I hope my daughter is a total renegade.
*in a sense*
The definition of renegade is “a person who deserts and betrays an organization, country, or set of principles.”
I’m sure wishing that upon my child will raise a few brows, but stay with me.
There are an unspoken set of rules one has to chose to live by in life. We all know this. These rules we follow either make us liked or disliked. Popular or unpopular. The same or different.
You can chose the hard way or the easy way. You can go with the current or swim against it.
For most of my life, I battled between which side of the rules to stake my flag. It was easy in elementary school, middle school, and even most of jr. high. Peer pressure hadn’t set in yet. I knew who I was.
But then that dreaded high school came around and suddenly, I wasn’t so sure any more.
You see, the more “different” I was, the fewer friends I seemed to have. And the fewer friends I had, the lonlier I felt. Not the most fun cycle to be a part of.
I wasn’t trying to be some total outcast. I was just trying to live out what the Bible teaches and sometimes that doesn’t quite jive with how you gain popularity amoung your peers.
I didn’t want to drink. For starters, I just, plain and simple, didn’t like the taste. But also, I didn’t (and still dont) like the feeling of being out of control of my own actions. I have a bit of a control problem 🙂 I also ALWAYS got sick, so that kinda put the kibosh on that.
But guess what, I did. Because it’s what everyone else was doing. It was cool and it gained me friends. (side note: not the friends that stick around longterm)
I wanted to be inviting to all! No groups or cliques. I wanted to be everyone’s friend. Turn the whole high school system upside down.
But guess what, I wasn’t. I took the easy way and drifted along with the current.
My list of who I wanted to be (but wasn’t) in high school could go on and on.
I sadly lost the battle of peer pressure and the guilt weighed heavily on my mind.
Seriously, you should read some of my journals from those teen years. Talk about teenage angst.
Fast forward to where I am now: It’s easy to be exactly who I want to be. My likes and dislikes, my way of life, my beliefs and standards are all rooted deep and established. I no longer feel ashamed or embarrassed about loving Jesus. I’ll wear my ‘Satan Sucks’ shirt with pride, thank you very much!
But it took a long, hard road to get here.
And I don’t want that for my daughter.
I want her to be the renegade I wasn’t.
I want her to be everything I couldn’t be.
Desert any set of principles that don’t align with what she believes in.
Swim hard and fast against the current.
Realize that popularity and having 100 million friends is for the birds.
Things like that don’t make you happy.
Feeling happy comes from inner joy and inner joy comes from finding peace with who you are.
I pray that she knows exactly who she is at an early age and runs after it whole heartedly.
If she wants to play football with the boys; you go, girl.
If she wants to turn her room into an art studio and create beautiful things; then paint away, my dear!
If she wants to play the tuba or join the math club; then do so with no regrets!
I hope she finds that being nice to people is more rewarding than being accepted by them.
I hope she becomes the kind of girl that sees the new kid sitting all alone and decides to sit right on down and make a new friend.
Most importantly, I hope she casts off any preconceived notions of who she’s supposed to be and chases after who Jesus has called her to be instead.
That is where peace is found. That is where the joy is.