As a young adult trying to find my place in this world, I wanted nothing more than to be accepted. After sprouting my wings and moving hundreds of miles away from the closest person I knew, I redefined the standards for “socially awkward” in my new environment. I couldn’t decide whether I stuck out like a sore thumb or was completely invisible. Either way, I definitely did not possess the skills to engage with this new crowd of people that lived life by a completely different set of rules than I ever had. Upon witnessing my failed attempts to meet people, I was told, “You are like a pink marble in a sea of purple marbles. You aren’t like they are and don’t fit in with them.” What I now know to have been a compliment, seemed like the most offensive insult at the time. I wanted what every young adult wants – a sense of belonging. Atthat time, among those people, I simply did not belong.
I had long forgotten the marble analogy until my daughter started school this semester at Co-Lin. Having been homeschooled since preschool, she started this new journey without the advantage of having people she already knew there with her. In more than one instance thus far, Dacey has been asked if she is a drinker, a partier, or a stoner. In the first week or two of school she said, “Mom, I just don’t fit in here.”
After sharing the marble story with Dacey, I thought a visual reminder would be good for her to keep in her dorm room. I quickly raided my son’s marble collection pulling out several green marbles but only one blue marble. I filled a cut glass, jelly jar with the marbles. As I sat and looked at the marbles, I was fascinated by the fact that wherever the blue marble was in the bunch, all of the green ones couldn’t hide it. I took my experiment a step further by going into a completely dark room with the jar of marbles and a flashlight. Again, no matter where the blue marble was in the mix, when the light shined into the jar, remnants of blue beamed from within.
1 Peter 2:9 (NLT) says, “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” God has set His children apart from the world in order that those who live in darkness can
see His light reflected in our lives. When we live as the world does, how can we influence it for God? As Dr. Suess said, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out.”
Dacey has since met others on campus who share her faith, but there will always be seasons in life that we must go through alone. Even Jesus experienced such times when He fasted in the desert for forty days, when He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, and when He hung on the cross. His faith never wavered. Neither should ours.
Have a blessed week, y’all!