I was on a mission. You know, one of those last minute gifts a few days before Christmas. No, it wasn’t on the original list to buy, but my sweet baby grand girl, well she needed this doll or at least Granna thought so.
So there I was smack dab in the middle of last minute shoppers elbow to elbow frantically looking in the aisles of the toy department for this doll. And after several minutes of searching, I finally asked another shopper who was also scouting out the toy section and she said, “I saw one over in the markdown toys. It was on the top shelf in the corner.”
Yes! I thanked her and hurried over to the sea of discounted toys. I scanned the shelf in which the lady had directed me and then I saw it—wedged in between two other boxes. The doll! Needless to say I was going to do whatever it took to get this doll into my possession. I placed my foot on the bottom shelf giving myself a little boost, pulled the box within my reach and there she was—in a box, crushed and her hair, it was a mess. She had been discarded on the island of misfit toys.
Have you ever felt like you were a misfit? Like you have been discarded, discounted, you didn’t belong? Have you ever walked into a meeting, a restaurant, a church and felt like melting into the floor because you didn’t think you measured up to the standards of every woman there? Your education level didn’t match up. Your hair wasn’t styled perfect, like hers, or your clothes—missing the designer labels, or perhaps it was your fake jewelry outshined by her diamonds and pearls. Have you ever had someone who you thought cared about you look at a photo of the two of you together and say, ‘we just don’t look good..you and me together.’ Or even worse, have you ever attended a church service and felt eyes scorching you with judgement or voices murmuring with noise.
“Did you just see who walked in? I can’t believe what I am seeing. Just look at what she is wearing. And her children, I’m not sure they have had baths this morning. She’s divorced you know, and just the other day I heard….”
And you, you walk in with your scarlet letter burning hard on your chest amongst the whispers, your children tucked under your arms and timidly find a seat on a pew closest to the door, drop your head in shame, and vow never to go back to church again.
I believe if we were all honest with each other we could say at one time or another in our lives we have all felt like misfits. We have suffered disapproval and criticisms from the hands of other women, men, society, church members, co-workers, friends, family, and sadly—even ourselves. Perhaps you have been the victim of gossip, unfair judgements or worse, you have treated another woman as a lesser person because of the scars of her past or outward appearance. I can say my heart has been broken more than I care to mention as a victim. But along with being wounded from the hurtfulness of others, I have also been the critic. And for that, I am deeply ashamed.
I gently remove the doll from the crumbled box, comb the tangles from her shiny black hair, and place two bright pink bows in her hair. And she was perfect, at least in mine and my granddaughter’s eyes. You see, this doll over the last few years has lost some of her popularity with children and for that reason there was no place for her with the popular dolls. Her time as one of the most admired dolls is gone. Forgotten. Discounted. A misfit among the other dolls.
Regardless of your past, your economic and popularity status, the clothes and jewelry you wear, your level of educational degrees, your job—you are not a misfit. You belong. And you are not forgotten.
Jesus has not forgotten you. He has not forgotten me.
All throughout the Bible there were women who were judged as misfits, not fitting the mold in society’s eyes, but God, God had other plans for these women’s lives. And what their stories reveal is when we fully trust in God and place our complete faith in Him, there is hope. There is forgiveness, there is healing, there is grace, and there is mercy. Undeserved mercy.
Hagar, Leah, Rahab, Ruth, Naomi, Esther, the Widow with the Two Mites, the Samaritan Woman at the Well, the Woman with the Issue of Blood, the Woman caught in the Act of Adultery, Mary Magdalene, and yes, even Jesus’ mother, Mary—all misfits. Each of these women’s stories narrate what can happen when a woman puts her complete trust in God’s will for her life. And your story is important too.
My prayer is as you read this series of blog posts along with reading God’s word, you will come to know, there are no perfect women, nor men—only one perfect One, and that is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Through Jesus’ death, there is forgiveness of sins.
We all have a past.
We all have faults.
We all have failures.
We all have a story.
We are enough.
We are worthy to belong.
And we are loved.
This is the first in a series of blog posts, Misfit Women of the Bible, Belonging at the feet of Jesus. And You are worthy to belong there too.