They say, "It sticks out like a sore thumb." I've always felt like I was that way--well, for a short time I didn't, but that time was the biggest mistake of my life. The only time that wasn't a big mistake, but when I didn't feel like I was "sticking out," was on our youth group's mission trip in Peru. Funny thing, I know I stood out there more than I probably ever have in my life, but it was normal. It was supposed to be. And it wasn't so bad because I had twenty-odd Americans around me who couldn't even half speak the language and therefore seemed to stand out much more than me!
Here, Stateside, it isn't so cool to stand out. In fact, it's not cool at all. People assume strange things about you. I never knew that I looked really conservative until people started asking me if I wasn't allowed to date (ever), if I couldn't watch (any) movies, if I wasn't allowed to listen to this or that kind of music. What I want to say is, "Hey, I'm of age; I make my own decisions here. It's not my parents' choice I'm not dating; it's not my parents' choice I don't listen to weird and/or downright Satanic movies; it's not my parents' choice I don't go to rock concerts! And don't you all realize there are bigger things in this world than dates and movies and music?"
It's uncomfortable. And though sometimes it gets more comfortable when you're around them longer, sometimes it gets more awkward. College has really brought this home to me. Am I okay with standing out? Because it's not a bad thing; it's a compliment. According to the Bible, anyway.
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:2)
So it's not just being different for different's sake. It's being transformed when God renews my mind. Then I won't be the same, but it'll have a reason behind it. I will have been transformed by God. If that's not amazing, I don't know what is.