Sunday morning as the pastor took the stage; he greeted the congregation and asked if everyone would join him in singing, “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.” Of course everyone laughed then promptly joined him in singing the well-known Christmas song. After the song was over, my pastor began to go through the words of the song and remind all of us about a misfit reindeer who was an outcast because he had been born with a ruby red nose that lit up very bright. We all know the story ends with Santa asking Rudolph to lead the reindeer as he guided Santa’s sleigh. How many times have I heard that song and forgotten it’s very simple message. As I listened to the sermon, I was reminded of my own life and how God has turned one of my weaknesses into a strength.
I have always had a love affair with the law. I began working for attorneys when I was 18 years old and had moonlighted in firms off and on for many years since. In 2001, I interviewed for a legal secretary position at a prestigious law firm in the Fresno Fig Garden Financial District. At the time, I had been working at Costco for 10 years and was looking for a second job. I desperately wanted this job and it took two weeks to hear back from the firm. When I did hear back the managing partner told me that he only had a full-time position available and they wanted to hire me for the job. I was honored to have been chosen but it would mean giving up the one job I had always kept. After much thought and consideration, I decided to resign my position at Costco after over 10 years of employment. It was very scary to let go of such a secure job but I was moving into the future I wanted for myself or so I thought. After less than six months, I was fired from that job because I had made spelling errors in letters I had sent out to clients. I used the wrong words for words that sounded the same but had different meanings. For example, I would use there instead of their or principle instead of principal. I was devastated, ashamed and very embarrassed that I had made such mistakes. I had never graduated from high school so the simple English that I should have known was lost on me.
I have never forgot that incident and mostly because I am no longer the girl who doesn’t know how to spell. I not only know the correct words to use in sentences, I have become a writer and my columns have been published in magazines, newspapers including a nationally published Sports & Fitness Magazine. I do not say that to be brag, I say that to show how something that was once a weakness can later be made into a strength.
I have met so many adults who have such low self-esteem because of some perceived flaw. I have met even more kids who say “I just don’t fit in.” The feeling of insignificance and inadequacy is so prevalent in kids today it really breaks my heart. I know how that feels and I also know that over time, if they keep seeking, they will find the place they fit, I did. Life can be hard and cruel and especially for children and teenagers.
If you are reading this, I would like you to do me a simple little favor. Please take a moment and comment in the section below with a personal strength that use to be something you considered a weakness. I think the comments might help someone else realize that there are no flaws, there are only strengths waiting to surface.