I’ve stood out my whole life. Tall since birth, loud since just after birth, heavy for most of my life. I’m not shy, the extrovert you hear about who runs around collecting introverts. I live big, laugh loud. I stand head and shoulders above most of the other moms (and a good portion of their husbands). I wear leopard and sequins and false lashes. I stand out. I do not blend in. And often this lack of camouflage can feel more like not fitting in. 

I had my kids young and never felt at ease with the other moms at the playground. 

I had c-sections and felt isolated in mourning my dream deliveries.  

I have a child with unique needs and another with severe food allergies and never feel at-ease during playdates, wondering what one child may do or another may eat. 

RELATED: I No Longer Sit At Tables Where I Might Be The Topic When I Get Up

I don’t have an Instagram body, my messy buns look more like Duggar beehives, and all those cute shirts with inspirational quotes don’t come in my size.  

I stand out for many, many reasons, which leads me to blaming myself for not fitting in. 

The other moms aren’t as loud as I am. The other moms have kids who will sit quietly at a brunch table. The other moms all seem to have known each other for 82 years, vacationed together, met each others’ extended families, and bought houses with connecting backyards. There is a very real feeling of them vs me, a clear delineation between the other moms who stepped out of Pinterest and me who stepped out of a Vegas drag show. 

I’ve tried to fit in. I’ve tried to wear the clothes they did, to watch the shows they do, to quiet my voice and giggle instead of guffaw. But it was torture, being someone I’m not. I still didn’t fit in, and worse, I had betrayed myself. 

I don’t fit in no matter what I do. But maybe I’m not supposed to. 

I’m not called to be what the other moms are, I’m called to be the mom my kids need.  

I’m not called to casually converse in whispers, I was created to gather up those who wouldn’t have come in themselves. 

It would be pointless for me to wear shirts with inspirational sayings because God gave me a voice to say them out loud.  

RELATED: I Can’t Be Everyone’s Chick-fil-A Sauce

I am not created to be a part of this world, to fit in with it, to be indistinguishable. I am called, set apart, fearfully and wonderfully made. I am unique and fun and often my lack of a verbal filter allows me to give voice to things other people are too afraid to say.  

I was not meant to calmly join the crowd, but to excitedly energize and encourage it. 

You, too, are not supposed to fit in, mama. You’re not meant to blend, to mesh, to bind yourself so tightly to the masses that you become a part of them.  

We are called to be lights, not shadows, meant to be clearly visible, not an outline of someone else. 

You don’t fit in because you’re not supposed to, mama. Not because you’re not enough, not because you’re too much, but because you are exactly as God intended you to be. Larger than life to bring attention to His name, introverted enough to move mountains in prayer. We are known by our fruit, not by our camouflage. 

God took the time to knit you, perfect you, to count the hairs on your head, and his masterpiece in you is an original. You’re not a paint-by-numbers person, you’re you for such a time as this. 

RELATED: Sister, Don’t You Dare Question Your Worth

Speak up if you’re loud. Hang back if you’re an intercessor. Embrace who you are so fully that others around you will feel comfortable enough to be themselves, too. 

Be a testimony, not a plagiarized parent. 

Stop focusing on where you don’t fit in and start looking for holes that can only be filled by you. Stop finding your identity in who accepts you and find it in the One who created you. 

Stop looking at the crowd and begin leading one. 

You’re not created to fit in, mama, so stop wishing away your calling and go be who everyone else is afraid to be. 

Go be yourself.

Jennifer Vail

Jennifer is married to the very handsome man she's loved half her life, with whom she juggles 3 hilarious, quirky, sometimes-difficult-but-always-worth-the-work kids. She is passionate about people and 90's pop culture, can't go a week without TexMex, and maintains the controversial belief that Han shot first. She holds degrees in counseling and general ministries, writes at This Undeserved Life, and can often be found staying up too late but rarely found folding laundry.