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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: Black Sheep

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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: Black Sheep

Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland

December 29, 2009

Black Sheep

I'll be honest with you. I have often felt like the "black sheep" in my family. And, if I were to be honest with myself, with most everyone else as well. Not in the sense that I am a criminal or that I am "bad" {as is the 'technical' black sheep definition}, but just in the idea that I have always felt like I was on the outside. Always the third wheel or the one that just didn't quite fit anywhere. The one on the back-burner. 

In school, I never found a place that I fit.

I remember being the only one from my group of friends in 4th grade to not be in Mrs. Mim's class [She was the "it" teacher for the 4th grade...everyone wanted her class.] I was devastated. All of my friends were in her class and I was forced to make new friends. I remember looking on at lunch because they were all together and feeling left out. During PE & Recess they had their own 'group' I was no longer included in because I wasn't in the same class.

In Junior High, I was the only one not dating and wearing makeup [and the only one still in a training bra...for those of you who would like to know that.] I remember all of my friends having dates to the 6th Grade dance. I also remember standing against the wall...alone...during every. single. slow song. Same thing at the 7th grade dance. And the 8th. I had friends. Don't get me wrong. I wasn't that girl by any means. I just always felt...distant. [If you ever watch Country Music Videos, I was kind of the girl Taylor Swift is portraying in her video "You Belong With Me." Kind of a geek...not exactly get the idea.]

High School was the worst. I was best friends with the "it" girl and her "it" sister. I was the one the guys came to...when they wanted to ask one of them out. I was always the single friend. I was the one that their boyfriends called when they had a fight, in hopes that I could patch things up for them. I was also always the one that wanted the guy, but never the one the got the guy. I didn't mesh with the popular crowd. I didn't have the right clothes or car or hairstyle or whatever to fit in with them. I found true friendships with people like myself...people who wanted to "be" but just couldn't.

I hated High School. HATED it. I  hear people say that they would love to go back and do it again...uh-uh. Nope. Not this girl. Never, would I ever want to go back to High School. I look back and remember some of  the loneliest times of my life.

I found my way a little in taking up bad habits. I started drinking and smoking and partying with the "it" girls and found myself belonging a little bit. But then, I discovered that even though I was fitting in and making "friends" {and use that in the lightest sense of the word} I was still lonely. I was still best friends with the beautiful girls that everyone wanted to be with. I was still the one sitting at home on Friday Nights when there wasn't a party going on and everyone else was out dating. I was still the one that my friends boyfriends were calling or texting or facebooking to fix an argument or set them up. I was just that person.

Now, as I am an adult and I'm "mature" these things don't bother me. Okay. Kidding. That is a lie. A BIG one. And I know that now I am not alone. There seems to be lots of outsiders out there. Turns out, I married one. Hubby grew up in a family that dealt him the same kind of cards. His grandparents showed favor to his cousins and partiality to them for reasons that are way beyond my grasp. {Trust me...if you knew his 2 cousins, knew their lifestyles & habits...and knew hubby, you would wonder why on Earth they showed them partiality too.} And, as I get older, I find myself looking back and feeling that I was done that way quite often in my own family. That the partiality was shown to my sister, for one reason or another.

And it hurts.

It's painful to feel like you don't measure up and that you are second to someone else. Especially when it is someone that you feel you shouldn't be 'beneath.' We all want to feel wanted. To feel needed. To feel desired and loved and appreciated. To feel like we aren't walking around this Earth without a purpose or anyone to care.

And finally, tonight [well, it will be last night when you read this], after hearing a phone conversation between my hubby and his mother that relates to this very topic, I have realized something. Something that it has taken me 20-something years of tears and pain and heartache and even depression to understand: It doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter. At all. It doesn't matter what anyone thinks. It doesn't matter if I am 'popular' {and yes, as a grown woman, wife & mother we all still worry about that and long to belong}or whether I have an overflow of friends. It doesn't matter if I'm "in" or not. You know why?

Because, "you created my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well...all of the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!" {Psalms 139:13-14, 16-17}

God created me. He made me who I am and the way that I am for a reason. He placed me in those situations and circumstances for a reason. They made me who I am. And despite the pain or the hurt that they may have caused me, I am grateful for them because they made me, ME. It just doesn't matter. All I can do is live the life that I was called to live, in the way that I was called to live and know that that is enough. That's all that I can do. That's all that I need to do. That's all that I want to do.

So, maybe I am the "black sheep"...maybe hubby is to. Maybe we will both always be on the back burner. Maybe we will always bring up the rear and be the sidekicks. But that's okay. Because I am not the only one to feel as if I'm an outsider. There was another. He too was an outsider. And outcast. One who felt "distant." And he understands. He gets it. Who is he?

They call him Jesus.
And he too was a "black sheep."

So for now, I'll continue to be on the back-burner.
It's okay if I'm not "it" or "in."

Because if I'm the club with him, being that sheep, really is okay.


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At December 29, 2009 at 6:49 AM , Blogger Beth P. said...

My gosh Courtney! Another post where most of these words could've come right out of my head!

I have a lot of insecurities these days that I blame exclusively on my middle school and high school experiences simply because I did not "fit in." I was not part of any clique and I did not ever want to be. I was the person who sat in the back, just watching everything, taking it all in.

