// Discerning your Niche //

 

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Have you ever felt somewhat “out of place?”

 

Maybe you’re not as athletically talented as some of your sportier peers, OR perhaps you struggle in the academic department. Maybe you’re not as creative as some of the artists that you consistently compare yourself to- hey, what did I tell you about that nasty comparison habit- OR perhaps you have no musical talent whatsoever.

 

We’ve all been there at some point. We hopelessly attempt to express talent in a particular hobby, but deep down we know this isn’t God’s calling for our lives.

Let me share something with you for a brief moment.

 

Towards the latter years of elementary school and the beginning of middle school, I was bullied. Now, this isn’t a topic that I regularly discuss, but I believe it is an integral part of my story so I feel compelled to share it with you today. Thankfully, over the years, God has completely healed any wounds that were once formed as a result of hurtful words. In fact, looking back, I’m surprisingly grateful for these difficult years. Why? Because they taught me a valuable lesson in treating others with love and respect, always cognizant of inclusion’s importance.

 

I was your average nerd; a.k.a., I would frequently request extra credit assignments and ever-so thoughtfully remind my teachers that “we still have five minutes left of class.”

Well, maybe I wasn’t that bad, but you catch my drift.

 

Combat my scholastic enthusiasm with the fact that I was (not so slightly) overweight, I made quite the candidate for bullying opportunities. Double chin? Honey, I had four. (If you’d ever care to look at a few pictures of me during my middle school years, I’d be more than happy to show them to you. Perhaps over some coffee? Fair warning: they’re rough).

 

I desperately tried to think of ways in which I could “fit in.” My classmates appeared terrifyingly cooler than I, and I didn’t like it. What was a middle schooler to do? Think of ways to fit in, of course!

 

So, I tried to look like them, talk like them, and act like them. In fact, I even formulated the (not so) brilliant idea to embark on a journey into the exciting yet equally daunting world of sports. I had tried soccer, basketball, softball, and even ballet at various stages of my life, but each time, no matter my age, I concluded that sports were simply NOT made for me.

Despite any preconceived notions regarding my sport- related ineptitude. I tried, and I tried hard. I truly gave it my all, but it seemed as though the harder I tried, the worse my performance became. Hmm, maybe God was trying to tell me something.

 

Sometimes, the ability that we so desperately try to form for ourselves isn’t really the talent that God created for us. It’s okay to not be successful in sports; you have a different purpose. It’s alright to struggle in the musical department; you have a different purpose. How do you know if the niche you’re leaning towards is the one that God intends for you? You’ll just know. It’ll come natural, and you’ll be able to use it to glorify God.

 

To some extent, I oftentimes revert back to my old habits. I’ve always hoped to be musically talented. My dad is utterly amazing, and a considerable amount of my closest friends are just so good that they make it look easy. (Let me tell ya, it isn’t). The other night, I broke out the ‘ole keyboard, with all intentions of discovering that I was secretly a musical prodigy. I was ready to make my big debut.

 

Nope, I was still as bad as I remember. What a letdown, man.

 

Obviously, if one wishes to improve in a particular field, it is his job to practice in order that he might improve his skill. However, I believe that if one continually feels as if his hobby just “doesn’t feel right,” then it probably isn’t. Don’t presume that you’re “weird” or “unimportant” if you’re talents aren’t the same as others, and whatever you do, don’t “fake” your talent just to blend in. (I’ve been guilty of this from time to time). The cool part is this: we were all created with a unique purpose in mind, and it is our job to remain faithful in God’s uncovering that purpose to us.

 

Psalm 139: 13-14 says, “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

 

Blissfully content with your talent? Great! Keep working towards your goal and remember to give your talent back to the God who originally gifted it to you in the first place. Still unsure of your ultimate purpose? Don’t worry; it might not happen right away. Trust that God will direct your steps.

 

Discovering your niche isn’t difficult, but it does take time. Be patient, try new things, but always remember that if you feel as if God is directing you in a direction contrary to your own, turn the ship around. We all have a purpose. I have one, and so do you. They may be different, but they’re equally important.

 

Feeling like you’ll never fit in? Struggling with being bullied? Trying to find your niche? Reach out. Send me an email!

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