Unique and Exceptional
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Romans 12:1 (NAS)
God created us for a purpose. For a woman who desires to follow God, this can be comforting and discouraging at the same time. It’s comforting to know God loves us enough that He created us with a purpose, but it can be terrifying if we are not confident we have what it takes to fulfill that purpose. It is easy to become discouraged and feel we may never discover our purpose. With the pressure of being the best, normal seems like a sin, and being exceptional seems only possible for a few gifted people around us. Years ago, Christian author and comedienne Patsy Clairmont defined normal as the setting on the dryer. It never occurred to me that being called normal was an insult until I realized everyone was trying to be exceptional. This was brought to my attention by another young mom as we attended a “Mommy and Me” class. As I listened to all the young moms trying to do everything possible to ensure her child was exceptional, I wondered how a mom alone could create an exceptional child. The pressure to raise an exceptional child would produce a fear that the mom was responsible should the child fail. I too was a young mom, but somehow I understood God alone had the power as our Creator to make each of us exceptional in our own way.
I realize everyone wants to be unique. Nothing terrifies a woman more than feeling there’s nothing unique about her. If we believe Scripture, we must believe our uniqueness comes from the God of all creation who breathed His very life into us. Now that’s what I call unique! After God knelt down and breathed life into Adam to create man, He laid down His life through Jesus to give all mankind new life. In my experience, when I follow after God, I am more aware of the person I am and discover the God whose love displaces my fears.
If we are looking for our uniqueness through the eyes of the world, we might as well to try to hold the wind in our hands. It’s as impossible to grasp the wind as it is to determine our self worth within the guidelines set up by the world’s standards. I remember the day Princess Diana of Wales and Mother Teresa were buried. Ironically, they were buried on the same day. Over 2.5 billion people viewed the burial of Princess Diana, and she was described as an exceptional woman. The death of Princess Diana was the first topic of discussion on every TV station. On the other hand, Mother Teresa gave her life helping the sick and the poor, but her burial was mentioned only on the nightly news. Both women were unique and both fulfilled their purpose in this life. But the world applauded one over the other. The world brings value to beauty, wealth, and royalty. Mother Teresa’s beauty came from her willingness to give her life away to others. Mother Teresa said, “If you are humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.” She was expressing that in order to know who you are, you must be willing to humble yourself to the place where you are not looking for the praise of man to determine your worth nor allow the disgrace of man to devalue you. God tells us throughout Scripture who we are—we are His children! We cannot allow the world to determine how we view ourselves. As God’s children, we know He created us and determined our value through the price He paid to allow us to call Him Father.
If we are to stand out, live as unique women, and not allow the world to conform us to its standards, we must be careful regarding what and who we listen to, select our friends carefully, and be intentional as we choose the activities we participate in each day. When my children were younger, I tried to protect them from what they watched and listened to and I tried to discern if their friends would lead them closer to God or away from Him. As adults, we should have the same guardrails in our lives. Paul wrote to the church in Rome to explain that if they wanted to know the will of God for their lives, they had to offer God their bodies and renew their minds. Otherwise, they would conform to the world and miss the good, perfect, and acceptable will of God. Paul did not apologize for his words—instead he uttered them emphatically.
If you struggle with a feeling of worthlessness or sense there is more to life than what you are experiencing, you are ready to allow God to fulfill this longing. When God fills our emptiness, we become content being the woman He created and not the woman the world says we should be. We won’t look to others or for things to prove our self-worth. We will find comfort knowing that a Holy God loves and accepts us, and He has the final word. A woman who finds her security in the person God created her to be will know how unique and exceptional she is, and nothing will ever convince her otherwise!
Further Reading Genesis 1 & 2, Romans 12