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Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Ugly Duckling

We have a pond behind our house. Its sort of an oasis in the city. It usually stays dry. It takes a lot of rain to put water in it. And when that happens I always welcome my duck friends. We like to run out on the back deck and feed them. What is it about feeding ducks that makes us feel good?

I noticed the ducks today and had some old bread that I knew they would enjoy. We have a group of four. Three are mallards and I don't know what the other one is. One of the mallards is small. His feathers are slightly discolored and he usually stays back a bit from the group. It fascinates me. Maybe this is because it reminds me of myself.

So I snuck out to the porch because sometimes I'm selfish and like to feed the ducks by myself. Besides, the girl was sick on the couch and I was in need of a few minutes. I'm so very thankful for that 5 minutes.

I watched that ugly duckling try to get his fair share of bread. The others were downright mean. They would try to chase him away. I felt terrible for him. And I may have called them "freaking mean ducks." I'll never tell.

So I purposely threw bread in this little ugly duck's direction. He was elated. He would run in every direction to snatch up the bread. Maybe he felt special??? I hope so.

The other three snooty ducks got bored and made their way back into the water. My duck friend waited a few moments before he joined them. I noticed he never quite made it within 5 feet or so. One time he actually dared to join them in their circle. He was chased off immediately.

After a few minutes he came back to me alone and tried to eat up more of the bread. All along he would raise his head and make sure his "friends" hadn't left him.

My heart was broken. And I wondered if the Lord looks down on me with a broken heart. I want so badly to be accepted that I'm willing to follow along like a puppy dog. And really, why would I want anything to do with a person who treats me that way? I never thought I 'd be dealing with these emotions on the eve of my 30th birthday.

We want so badly to be accepted by those moms who have it all together. We are so insecure in ourselves that we waddle along behind our "friends" hoping that they will notice us. But in reality, we are lonely. Oh, sometimes we'll waddle back to the One who blesses us. The One who loves us and gives us extra bread and blessing. We'll spend a few minutes collecting our bread. But our heads always come up looking around making sure that we haven't been left or forgotten. Then we waddle back trying to fit in where we don't belong. In the world.

I am so thankful that the Lord gave this story to me. This doesn't happen often, so when it does I want to think it through and make sure I'm learning what I need to learn.

Insecurity has haunted me my entire life. I have vivid memories of being maybe 6 or 7 and asking a little girl to be my friend. She wouldn't. In kindergarten, a girl told me she didn't want to be my friend anymore. In elementary school my boy haircut, that my mom thought was so cute, made me an outcast. In middle school my clothes were so out of fashion. I hated the cheap shoes I had to wear because it seemed like everyone was always standing in a circle talking about how great their shoes were. In high school I was the third wheel plagued by depression and a suicide attempt. I didn't think my mother loved me. I didn't think anyone loved me.

I still have a hard time feeling like I'm loved by those around me. I feel like I'm one of those people you could take or leave. In my head, I know better. But to actually feel this in my heart, like I am loved, is a hard thing.
I could probably go on for a long time about how insecure I feel daily. I won't.

Instead, I am going to think on all the verses of scripture that tells me otherwise.

Got any good ones for me?

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