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Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Feeling different...

Have you ever felt like you’re the odd one out?

Like you just don’t belong?

Belong to what exactly? You may be wondering…

Getting specific with this ‘feeling’ is tricky and although I have discussed it before with someone I trust, I’ve never blogged about it…because it is not easy to talk about, let alone put into words.

And because I haven’t talked about it a lot, I don’t know if anyone else feels like this…although I’m sure I’m not the only one...
Please let me clarify this feeling or unspoken sense…it is not anti-social in anyway…you see I love people and enjoy other people’s company a lot…maybe even too much according to some?   But I’m ok with that, as I accept I am whom God has made me to be.  I am a social butterfly…I am born again & love God’s people!

So with that said…let me try to explain.  To do that I need to start at the beginning…

I was the odd one out in our family from the get-go. 

As a small child no-one seemed to understand ‘Melanie’.  My name itself if spoken amongst my family members, I’m sure still to this day, would bring about mixed feelings.  In sibling conversations today if ‘Melanie’ the child is being discussed, my name is usually said in a weirdly affectionate tone that is still
I don’t know if my family understood me.  You see I was the ‘different’ one. My elder siblings enjoyed teasing me and even insisted I was adopted…and of course I believed them…I was so different to them.  I was the needy, timid child with strange nervy habits. 
This small girl however continued to grow and was introduced to Jesus and I knew that I wanted to be with Him.  This is probably the only thing I was ever certain of as a child.  You see I was different, I usually wasn’t accepted by all the kids and I didn’t like the ungodly things that I saw or heard about…I didn’t want that, I wanted Jesus. 
However this does not mean that I was perfect by any means.  But I was confused…As a young girl I loved people, but was confused by the awful things in our world that I learned about…

I was so very blessed to have experienced the church as God’s loving people, approximately from the age of 7-10.  My Mum & Dad divorced when I was 11 and I was no longer taken to church regularly.   In my teenage years I began making ungodly choices and ended up actively deciding to stop praying at the age of about 21.
I was sucked deeper into worldly culture and continued to make bad choices…I even got to a place where although I was unwell (I suffered terribly from anxiety) I no longer felt different anymore.  I had become numb to the ungodliness in and around my life.  It must be said though that God did not abandon me, and He did reach out to me (in ways I may speak about in blogs to come) however I still kept pursuing  MY LIFE!

But then a miracle happened in 2005 when I was 28.

God reached me in His love, through His word and I was born-again.  He reached me with His undeniable truth and love and I responded, never to be the same again.  It’s been around 8 years now, but from the very beginning of my new life I felt a change deep within beginning to take place.  I expressed this deep change to people in my life by saying…

                “I feel like I am becoming the little girl I once was who loved Jesus…”

I wasn’t sure what they’d think, and even though I didn’t understand exactly what was happening, I was sure of what I was feeling.  My relationship with Jesus was simple and pure and I had joy.  The worldly things that I had pursued for fulfilment, now no longer held any appeal!  One step at a time I kept choosing Jesus.  In many different scenarios I chose Jesus over myself and love flourished…I had more love than I could ever imagine for my family and friends.  I no longer wanted to use the world for all I could get…I wanted to work with Jesus to transform it with His love!
More recently I have felt a change in my maturity as a Christian…now I’m NOT saying that I have things all together.  I’m acknowledging that the ‘little girl’ Melanie, who loved Jesus has now moved into adolescence ;)  However this time in my ‘teenage years’ I am choosing Jesus over the world  and I am more accepting of my feelings of being the ‘odd one out’.

I am not choosing to deliberately separate myself from people as I have said I love people…but I do feel different.

 I don’t want to chase money.  I don’t want to read gossip magazines.  I don’t want to watch brain dead television.  I don’t want to get drunk.  I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on meaningless pampering holidays.  I don’t want to chase men.  I don’t want to hate.  I don’t want to lack compassion for the world and injustices.  I don’t want to harbour resentment.  I don’t want to be selfish.

This does leave me sometimes feeling odd…even lonely.

I could go on and on…but that is enough for now.

What about you…do you ever feel like the odd one out?






Carrie Ann Tripp said...

Absolutely. We are called to be in the world, but not of the world. That means we will be left out. We will be different. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Different is good. It isn't always easy, but it is good.

Both of my teenagers are Christians. One of them is "different". As a parent, sometimes I just want them to fit in, but I KNOW that God has called them to be set apart. To be different. I can see the great things that will be accomplished through this child because of their separation from the world, and only hope that some of that rubs off on me.

Melanie Baker said...

Thanks Carrie, I believe you understand my heart and intention with this piece, thanks for sharing some of your story too :)

Priti Prasad said...

Thanks for sharing..I always did and still feel like the odd one for loving Jesus and doing the right thing.

Melanie Baker said...

Thanks Priti ~ glad we can connect on this! I think it helps to share and get confirmation that you're not the only one :)

Sir Robert of Temple said...

Melanie, I have had a similar experience. I can no longer be a part of the 'things' of this world. God has called us to be different. Most people will think us odd and people will talk.

That's fine. My hope is in Jesus and that is where my joy comes from. I actually had someone once tell me that I was not of this world. I laughed, knowingly, and walked away.

Thanks for the post.

Melanie Baker said...

lol...what a compliment!
Thanks a lot Sir Robert for sharing, means a lot :)