"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart"
We are called to be set apart.
We were called to be set apart before we were born.
But how easy is that? How many of us avoid standing out like the plague? How many of us give anything, do anything to be "just like everyone else?"
Why are we afraid to do what we were created to do?
The other day, Ethan wanted to hold Avalyn on the rocking chair. From before she was born, I would "speak" for Avalyn using a high pitched kid's voice so the kids could "talk" to her and she could answer them. (It's a great way to find out what the kids are really thinking and even more fun to have them feel that the baby is already apart of what's going on long before he/she is out of the womb). Lately, because everything that comes within Avalyn's reach goes straight to her mouth, when she "talks" to the kids, it involves "Oooh, I like that... but can I EAT it?"
The kids find this hilarious. If they try to show her a picture they drew, I'll say on behalf of Avalyn "Oh, I like the blue and the purple... can you bring it closer so I can EAT it?" They laugh and say "Avalyn, you can't eat it!"
So Ethan was happily holding Avalyn and she just LOVES her big brother. I was right there to make sure Avalyn sat safely on his lap and the conversation began...
"Oh Ethan, I like your shirt."
"Thanks, Avalyn, I like it too because it has red. I like red."
"Yeah, red is nice. But can I eat it?"
(giggle) "No, Avalyn, you can't eat red and you can't eat my shirt. But someday you'll be bigger and you'll be able to eat real food."
"Can i eat food like you, Ethan?"
"Well, you'll be able to eat food but not the food I have to eat. My food is different."
"Why is your food different, Ethan?"
"Well, God chose to make me different so I have to eat food that's different from everyone else's."
(GULP)... At this point, I'm wondering who this is more therapeutic for! Figured we'd keep going with this...
"God made you different? Do you like being made different, Ethan?"
Here there was a slight pause as I watched my four year old son ponder the question. And then he looked back at his little sister on his lap and said earnestly:
"Yes, I like that He made me different. But sometimes it's lonely."
Well, I'm sure you can imagine the tears that welled up in my eyes and I just couldn't play the game anymore. I hugged my son and said "Thank you, Ethan for being willing to be made different for God. You are a very special boy and I love you so much. I'm so sorry it feels lonely sometimes. We'll always do our best to be there for you. And I hope that even when you feel lonely, that you remember that God is always with you."
My beloved dear ones... is this the faith of a child that Jesus spoke of? Is this true willingness of heart to surrender to God's will even when it means walking a lonely road? What does this say when a child can accept a road set a part for the sake of BEING WITH God?
I tell you, I was greatly humbled. I looked at my own life and smiled at the moments of fearlessness where I felt set apart, but alone... but gloriously alone. Alone, not in a way where you are fragile and forgotten, but alone in a way that I would imagine Moses felt when he saw the burning bush and knew that no one else could ever understand this moment. Alone in the way a bird would rise above a set of clouds and feel as though the Creator Himself could see him.
Yet how many of us fear being alone? Perhaps we fear that very feeling of being completely exposed to Him?
But He has known you since before He formed you. Somewhere in time, as God rules it, there was a moment between just you and Him. It was sacred. You were set apart in that moment. I share this post with you, not just because what I witnessed between my son and his little sister touched me so deeply, but because I hope it stirs some deep memory from within... so deep you cannot even place your finger on it. I pray it reawakens your confidence in WHO you are and WHAT He has called you to do with your life.
Not to be perfect, but to be His.
Not to be afraid, but to be His light... even if it means standing alone.
My prayer for you tonight is that you find peace in the moment your soul was created... to embrace the moments you felt alone in your life and see if your eyes can look back to see HOW He sought you in those moments. Did you seek Him? Did you find each other? If not, revisit those moments with your arms open to receive Him in your loneliness. Rise above those clouds to where the sun beams embrace you and feel our Father SEE you. I pray you do not seek comfort in hiding among the popularity of mankind, but rather rejoice in the ways you were set apart. In Jesus' name... Amen.