Is there anyone of us who at one time or another has not felt the pain of being left out.
There are some people who can brush off the pain pretty easy. Who embrace the idea of being a loner and are proud to be different.
Then there are those of us, most of us, I think, who feel the pain of being left out, unaccepted, and it crushes them.
I used to be in the latter category. I grew up in a tiny little town, really too little to have an "in" crowd and an "out" crowd, yet more often than I would have liked, I still found myself feeling like I somehow ended up on the outside of cool.
I have grown up since then, I could argue I am much more mature now. But somehow these feelings of inadequacy, of being unaccepted still linger. And though I am able to logically walk through the emotions and talk myself out of them, I would be lying if I said I never felt them.
The Bible tells us that it is going to happen, that it SHOULD happen. We should be different enough that we get left out of some things. I tell myself this over and over again, and I TRULY believe it, but that doesn't always stop that first stab of pain when I, or my children, are left out of something.
My kids aren't growing up in a small town. They live in the city, in a big school in a big school district. There are clearly "in" crowds and "out" crowds. I can honestly and sincerely tell you, I could care less if my children are in the "in" crowd. I desire for them to be in the "nice" crowd, (if there is such a thing) but I could care less about "popularity". But I do want them to be accepted. I don't want them to feel left out, to feel like they don't measure up, or that they are unwanted in any way.
The thing is, they will. At some point in their life they will feel like they don't fit in, they will feel unaccepted.
And they should.
And I need to let them.
That is really, REALLY hard for this momma.
But I desire nothing more than for them to be children of God, for them to embrace Romans 12:2 "Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…"
The patterns of this world, the patterns we are so desperate to fit into, have never been what God desired for us. Not 2000 years ago and not today. I want my children to be transformed, for their minds to be renewed, to be set on Christ, not the patterns of this world. That means they WILL be left out of some things. And I have to be okay with that! And not pass my own feelings of inadequacy on to them!
There are only 2 places in this world my children will ever be FULLY accepted - here in their home, in the arms of their earthly mother and father; and second, in the eyes of their Heavenly Father! THIS is where they will find acceptance. THIS is where I want their identity to rest.
God, Erik and I will love them for who they are, no matter what. We will love the amazing things they do, and we will love them through their mistakes. We will love them when they are silly, goofy, ridiculous, say odd things, do odd things. We will never leave them out, call them uncool, or plan a party with out them. We will celebrate them in their successes - big or small, and cry with them in their disappointments. We will never leave them or forsake them.
THIS is acceptance.