The other day, a friend was describing a situation in which she was acting and feeling a certain way, but she desired to act and feel differently.
“What’s wrong with me?” she lamented.
As an objective outsider, I could easily see that there was nothing wrong with her. She was being her authentic self. As a cautious person who deliberates over details, she really couldn’t approach the situation any other way.
The conversation got me thinking about how often I ask myself the same question: What’s wrong with me?
I asked it when I was single and saw other women getting dates and engaging effortlessly with men, while I felt super-awkward most of the time.
I ask it when I see a friend seek out someone else in her time of crisis, rejecting my offer of comfort and support.
I ask it when I get easily overwhelmed and stressed over little details, while others seem to stay calm, cool and collected in similar situations.
I ask it when I’m passed over for a coveted role in favor of someone else.
What’s wrong with me?
While in general there are certainly things wrong with me (namely my ongoing struggle with sin), I am also fearfully and wonderfully made with good works prepared in advance for me. My design is intentional. And while I may not always embrace the things that are true about me, God does.
The other day I was reading Paul’s description of the body of Christ. Take a look at what he says about the interaction of believers in 1 Corinthians 12:15-23:
If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable.
While I know we need each other and are not all meant to fulfill the same roles, I can still feel like something is wrong with me as I watch other Christians live out their unique callings. The frustration comes in striving to be the “hand” when God has made me to be the “foot.” And as Paul’s words confirm, there are no small parts. Every part is needed.
Claiming my purpose
I remember a friend once told me, “In the body of Christ, I feel like I’m the uvula.” (If you’re wondering, the uvula is the teardrop-shaped piece of soft tissue that hangs down the back of your throat.) I understood what she meant. The uvula is a rarely seen or thought-about part of the body. But it does serve a purpose: When you eat, your uvula, along with your soft palate, prevents foods and liquids from going up your nose.
If an individual regularly had food and liquid going up his nose, he would suffer from such an annoyance. The uvula may not be glamorous, but it is important. It allows the whole body to function properly.
Instead of asking, “What’s wrong with me?” I need to ask God to show me what is right. How has He designed me to function in His body? Maybe I’m not meant to be the go-to comforter, but instead the person praying behind the scenes. I might not be as smooth at relating as others, but God can use that to make me seem more accessible. And my fragility when it comes to stressful situations gives God a chance to shine through my weakness, and others the chance to exercise their helping gifts.
At times, I may still wish I was the hand, but striving to be something I’m not will only bring frustration. What truly matters is that I am a unique and beloved child of God. And as such, I am invited to be exactly who He created me to be as I serve Him on this earth. If you’re feeling like the uvula today, remember that there is more purpose to your life than you can ever know. And you serve a key role in something much bigger than yourself.
Copyright 2019 Suzanne Hadley Gosselin. All rights reserved.