I can completely relate, and it isn't a great feeling to have at all, but you are right, it really doesn't matter.

At December 29, 2009 at 7:08 AM , Blogger Mandi Miller said...

That was really good. I always felt like I didn't belong either in school. I was a cheerleader and friends with the "popular" girls, who were really sweet people, but they weren't my best friends. Even now I can feel kind of "not as good" to some women that I am friends with. But you are so right, it doesn't matter because God made me just the way He wants me to be. Thanks for sharing it was a real blessing! I am super excited about my post for your blog!! I think I have it in my head, I will be putting down in Word today and tomorrow!!

At December 29, 2009 at 7:13 AM , Blogger Joy Cometh in the Morning said...

Awesome, Awesome post!! Thanks for sharing that! I, too, am the black sheep of my family. Not quite as pretty, more overweight than everyone else, not as much money as every one else.....
You are so right when you say it doesn't matter! If only we can remember that! And to think Jesus was the black sheep too. I can't think of any better company to be in.

At December 29, 2009 at 7:20 AM , Blogger Nicolasa said...

I just love the way your words flow together. You write so nicely, even if the topic is something that can hurt.

I think at some point in time we all feel like the "black sheep". I am so glad that you have come to a place of peace about all of this.

At December 29, 2009 at 8:39 AM , Blogger mama4x said...

Wow. Dude- following you from Mama Buzz and never read before- you have a great writing voice! I was totally there with you... then you brought it back to the cross and tears welled up. Spectacular! Thanks for bringing me through the a huge range of emotions before I even finished my coffee. Have you followed me yet? I'll be back!

At December 29, 2009 at 10:03 AM , Blogger Niks La Mode. said...

Another Excellent POST!! I really pray some of your articles get written I would say buy your book!!!

I follow with you on this post and loved how you related God with this subject!

Also even if you are the black sheep God has given you a man that will never put u on the backburner and likewise him!

Love it!


At December 29, 2009 at 3:44 PM , Blogger Chrissy MacCEO said...

This is another fantastic post that speaks right to me. I can completely relate, and it's very frustrating. But you are right--it doesn't matter. What matters is my own life--my kids--my husband--our live. We had to do what's best for us first. Sending hugs your way!!

At December 29, 2009 at 4:46 PM , Anonymous Kari said...

I love your post today!! It's one of my favorite things to say- it just doesn't matter! Thanks for sharing your heart & story! You wouldn't be the beautiful, passionate, caring wife, mom & friend without all the pain from being a black sheep. Great writing!!

At December 29, 2009 at 10:07 PM , Blogger Tina said...

I can really relate to this post in many many ways!! My mother recently told me that she doesn't call very often and try to keep in touch (over the years) because she knew I was okay and didn't "need" her. How could you possibly know that about someone when you don't even try to find out?? This world!!
I agree with you about HS too, I would NEVER want to relive those days. I'll just take my thirties, over and over and over again. This is the best time of my life!!

At December 30, 2009 at 7:11 PM , Anonymous Angela Warden said...

I am not a blogger. I came across your blog from Amy Kirkland's blog page (she is a dear friend). Clearly, it was divine intervention for me to stumble upon your "black sheep" post. All I can say is, "Thank you...thank you from the bottom of my heart". Like Mandi posted, I was also a cheerleader & friends with "popular" people, but never fit in & did a lot, in my youth, to compromise my values, in order to attain what attention I DID get.

Right now, I have a college-age daughter who VERY MUCH needs to read your post. She is beautiful and smart (4.0 GPA, as a junior!) and talented and has high morals and standards, and has pleased me to no end. However, she struggles with the exact things you mention & feels she will never have the "love of her life" or kids, etc., because of not fitting in. She has the best "guy friends", but they all see her as "one of the guys." She fails to see her value, and it breaks my heart.

I intend to allow her to read your post, so she can see that she is, by far, not the only one feeling that way, and that God definitely does have a plan for her that will, in HIS time, include a Godly husband & children.

Thank you again. You have greatly ministered to who knows how many people. God bless you! Angela

At December 30, 2009 at 11:04 PM , Blogger KarinaG.L. קרינה said...

I use to dream of black sheep when I was younger, as young as 5. I remember being in a field of while sheep. There was only black sheep. All of a sudden I was the black sheep, and Jesus came to the field. Out of all the sheep,you picked me up. Thanks for sharing this.


At January 1, 2010 at 10:25 PM , Blogger The Nice One said...

Could not have read this post at a better time. I am SO FEELING THIS exact same way tonight. Living where I live, I feel like I am the only "normal" one....and while I cherish that most times, sometimes it's AWFULLY lonely! But your advice was great.

At January 16, 2010 at 7:46 AM , Blogger Jen said...

I hated high school too - so much insecurity and nonsense! I remember being afraid to walk into the cafeteria by myself because the cool grade 12s sat right by the door... and my boyfriend at the time was a "cool grade 12". Sad.
Then I moved to Ontario, mid-high school, and pretty much everyone found a reason to hate me. So, that was awesome too.
I did make some great friends along the way who stuck it out with me... but you'd have to pay... actually you couldn't pay me enough to go back.


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