I love soliciting opinions -- do you like this dress? Which picture do you like the best? What about this article I wrote? Of course, I like opinions when they match up to what I want to hear. I want you to love my dress. Like my picture and tell me how my article made you laugh or cry (depending on what I was writing). This need for you to like me can be a HUGE stumbling block in my life. Okay, confession time - it HAS been a huge stumbling block. I spent a quite a few years trying to fit in. It was like an olympic event for me (and yes, I'm on olympic overload and that's why I'm using this analogy) -- and I was determined to win! I wanted to be JUST LIKE everyone else. I wanted to FIT in. I didn't want to be different. I would wear the 'right' clothes. Say the 'right' things. Have the 'right' past. I could buy the clothes. I could change my talk. But I had to lie about my past. And I did. I made it look better than it was. In reality, my past is a mess of wrong choices and some very bad mistakes, but it's also filled with incredible blessings and God's amazing provision and protection. When I lied about my past I missed my chance to share about God's great redemption and all those blessings! Sure, I hid my mistakes, but I also hid the story of God's provision and protection. In my desire to fit in I missed the chance to STAND OUT for God. Every one of us has a story -- and if you're a follower of Jesus then you have a redemption story. And this story glorifies God's saving grace, His amazing love, and His incredible forgiveness! I let my desire to fit in -- my identity crisis - impact God's plan for my life. God has redeemed all those wasted years and it's to His glory that I now walk with Him. That's my story. I don't fit in. But that's okay. I stand out for God. What about you? Are you fitting in or standing out?