to put the blame of feeling like a weed on the roses around me. If only they had done this or done that. But if I am honest with myself, I know that 99.9% of the time, that is not their intention. Most of the time, they are just going about the business of being a rose. It is I who gets wrapped up in comparing myself to them.
#2-- I will find the other wildflowers.
This next week, when I find myself among a group of people feeling like the odd woman out, I am going to scan the room and see if there are any other wildflowers. Maybe there are others who love dirt more than lace like I do. After all, God did not make just one wildflower. And if I look around the room and notice others standing as individuals with that look of loneliness on their face, but they are not dirt loving tomboys like me, then maybe it is time to gather together a bouquet of many types of flowers.
#3-- I will bloom where I am planted.
Like many others, I have always liked Jeremiah 29:11 where God tells the Israelites that He plans to prosper them and to give them a hope and a future. The interesting thing is that just a few short verses before that (Jeremiah 29:4-7), God tells the people who are living in a inhospitable land to stop pining away for something better, but to find ways to bloom where they are planted both for the benefit of themselves and the land in which they found themselves. With that in mind, I am going to continue to seek out ways to bloom where God has planted me. I know that there will be more times that are uncomfortable or where I do not feel like I fit in as much as I would like, but I will not let those stop me. God has planted me in this group for a reason and I am going to do my best to bring beauty to where I am by being the me He created me to be. And that leads me to my last action...
#4-- I will be me!
God has planted me in this location. Since He is THE Master Gardener, I can trust that there is a reason that He wants a flower like me in this place at this time.
Thanks for reading through my rambles. I would love to hear how you have experienced these same feelings or things you have done to overcome feeling like a weed. I will close with this reminder from one flower to another: You are wonderfully made. A masterpiece created for a purpose. The world needs what you have to give.
Hello! I am Dawnita Hall. Sometimes I need to put into words the things God is teaching me. This blog is my way of sharing those moments with you with the hopes that what God is using to grow and encourage me will also inspire you. Please, share your thoughts in the comment sections after each post. Let's make this a place where we work together to encourage each other to live inspired to be an inspiration.