Friday, May 2, 2014

The Island of Misfit Toys

Today has just been one of those days when I need to sit down and write.  Why?  Because writing helps me process my thoughts and emotions...and I've had a lot of thoughts and emotions lately.

This life is just really hard, isn't it?  Each one of us has our own problems to deal with, and I'm no different.  Today, and the last few days, I've been thinking a lot about how much of a misfit I really am in this world.  I've never wanted to be normal - but to be a misfit?  That's not something I've wished for.

It used to really bother me in my 20's when I was single and it seemed like everyone else was getting married.

I really struggled with the absence of a career after moving to Iowa.  I just assumed that people here would see me as lazy and unmotivated.

I still struggle with the fact that I'm a 32 year old woman, married for 6 years and I'm still not a parent.

People look at me like I'm from Mars when I tell them that we don't pay for cable and we don't own  smartphones.

In a world where beautiful yards and flower gardens are all the craze, there is nothing I would rather avoid than flower gardening.  And many people think I'm weird for that.

Unlike the average female, I absolutely despise shopping in any form, except grocery shopping.  I wear the same clothes for years, just so I don't have to go shopping for new ones.  And when I do buy new ones, I will only buy the ones on sale.

But the more I grow in my faith, the more I realize that these things don't really matter.  This uncomfortable feeling I've had about myself for my whole life is just silly.  And quite honestly, it's from Satan.  God never intended for us to feel like misfits.

And so, I've been learning lots lately.

It's okay that I'm not a mother yet, and this is especially important with Mother's Day just around the corner.  It's a great day for mothers - but a day of complete misery for those who have tried and haven't been able.

It's okay if someone thinks I'm lazy because I don't have a "real" job.  I'm slowly learning how to respond, in a godly manner, to those people who like to subtlely (or not so much) suggest that they would like to know what I do all day.  That just doesn't bother me anymore because my husband and I have come to the conclusion that staying home is best for us and for his/our calling.

It's okay that my hormones are so screwed up that I'm losing my hair, strand by strand everyday.  Now let's be honest - this one really does bother me.   I am absolutely terrified when I throw away these huge hunks of hair everyday and visions of a middle-aged bald woman come to mind.  Go ahead and laugh - but you know it won't be pretty.

It's okay that I don't want to spend hours outside amongst the flowers.  It's okay that I've begged the deacons to keep the "front house" landscaping to just 2 bushes so I don't have to weed and care for the flower beds around the porch.

It's okay that I still wear that 10 year old black skirt to church at least twice a month because it's my favorite.  I'm getting used to people commenting about my lack of sandal/flip-flop wearing in the summer and I'm getting used to ignoring the people who exclaim over the fact that I still wear tennis shoes when it's 100 degrees outside.

And it's okay that I don't own a smartphone.  (Although, I'm trying to convince Shawn that we should get them soon!)

It's okay that some people don't like me.  To be honest, this one is new to me.  Dealing with people who are angry or upset at me or possibly hate me is something I never thought I'd have to handle.  My whole life, I've jumped hurdles and vaulted over mountains to maintain the peace with everyone.  I absolute despise confrontation.  I cannot stand enmity between people.  But yet, in this calling I have as a pastor's wife - I've learned that this is no longer possible.  There will be those who will hate me because of what I stand for.  There will be those who will be angry because I won't behave as they feel a pastor's wife should behave.  There will be those who will get up and walk out of a building as soon as I enter because they have decided not to like me.  I feel the curious gazes and stares from strangers in a community where everyone knows everyone, except me.  There will be those uncomfortable pauses in conversation when people realize that my husband is a pastor, and so they better start being more careful of how they behave and act in front of me.

All these things have happened or will happen.  And every one of these things has troubled me.  Some have rocked me to my core.  I don't want people to think ill of me.  I've never wanted to be the outcast or the stranger.  I've never wanted to be the one who others guard themselves against.  I've never wanted to be the one who was rejected.

But that is who I am.

And the longer I live in this world, and the longer I struggle with my own sin and the sins of those around me - the more I realize that being a misfit is just fine.

I loved watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with my first graders at Christmas.  It's just an awesome movie.  When the Island of Misfit Toys made its grand appearance, the kids would always get sad and pity the toys who were stuck there.  But you know what?  I was never sad for those toys.

Maybe that's because I already realized then, what I'm telling you now.  I belong there, too.  I am a misfit.

But, there's a place I'm headed to where all the misfits go.  All sorts of dysfunctional, hurting, broken people will be there with me...and I'll bring along my own dysfunction.  But just before I enter the gates of this wonderful place - all of my dysfunction, all of my brokenness will be fixed.  It will be completely gone.

And in that moment....I'll no longer be a misfit.

Everyone knows someone who has already traveled to this wonderful place.  Tonight, I think of my two children, of my father-in-law.  One of my children is celebrating a first birthday today, and I know without a doubt that this child of mine is not a misfit.  This child fits perfectly in the heavenly home that has been provided.  And someday, my misfit self will finally get to go there too.

So, today has just been one of those misfit days and there will be so many more to come.  But I'm finding that it doesn't matter anymore because I know where I do fit in.


  1. I'm glad to be a stranger and alien in this world with you. May I Peter 3:13-17 encourage you. Love you, Melissa...

  2. it's ok to be a misfit. John Bilderback used to sing a song with the chorus, "This world is not my home, i"m just a passing thru ." I can hear him singing it even now with that beautiful southern gospel voice of his. Jesus was also a misfit in this world, hated even by his own people. As his children we should expect nothing less than to be misfits. I would be worried if you felt like you "fit in" in this world. I am also proud to call myself a misfit in this world! I love you Dad. :)