Am I Special?

A young mother recently asked me a question that has been bothering her:  “Am I special?”  She qualified her question by letting me know that she has heard that everyone is special, but if everyone is special then is anyone really special? 

I understood her question well because it is one I have battled with myself over the years.  If I am special in some way, then the things that happen to everyone else shouldn’t happen to me.  My destiny should be greater than that of those around me.  Even being a Christian can be used as an excuse to think that we are somehow special and excused from the things that “regular” people go through.  Don’t the Psalms state repeatedly that God gives rewards to those who walk in His ways?  If I walk in God’s ways, then I am special and should expect to be treated as such.

But the truth is that even Christians, sometimes especially Christians, struggle and have difficulties in life.  We are not always spared from injury, illness, poverty, and slander.  All Christians don’t live in mansions, dress in the finest clothes, and sing hymns all day long while we read the Bible and pray together.  We are regular people who understand that our source is God and anything good that happens in life is a gift from God. 

I looked up the word “special” in the dictionary and found this definition – distinguished from what is ordinary or usual.  What distinguishes me from the ordinary or usual?  I am a human being just like everyone else.  I was born, I am living my life, and I will die – just like everyone else.  In that case, the only truly “special” people in the world are those who somehow defy those circumstances: Enoch, who did not die but was taken up into heaven by God, also Elijah; and Jesus, who was born to a virgin and raised from the dead.  So unless I can find a way to get taken up to heaven by God through a means other than death, I’m regular, not special. 

So what should I strive for in life?  I thought I was special, the handiwork of God, created for a unique purpose and called by Him to make a difference in the world.  The answer to all of that is – yes, I am the handiwork of God (just like everyone else), I am created for a unique purpose (just like everyone else), and I am called by Him to make a difference in the world (just like everyone else). 

Every single person has something about them that is unique (existing as the only one or sole example) and if they embrace it, will make them stand out in the crowd and cause the awe of God to fall on those around them who see the glory of what God has made.  The thing is, we don’t embrace our uniqueness very often.  We try to hide it because we don’t want to be different from the crowd.  We want to fit in!  We’re afraid others won’t like our uniqueness or might reject us.  Yet we admire those who try new things and effectively harness their creativity into things that we cannot imagine. 

 The second piece to that puzzle is that we all have a calling from God to make a difference in the world.  Once we discover what makes us unique, we have to ask God how that thing should be used for His glory. 

I used to be afraid to fully surrender myself to God and be made into His image because I thought I’d lose my own identity.  I was afraid I’d become some sort of Christian robot.  What I have found in my surrender (more fully every day) is that instead of making me like everyone else, God calls me to do things that are totally unique.  God knows better than me what talents are hidden in me and He calls them forward and puts them to use for His glory.  Then I begin to see myself through His eyes and the work that I do becomes fulfilling and effective.  The closer I draw to God, the more He pulls forward those unique talents, and the more fulfilled and blessed I become.  I begin to sparkle and people notice.  I find such joy in realizing that the more I fully surrender myself to God, the more He makes me into His image, and the more unique I become. 

So I told the woman that she isn’t special.  She is a regular human being with flaws and problems, working to get closer to God.  However, the more fully we know God, the more we become like Him and the more our uniqueness shines through.  She and I are working together to grow in our relationship with the Lord. As we grow closer to Him, the fears and cares of this life become less and less important and pleasing God grows in our estimation of success.  And pleasing God is what allows Him to take our unique talents, gifts, personality, and experience to make us into a unique and beautiful instrument for His glory.


Filed under Spiritual Life

7 responses to “Am I Special?

