when the labels don't fit


This is for the mixed-ups and the misfits. For the wide-awakes who are dead-tired. For the confused have-it-all-togethers. For the both-ands.

I’ve been learning that I’m carrying baggage that is all-together heavy and light. Sometimes, I think everyone in the world fits into a label. Everyone, that is, except me.

He’s easy going, she’s organized, he’s strict, she’s shy, he’s distracted, she’s ambitious.

But, what am I?

It’s all-the-rage to identify yourself with how introverted/extroverted you are. But I seem to be a round peg in a square hole. I love being around people and crave interaction, but sometimes I need space to be completely alone.

Being a mother is an amazing blessing, but I don’t feel like having children is my one-and-only mission. My mind is constantly on hyper speed about work but I think it’s best to be home with my kids. I want to have a big family but sometimes I feel like I’m barely managing two kids. I crave organization but my messy-creative flair tends to get in the way. I like going with the flow but get satisfaction from checking off a list. I’m young and free and old and caged. My type-A emerges when you give me a red pen, but my clothes-on-the-floor closet reveals I’m not so meticulous after all. I feel like I should be the quiet, sweet pastor’s wife, but inside me is a fire to shout.

I want a string of pearls around my neck and a sleeve of tattoos on my arm. I feel a fight in my soul to stand against injustice, but wade in the waters of cognitive dissonance. I spend my evenings watching The Mindy Project and New Girl and Modern Family but would rather talk about the world’s evils and sufferings than create small talk in the grocery line. I’m too liberal for the ultra-conservatives and too conservative for the ultra-liberals. I need Jesus but I wrestle with him, too. I love to buy pretty things but hate the greed that lies dormant in my heart. I want to encourage other women that they’re wonderful just the way they are, but I also want to shake them awake and tell them they’re made for more.

I’m tired and I’m energized. I’m frustrated and I’m content. I’m joyful and I’m angry.

I’m all the things.

I’m this hot-mess of a girl that just doesn’t seem to fit anywhere. But, I’m starting to realize I’m not the only one who feels this way.

What about if all of those people who I think I can peg so easily are just like me because they’re not just like me? A one-of-a-kind mix that is messy and beautiful and figuring it out one morning at a time. What about if instead of throwing a label on others and beating myself up for not fitting into those boxes that I’ve created, we began to tear those labels off each other, grabbing hands to lift each other out of those pits of frustration and comparison? What about if we put one foot in front of the other and walked into freedom?

What about if I stepped out of the frustration and shackles that come with measurements and instead sought one label — child of God?


14 thoughts on “when the labels don't fit

  1. Wow! Kayla, this is me too! Yes, even in my sixties. Thanks for articulating what this one-of-a-kind creation that we are looks and feels like. And “child of God” is so the best description because it connotes that who we really are should be looking beyond ourselves instead of always inward at ourselves. We are all so self-focused until we focus on who we are in Christ!

  2. Yes, I agree that we may be too quick to peg someone. Instead of asking, “what am I?” The question should be “whose am I?” We belong to the One True King!
    P.S. Who told you that you that pastors’ wives are quiet and sweet??

    1. Exactly, Krista! And I’m definitely not one of those quiet + sweet pastors’ wives…good to hear you’re a trouble maker, too. 😉

  3. Oh my goodness, I could relate to so many of the things you say! From knowing it’s the best thing to be home with my kiddos right now but wanting to work more to being both conservative and liberal, and type A but also messy and cluttered. But you’re right. Labels don’t matter. It all boils down to our identity in Christ.

  4. I hear ya! I’m constantly feeling like I live a life of contradiction, where one thing I am/do/think/like doesn’t line up with the next. I blurted it all out one day, and it looked a little different than yours but similar idea: http://movingpeaces.com/post/64272742495/dont-quite-belong. I think everyone feels this pressure, but something about being a church staff wife makes me acutely aware of all the expectations that I put on myself for what that should look like. But we can’t do that to ourselves.

    We’re all little hot messes that feel out of place. That in itself is sorta awesome though, because then we can all relate about it!

  5. Oh, I can relate! I believe in being a mommy, but I find myself craving work outside the home. What a tension. I’m so glad you wrote this– it’s so nice to know you’re not alone!

    1. Thank you so much, Courtney! Sometimes I do feel like I’m the only one who feels like I do, especially in our small town we recently moved to. It is such a tension! Do you work outside the home?

      1. I don’t. But I take a graduate class every semester, which helps keep me busy. Thanks for your vulnerability in this post!

  6. Girl I’m a hot mess myself. This pretty much sums me up right here : “I love being around people and crave interaction, but sometimes I need space to be completely alone.”

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