Standing Apart


desert-rose-socotra-moffett_58923_990x742I am going to be completely honest.  I am terrible at fitting in.  All my life I have wrestled with it, asking God why there seemingly weren’t any others like me.  Was I the only one?  There is a beautiful song by Whiteheart called “Desert Rose.”  The first time I listened to it, it felt like it was about me.

“Lost in a windswept land
In a world of shifting sand
A fragile flower stands apart

There in that barren ground
You feel like the only one
Trying to serve Him with all your heart”

I want to be a wife and mother.  I cannot say I have met many other girls whose greatest desire in this life is to be a wife and a mother.  At the time people began to ask me what I wanted to be, seemingly every other girl’s dream to be a famous actress or singer.  The “what do you want to be” question was put to me primarily by my peers.  My “friends” gave me strange looks; they ridiculed me and teased me.

Besides my desire to be a wife and mother, there were a lot of other things that made me different from the girls around me.  One thing is the fact that I was the girl whose family was going to one day move to Africa to be missionaries.  Being an MK (missionary kid) automatically sets you apart from “regular” kids, if only because they can’t understand why your family is doing what they are doing.  Also, I was (and still am) homeschooled.  The other things that made me stick out had entirely to do with my decision to pursue God.  I refused to gossip.  If I couldn’t walk away, I said something nice and tried to steer the conversation in a different direction.  I refused to give in to pressure.  I knew what was right, be it by God’s rules or my parents’, and acted upon that knowledge.  I also had no desire to talk about lip gloss, magazines, or who liked whom.  (And they thought I was the weird one!)  Basically, I wasn’t very popular with the girls.  I was labeled stuck-up and prissy, and I got called “Miss Perfect” (lacking in cleverness, to be sure, but you get the point).  Quite suddenly, I found myself totally friendless and very lonely.

“And you wonder, wonder
Can you last much longer?
This cloud you are under
Will it cover you?”

There were moments when I thought I could just give in.  What was the point of striving so hard when nobody else could see a reason to do so?  When I came right down to it though, I knew there was something more to be had, especially in a relationship with God.  I simply couldn’t commit to living “fake.”  I decided that I was going to stand apart, even if it hurt, even if I had no friends.  Because of this, I formed a beautiful friendship with God.  To this day I maintain my choice to be set apart.  I am not going to lie; it can be hard to be different.

“Sometimes holiness
Can seem like emptiness
When you feel the whole world’s laughing eyes”

Now, at this time in my life, God has brought around me a group of friends who, while they are not all “like me,” share my values.  The loneliness still presses sometimes, but my loving Father has sustained me thus far and will continue to sustain me.  Just this past week He told me something amazing.  “My daughter,” He began, as so often He does, “you were not made to fit in. You were made to stand out.”  That struck a chord within me.  It is little wonder I am so bad at fitting in!  Standing out is what I was made to do.  I am His desert rose, and this rose’s thirst will be quenched with nothing less and nothing more than Living Water.

desert rose

“Desert rose, desert rose
Don’t you worry, don’t be lonely
Heaven knows, Heaven knows
In a dry and weary land a flower grows
His desert rose, His desert rose”

You can check out the whole song here:

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