“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” Psalms 139:14
An invitation to my 35th high school reunion left me in a quandary; should I go or stay home? For most people high school was either the best days of their lives or the worst. I was one of those people who felt she didn’t fit in and viewed herself as an outcast. As a friend once told me, you are either in the popular crowd or you are one of the nameless peons looking on.
Several factors played a role in my feelings of inadequacy. First, I was one of those nameless people. My brother was part of the “in” crowd because he was a football player. I went to the prom by myself. It wasn’t until my brother’s death I learned he threatened to beat up any boy who dared to ask me out. Now I realize it was his way of showing his love and protecting me.
Back to the reunion, I struggled with a decision. I really wanted to see close friends who stood on the fringes with me. However, what would the others think of me? Would they even accept me? A friend of mine gave me a pep talk and reminded me that I am just as good as anyone else and all I had to do was be me. I later thought about how God viewed me. He knew me before I was even born. In Jeremiah 1:5 it says, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee…” Jesus knew me too and loved me enough to die for me on the cross. If Jesus could die for me, who was I to think I was inferior to anyone? The decision was made; I was going to go to the reunion and enjoy myself. The feelings of inadequacy were gone.
When I arrived I walked up to some people and spoke to them. To my surprise they reached out and hugged me. They really were glad to see me. One by one I went from person to person that I once felt inferior to, but this time I had a new self-confidence.
The next night I got together with my close friends from high school. As we visited one of them came to an interesting conclusion. They commented that so many of the popular people in high school were so busy trying to impress others that they could never be themselves. On the other hand, our group knew who we were and had fun being with each other. In our group we were accepted for who we were on the inside.
God made each one of us in a special and unique way. Even two of my friends from school who were twins were very different in personality. If God thinks we are special, who are we to feel inadequate? This reunion taught me to look at myself in a new way and I resolve to never let feelings of inadequacy overtake me again.
Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org