Okay so my title may seem confusing, but stay with me here.
Recently, my 6-year old faced a trial. She’s been playing basketball for the last 2 years. She has enjoyed it and had fun. Turns out she’s a pretty good little shooter!
However, mid-year this season she started to adamantly refuse to play. It was very sudden that she just said she didn’t like playing in the game anymore. One game she went out onto the court and just bawled!
Before the game started, she was fine. Practicing was no big deal. But once that game started, she was a wreck and wanted nothing to do with basketball.
This frustrated my husband and I to no end because we couldn’t figure out what changed and nothing we said would sway her mind. Jocelyn is a very stubborn child (she gets it all from her father I’m sure! LOL).
Finally, last weekend before another basketball game that we were debating about even going, she revealed to us that someone has said she was too small for basketball.
My poor little girl has such a tender heart and can take things very seriously. So when this was said to her, she lost her confidence. She didn’t feel like she was any good at the game and started critiquing herself on how she was playing. She decided that she would rather not play in a game than to have people watch her and think she wasn’t any good. It didn’t matter that she had fun. In fact, fun had taken a backseat because she cared more about what other thought.
At this, my amazing husband asked her to give it one more shot and then he had her listen to this story by Max Lucado called, You Are Special.
The story follows one little wooden man named Punchinello (forgive my spelling since it is probably wrong!). Now Punchinello was not liked in the village. They thought he was clumsy and no good. So they put dot stickers on him to show everyone how he was imperfect. (If you were perfect in their eyes, you got star stickers).
You can imagine after a time all these dot stickers started to weigh on him and he truly felt that he was worthless and no good.
Well, one day he meets a girl who has no dots or stars and Punchinello asks her how she does it. She tells him that every day she goes to the wood shop and talks to Eli, the one who created all the wood people. So Punchinello decides he would go talk to Eli and see for himself if that was true, but he goes there with a mind on his imperfections.
When he meets Eli, it’s not what he expects.
His creator doesn’t ravish on Punchinello’s imperfections or his chipped wood or cracked paint. Eli simply says that he’s been hoping Punchinello would visit. That he loves him and it doesn’t matter what anyone else says. Eli created Punchinello to be exactly as he is and the creator loves him that way.
Punchinello had a hard time believing that. But then he saw the sincerity in Eli’s eyes and thought maybe, just maybe, Eli truly did love him as he was and that he was special just by being him. When that belief started to sink in, one of Punchinello’s dots labeling him as unwanted popped off.
An absolutely beautiful story and let me tell you, my daughter went out on the court after that and played nearly the entire game. And when the game was over, she was ecstatic! She had so much fun and didn’t care about what others may or may have not said.
After the game, before lunch, she prayed and said thank you to God for the story and helping her realize she could do it no matter what others said.
Have you ever felt that way? Like the weight of others comments bear down on your shoulders and make you feel incompetent and you start doubting you own abilities?
Can I get honest with you? I have. Especially over the course of the last few months and that story was just as good for me as it was for my daughter.
No matter of others try to make you feel insignificant or small. No matter if they (either intentionally or unintentionally) try to get you to doubt your God-given abilities or your worth. Take a look at your Heavenly Father and remember that He has created you and He doesn’t make mistakes. He has given you talents and abilities that are specific to you. It is within Him that you are worthy and you are perfect no matter what others may say.
So I challenge you (and myself) to unstick the dots in your life by remembering what God says about you, not others.
I’m a work in progress, but He is creating me into His masterpiece. A work of art that some may see as no good, but if my Creator thinks I’m amazing and entrusts me with abilities and potential beyond what others and even myself see, then that’s good enough for me!
If you would like to hear the whole story of Punchinello, you can see it on YouTube here: You Are Special