Christmas Is For Misfits


Last night, I sat on my yoga mat for the first time since breaking my ankle five months ago. I took my place in a cozy, crowded room full of women who appeared peaceful and purposeful. I was longing to draw nearer to Jesus in my heart as Christmas draws nearer on the calendar.

The air was warm, the lights were dim, eyes were closed and familiar Christmas music was playing softly in the background. As I sat there trying to pay attention to my body, the music and the instructor’s beginning prompts, hot tears rolled down my cheeks in a quiet stream. What was happening? My ankle still aches, but not enough to produce tears. My daughter was behind me, and a few friends were on the other side of the room, so I wasn’t alone in a crowd of strangers. I even had the right pants this time. And a tank top instead of an old t-shirt. Sure my toes weren’t painted and my body hasn’t moved like this in five months, but on the outside, I looked like I should fit right in. So why the tears? {Over the last few years, I’ve learned to honor and even welcome tears. They carry valuable messages from hidden places of your heart and story.}

That’s just it: I’ve always looked like I should fit right in, yet never feel like I do. I’ve always felt like a misfit. Snippets of my life flashed through my mind at breakneck speed, story after story confirming the misfit theme. I paused at this one: looking like a sorority girl on the outside, yet never feeling like one on the inside. Wearing my Theta t-shirts around the Vanderbilt campus, while feeling like I didn’t belong to that group or any other. Standing on the edge of every party, empty handed and not a drinker, but told by a pledge sister that I needed to at least hold a red plastic cup…to look like I fit in. Watching my pledge class perform a crass skit that I couldn’t bear to participate in because it crushed my heart to have that joke played on me the year before…wondering why I was the only one who saw how hurtful it was.

Out of my brokenness, the beauty is that I’ve come to find out I wasn’t the only sorority misfit. The truth is, I wish I could go back with the heart I have now and get to know each of those sorority sisters for who they really were on the inside, not who they appeared to be on the outside. Turns out, the pledge sister who I’ve come to love the most in recent years is the one I felt like was my total opposite in college. I was a good girl, strong in my faith, always in the library; she was a wild child, atheist and appeared to be the life of the party. And yet this is what we’ve discovered today: we were both hurting and broken, covering and avoiding our pain with opposite outward behaviors. We were both misfits. And how ironic that two misfits joined the same sought-after sorority, furthering the illusion that we fit right in when we never felt like we did.

A misfit feels like she never quite fits. She may show up and look the part, but deep inside, she never feels like she belongs. She thinks she’s the only one who feels this way, because everyone else seems to take their place and roll with the flow of this fast-paced world. They seem to know how to move fast, talk fast, think fast, eat fast and pack more into a single day than a misfit would want to pack into an entire week. The misfit knows that she can’t move at that pace and still manage to connect with her own heart, God or others on an intimate level. But sometimes she wishes she could to see if it would numb the ache of not fitting in. Sadly, the misfit feels safest when she’s all alone. Because the crowds and groups remind her too intensely of what she already knows is true: that she doesn’t quite fit, and maybe, she’s the only one.

And then suddenly, I know it’s not just me. I know I’m not the only one. How do I know? Because I heard God’s gentle, knowing whisper to my heart last night on that yoga mat. He saw the silent tears I tried hide, and He leaned in close: I know what it feels like to be a misfit. 

And that’s when it hits me: Christmas may be the biggest misfit moment of all. Born a child, and yet a king. The High King of Heaven chose to lay His glory down and enter into a world that didn’t know a thing about the world from which He came. He came as a fully dependent, limited, needy baby, born to a teenage girl who didn’t know a thing about motherhood, much less mothering the Son of God. And then there’s the crazy way He came…the way He made His entry. The King of Kings was born in a manger…a nice way of saying He left His throne for a stinky mess of urine-soaked hay and animal poop. {Farm life taught me that reality!}

Christmas is for the misfits. The way He came at Christmas reminds us that He is one of us. A misfit like us. And then, as if God’s knowing wasn’t enough for my heart, He whispered one more thing: you’re just like me. 

And who wouldn’t want to be more like Him? Isn’t that the point for a Christ follower, a God believer, one made in His image? To become who we were made to be…to bear the heart and presence of God in this world? To be conformed to His likeness more and more as we move through this messy life as misfits? That’s what embracing our mess and our “misfittedness” is all about: becoming more like Him, bearing more of His heart, revealing more of His light and bringing more of His beauty to this broken world.

As I left the yoga class and stepped outside into the clear, cold winter night, I imagined it might be a night like the one when Christ was born. I looked to the sky in search of the brightest star and wondered if being a misfit wasn’t such a bad thing to be after all.

And that’s when God’s final whisper came to my heart: you’re just right in the way you don’t fit.

And so are you, Bravehearted Beauties. You are just right. It takes a brave heart to live in this world as a misfit…to believe you are just right in a world that makes you feel all kinds of wrong. But take heart, my friends! Christmas is for the misfits!

Merry Christmas from one misfit to another,

Linsey signature 100pix



P.S. A huge reason we feel like misfits in this world is because we were made for more. And more is coming. I love the way C.S. Lewis said it: “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”

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  • Belinda - Just love! Merry joyful Christmas to your sweet family!ReplyCancel

  • Inga - Thanks Linsey! Just this week I shed a few tears about being a ‘misfit’ as you call it: I labeled it social anxiety. Just have to live with it…I guess we belong to that 8% that rather withdraws and isolates than mingles with the crowd (no clue how to do that without saying/doing the wrong thing) never looking forward to a social event end looking back always glad I survived another one!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - Thank you so much for sharing this Linsey–I too have had this feeling and your words really speak to my heart. The quote from CS Lewis is perfect! Have a blessed Christmas!ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne - Such a beautiful and profound post! I can so identify with the feeling of being a misfit and your words really spoke to my heart! May your family have a blessed Christmas and New Year!!!ReplyCancel

  • Marie Adamo - God bless you and Merry Christmas !ReplyCancel