Recently, the sequel to a small movie from my childhood was released. You may have heard of it - The Incredibles?
So after church a while back we decided to go see the sequel and thought it’d be a good idea to watch the first beforehand, and there was one moment that really stuck with me.
Dash: But Dad always said our powers were nothing to be ashamed of; our powers made us special.
Helen: Everyone's special, Dash.
Dash: [muttering] Which is another way of saying no one is.
Dash’s response really made me think. The world tried to tell us that because everyone is special, that renders the point moot and makes no one special. But that’s not true. Everyone is special in their own right. There is no one else exactly like you. Even identical twins aren’t exactly the same.
There was a great quote from the actor Zachary Levi in an interview from Comic-Con a few weeks ago where the interviewer said, “so you’ve said you would compare this film to the 1988 film ‘Big’ with Tom hanks in it. Did you feel pressured to be like Tom Hanks?” To which Levi replied, “I don’t feel pressured to have to fill anyone’s shoes. I hope that we’re just filling our own shoes, and they fit well.”
And again this made me think just how I've always felt the world is asking me, 'who’s shoes are you trying to fill?' Whether it be coming into a job after someone else, or just trying to be like someone else.
But have you ever worn someone else’s shoes? Maybe you’ve found yourself somewhere where you haven’t had the right footwear. If those shoes have first been worn by someone else, even if they’re the same size as you, there is always going to be something that feels not quite right.
This is the same with trying to be like someone else, or live up to what someone else does; you may get close, but it will never quite fit you right.
That’s because God didn’t make us 'one size fits all', but rather he made us 'every size is different'.
Would God have made you if he already had someone exactly like that? I don’t think he would. Each and every one of us is an original; not a copy of someone else, but an original version of you. There is no one else out there quite like you, despite what the world and statistics may say.
“Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.”
To be very honest, I have been feeling a little uninspired about everything at the moment. Being so busy with school, internal after internal, prepping for youth councils coming up in the next few days, all while being smack bang in the middle of an intense production week; it’s definitely been a rough few weeks. But there’s always something that keeps me going even when I feel like I’m running on empty, and it’s been my Christian friends - a few in particular who I meet up with every Friday for brekkie and Jesus time.
It all started after production season in 2016. I met a friend of mine called Bryre who was also a lead in the production, and we clicked right away. We both bonded over refusing to kiss a boy in a scene because... gross.
You know the moments when you meet someone, and you just know they’re meant to be your friend? Take David and Jonathan in the Bible for example! It says in 1 Samuel 18:1-3, "After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David. From that day on Saul kept David with him and wouldn’t let him return home. And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself”.
Well this was one of those moments.
We both spent the next year catching up for coffee out of school, and we would talk about our faith and church; no matter where the conversation was heading, it always seemed to come back to Jesus. I always struggled expressing my faith with friends outside of church because I was worried about being seen as the 'Jesus Freak', and I simply didn’t want to be judged because no one around me felt the same.
Bryre was desperate for Christian friends and was always worried when she would hear sermons about how 'you will become like people you’re surrounded by', because her friends were non-Christians and into some... interesting stuff. Bryre and her parents spent years praying for God to provide her with friends who shared the same love for Jesus that she had. Looking back on it now, she says, “My prayers were suddenly and abundantly answered this year. I've found myself surrounded by the most beautiful Christian girls I could ever ask for, and I've learnt the power of spending time with sisters in Christ, encouraging each other, having the same values, being able to pray for each other and love God.”
After a little while, it was placed on our hearts that we keep the conversation going and bring it to school. This challenged me a lot in my faith, but acknowledging that Jesus is with me WHEREVER I go was exactly what I needed to do.
So now we have a little group where we start our Friday by having breakfast together at school alongside our close friend, Ana, and we take this time out to chat about Jesus and where we’re at. Through these mornings, I’ve been able to grow confident in my faith and know that I don’t have to be afraid about sharing my love for Jesus. My sisters in Christ have helped me in so many ways, and they are a true blessing. God has been at the centre of these friendships, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I want to encourage you to surround yourself with Godly people, for it is alongside these people where you learn more about yourself and your faith - and the more you know about yourself, the more you learn about God.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”