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Confession: I Don’t Fit In

 By Emily Saunders

This is perhaps one of the most vulnerable posts I’ve ever written.  I’ve toiled with it for a while and while enjoying both the time and mental space to write while away with my husband, I’m putting it on paper.

If you don’t know me well this might surprise you, but it’s the truth.

I don’t fit in.

Before you start to feel badly for me realize that it’s ok.  I am so thankful that the Lord made me different enough that I don’t fit into a mold.  It’s a great gift.  I’m going to tell you why, but first here is an abbreviated list of all of the molds that I just don’t fit.

I’m going to go way back to start.  You ready?

Growing up I loved dolls and wanted to play with them long after my friends stopped.

I preferred No Fear T-Shirts with rolled jeans and fluorescent sweat pants to cute clothes from an early age.

I grew up in church but most of my best friends didn’t.  I never felt like I fit in with the “church kids” because I didn’t follow all of the “rules” and didn’t really want to.

I cheered, but I ran track, but I was in student council but my favorite thing to do was ride 4-wheelers and get dirty...

I listened to country music long before country was cool (in that 80s/90s kinda way)

Let’s move on….

I went to a private University in the South East hailing from the West Virginia border of Maryland.  I didn’t know a thing about debutantes, pig roasts, Lily Pulitzer, popped collars or Southern culture. I had never shopped at Nordstrom nor lived less than an hour from a shopping mall.

I was the first in my immediate family to graduate from college.  My parents work incredibly hard and are successful entrepreneurs, but my upbringing and experience was very different from my friends whose parents had traditional careers in large cities.

I grew up in a tiny town full of conservative and loving Appalachia folk.  My college roommate was from San Francisco.  ( I adore her by the way!)

No one can place my accent.  It’s a combination of spending 18 years in Maryland/West Virginia and 17 years in the south

I cheered in college, but was incredibly insecure and not the typical cheerleader personality.  I was also in a sorority, but never felt like a “sorority girl” and my best friends weren’t even in my sorority.

I was a business major, but accounting and finance were not really my thing and I never really wanted to work for a huge company.

My husband and I started dating in college, he came to our University on a soccer scholarship from small town Nebraska… he didn’t exactly “fit in” either.

Moving along….

I love to run, but don’t really consider myself a runner because I don’t “train” for races with other runners and am clueless about most of the gear and training lingo.

I also love big weights and barbells, but my fitness competitor days are long gone and I have ZERO interest in Cross Fit because I’m getting old and doing those big lifts all the time would kill me. 

I’m not a stay-at-home mom, but I’m not a “working professional” either.

I love Jesus with every ounce of my being and I love being a part of my church community, but I’m not all that churchy in the traditional sense.  

I admire crafty Moms and DIY home projects, but Pinterest and HGTV make me feel inadequate so I don’t even go there.

I love natural living and even produce and manufacture natural and #toxicfree products with our other company Raise Them Well, but I’ve never felt even a tad bit comfortable in the “crunchy mom” community.

I adore cute clothes and accessories, but really just want to look halfway decent occasionally.  My style doesn’t fit a category.  It’s a blend of southern, funky, edgy, classic, bohemian and sporty depending on the day and the season and mood.

I am a member of the Junior League and most of the time I feel like a fish out of water.  I love the ladies I serve with and have lots of friends in the league, but feel a little out of place (maybe it’s that Southern thing?).

I got kicked out of the first two playdate groups I joined because I didn’t participate enough.  It was intense and I couldn’t hang.

As a Mom I am pretty laid back and that terrifies some people. Yes I know my child fell off the swing set, but he’s fine…..On the other hand I run a tight ship with my kids when it comes to behavior and respect.

My husband is a doctor, but he practices integrative medicine.  I know weird right? (Side Note:  I’m pretty sure he’s one of the best doctors in the world based on how much his patients tell me they love him).

I love my role as a Mom, but sometimes I get bored talking about strollers and car seats…. I kind of want to talk about the deep stuff like how to point kids toward Christ and quit the helicopter parenting, but that’s not so popular.

I struggle with balancing my entrepreneurial drive with God and kids and family.  It can be a lonely place sometimes.

Some of my best friends are stay at home moms, but the thought of being a stay at home mom makes me crazy (I even tried it once)

I don’t participate in political debate.  Truly I fall in the middle on almost all of the issues and the last place I’m going to talk about is on social media

I am passionate about prioritizing marriage and willingly and excitedly leave my children with grandparents quite often to get away with my husband. Many women look at me like I have 5 eyes when I share this.

I am from the country and can be SUPER country (and yes I love the music and the slang) but I also really love the idea of urban living and culture.  In the meantime I live in the suburbs with a wooded back yard and spend my days working in urban coffee shops.

I could totally make this list 100 items long but I want you to keep reading so I’ll stop. 


Here’s the thing.

I USED to be horribly insecure about the fact that there wasn’t a “group” for me.  I wanted badly to label myself.  I wanted a place to fit in.  

As I’ve grown older and matured in my faith I’m realizing that God made me this way for a reason.  I can’t really be placed in a “category”.  Not any of them.  And I’m ok with that.  Finally.

It’s taken so many years of feeling badly about all of the small things that I’m NOT to help me embrace what I am.  I now realize that not completely fitting in with any particular group has helped me to become more ME.  It’s helped me to be able to relate to countless more people than I would if I had just comfortably defined myself.  I don’t have EVERYTHING in common with many people, but I have something in common with almost everyone.

And does God really want us placing ourselves in groups anyway?

Isn’t that just asking to start that ugly thing called comparison?

I’ve quit trying to fit in and instead the Lord has developed in me a curiosity about others and a desire to bring people together.  In a world that wants to define everything and everyone by differences, I feel called to help bring people together.  I’m no longer afraid of talking about what makes me different from another, because when we seek to understand each other we begin to appreciate those differences rather than allowing them to divide us.

You are an original and so am I.  When we have Christ in common then the rest of the stuff doesn’t really matter all that much.

Women are desperate for connection. If you don’t fit in celebrate it.  Relish it.  See it as a gift. Don’t allow the “I am nots” to separate you when God wants to use them to bring his girls together.  Instead stand vulnerable and real.  I promise it will be magnetic.  Don’t pretend.  Invite.  Love.  Appreciate.  Be the girl that multiplies rather than divides and just let God work.