  1. Teresa Stebbins

    If the dictionary meaning is correct, then I would assume that my husband is not special and I am! He is a pretty normal, usual guy. I am NOT normal, and NOT usual. I stand out in a lot of ways. For the most part I embrace being unique and don’t have a problem with what people think.
    I spent a lot of years, in the church, trying to be what I thought was what people expected me to be. I tried to be something that, in truth, God did not create me to be. In my efforts to be something that I really wasn’t, I lost the true me. In recent years, I have found it much easier to be what I really am, and not make excuses for it. I feel special in many ways.
    At the same time, I totally understand the other side, because I’m married to someone who has a good self-concept but does not consider himself special! (even if I think he is!!) 🙂
    I don’t think being special means that no one else can be. I think there are lots of special people in the world, but for the most part, they probably recognize that they are. I’m not sure you can be special if you don’t believe you are. Does that make sense. Maybe I shouldn’t post until I think this through better, but sometimes a posted response off the cuff is a truer sense of what you believe.
    This was a thought-provoking blog…thanks!!

  2. and then to really throw a wrench in things, Jesus said that the first shall be last and the last shall be first. so the most normal are special, and the special are not all that special. 😀

    • kimberlywenger

      Tammy, you crack me up! That’s a very good point.

      Teresa, thanks for the reflections. It is a freeing thing when we realize we don’t have to be what anyone expects us to be, but can be uniquely ourselves. I think God is truly pleased when we forget about other people’s expectations and become fully who He has created us to be. It’s the only way I’ve found to be at peace!

  3. reflectionsbypj

    By far, your best work yet! I LOVE this piece and the reflection it brings to my own self. I am His handiwork, called by Him for a unique purpose… indeed, He is in pursuit of me and commands my destiny, if I will only obey. It reminds me of the song that I use to sing when I was a kid off of one of Bill Gaither’s albums for children… (of course Bob and Larry have a great version of it as well – ha!)

    I am a promise. I am a possibility. I am a promise, with a capital P. I am a great big bundle of, potentiality. And I’m learnin’ to hear God’s voice and I’m tryin’, to make the right choice. Yes, I am a promise to be anything that God wants me to be!

    Indeed, I am not ‘special’ however I am Penny… Penny with a capital P that is a promise full of possibility and potential! ;-}

    Love you!

  4. Antonia Bechard (Toni)

    I believe we are “special” being that we are made in the image of God. He breathed life in us – His breath – which is overwhelming in itself to me – The Creator of Heaven and earth giving me something of Him. We are each unique in the way that God sees fit for each individual.

    My experience with God is trying to walk out that which He continues to “draw out” with the circumstances surrounding me – be it good or bad. I know every good thing is from above but sometimes we choose things that are not what God intended for us and yet being the Awesome God He is – He works it out for our good. He knew what was going to happen and still moves on our behalf to bring good out of it that still draws out what He has placed within us. He will complete what He started in each of us.

    My thoughts are “special” is defined by each individual by what they have experienced in life. We start out thinking we are “special” and then as we draw closer to the Lord and learn of His ways and realize our definition of “special” doesn’t even come close to what “special” really means when you are truly a disciple of the Lord.

    As mentioned in your blog – the dictionary defines “special” as – distinguished from what is ordinary or usual. Look around. What is different from ordinary or usual? Would it be holding onto faith and trusting in a “living” God that is bigger than us or what the world has to offer no matter what life brings our way?

    I am not saying we are always “on top of the mountain” so to speak regarding our faith and trust in God. What I am saying is no matter what, our hearts are bent toward God – be it as small as a mustard seed.

    Being distinguished from what is ordinary or usual will not be the biggest ministry in the world or the richest person in all the earth – not saying that God will not bless some in this way if they are able to be trusted with this gift for the Kingdom of God. What I am saying is most of us will walk in a different way from what we define “special” as being a true disciple of God.

    We will learn:
    He will never leave us nor forsake us.
    If we draw near to God, He will draw near to us.
    Nothing – absolutely nothing – can separate us from the love of God.
    He will leave 99 to go after one which is lost, that is straying or wandered off.

    For me the definition of “special” is – He made it possible for us to have a relationship with Him. He gave His only son to die for us even when we were yet sinners. He cares for all that concerns us.

    Easton’s Bible Dictionary states – as used in the phrase “peculiar people” – 1 Peter2:9 “a people for God’s own possession.” – A “special” possession or property. The church is the “property” of God – His purchased possession. We are the church.

  5. Kelly

    I love Tammy’s response!!!

  6. Pingback: The Blank Canvas « Kimberly Wenger's Blog

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