As a little girl, I remember being quite different from my peers in many different ways. Most markedly, the color of my skin was different from those around me, and many things came with that. I looked different from those around me and my parents ate some different foods at home as they are from Africa, and that can look a little different. My parents speak different languages at home, and my hair is its own unique tangle of messiness sometimes, and it isn’t the same as most of my classmates. It’s frizzy and curly, and takes a different kind of care. The way that I look set me apart from the beginning of my journey here on earth, something which can make it difficult to fit in amongst others and make me doubt my worth in comparison to others.

Another way that I stand out is the way that I grew up. My mom cared much more about my warmth and comfortability than what was considered fashionable and popular. When many of my friends had cute, thin sweaters and jackets, my mother lovingly bought me huge, warm jackets that bulked around me and kept me warm on the coldest of days in Virginia. She does quirky things like use bandages to label my things because it is resourceful and what we have at home (they make great labels!). But although these things are done out of love, they often made me and continue to make me feel like I do not fit in and belong in this world.

But isn’t this a gift? That God is teaching me in the little ways and making me set apart for good. When He created me: frizzy hair, body shape known to Him, and with all of my unique differences, I believe that He said it was good. He made me His masterpiece, and I am beautiful to Him, someone in whom He took delight in making.

My story is marked and splattered with unique differences that further set me apart in my appearance and things that may be more difficult for a heart that longs to fit in and belong, but God has also set me apart in my heart of joy and the gift of encouragement, and what a gift that is! You’re story may be different. Maybe you grew up surrounded by people richer or poorer than you, weren’t quite as popular or the center of attention, or you stood out in some other way that made it hard to fit in, but may we rejoice in the little ways that God has set us apart, for He has called us as His children to be set apart and holy for good. Maybe the ways that He set us a part in the small things are preparation for being confident in the good and unique way that He has set us apart to be His people on this earth; unfazed by the beauty of being uniquely His, because He said it is good.

“God saw all that he had made, and he saw that it was very good!…” ~ Genesis 1:31

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