At 5’5” and 140lbs, it might seem hard to believe that there was a time in my life when I was one of the bigger individuals in my age bracket. In fact, during my junior high years this presently Bilbo-Baggins-like frame was growing so fast that my parents were buying me shoes that were two sizes too big at the time. The assumption was that I would grow into them … eventually.
Well, this trend continued through high school and even into my college years. But one day, reality set in: not only did the shoes that I’d been buying for years not fit … they would never fit. Years of overly-optimistic purchases had left me with a bunch of shoes that I would never be able to wear.
How does this harrowing tale of ill-fitting footwear conclude, you might ask? Well, it started with trying something different. Rather than trying to fill shoes that were (literally) too big for me, I started with how I was made. Then, I experimented until I came across something that actually fit. Eventually, I found it! And guess what? It just so happened that my fit was in the “Big and Tall” section of the kid’s department. Not only do all my shoes fit now. They even come in boxes with rocketships and thunderbolts and stuff on the side. Awesome.
I started with how I was made.
I tried something different.
Then I found my fit.
God’s Word says that everyone who has become a follower of Jesus has been given a “gift”; a role that we can play in God’s mission. When we discover what this role looks like, it becomes a way that we can bless others and show them what God is like. (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:7; 1 Peter 4:10).
But maybe you didn’t know that you even had a gift. Maybe you feel like the role you’ve been playing isn’t the one you were designed you to play. Maybe you just haven’t found your fit yet.
How will your story of an ill-fit conclude? Well, you get to decide. Start by thinking about ways that you’ve already been a blessing to people. What are some things that you’ve done that have really benefited other people and that you’ve enjoyed doing?
After that, try something new! Serve in a way you’ve never served before. Be part of something you’ve always wanted to be a part of but never have. And as you try new things, keep your eyes open for how God uses you to make a difference. It won’t be easy. It won’t be quick. But you have a big God, a church family that loves you, and a unique role that you can play as God works to bring the whole world back into relationship with himself.
So get out there, try something new, and watch God do amazing things.