Just Your Average Joe

Today’s guest post comes from my friend Destiny Alfonso, who is not only lovely herself, but has a stylish blog called  A Place for Us. She blogs about home decor, entertaining, and all things beautiful (If you’re into decor like me, be sure to check her out). She also happens to love Jesus and so I invited her to share with us today.

…Or Jane. Average is a word that’s followed me most of my life. I’ve always thought of myself as an average girl. Not horribly bad,not angelically good. Just average.

Maybe it’s because I had two super smart siblings, one older and one younger, who were both labeled “gifted a”t an early age. Meanwhile, I had undiagnosed panic attacks during those gruesome second grade multiplication tests.

But then again it might be because while straight A’s put students on the honor roll,  I brought home a mixture of A’s and B’s and the dreaded C. I was on the average roll.

Throughout high school I lived for sports. Volleyball was my passion.During the off season I ran on the track team. I certainly wasn’t the worst person on the team. Nor did I ever come in last place in a race. But the best? First place? Eh. Just average.

I also love music. I played the clarinet and used that knowledge to teach myself to play the piano. I remember recording myself on my pink and teal boom box singing Brandy and Monica “That Boy is Mine”…  It was ok. Not GREAT. Actually, it was pretty funny. Yep… just average.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized that I was labeling myself average. Every time I would try something new and have some success at it I would find myself saying, well, you’re not the best so maybe this isn’t for you.

Then one day as I was doing my daily devotional I came across a line that hit home… God doesn’t need you to be the best, he just needs you to be available. This entire time I was crossing spiritual gifts and talents off my list because I was just okay at them. Thinking that surely if I have a talent that God wanted me to use, I would be the best at it. I assumed I needed to be better than everyone else if God was going to use me in a certain area.

I call it the spotlight syndrome. Growing up in a world where those who are talented are praised and put on a pedestal, you start to believe that’s what being talented is– being in the spotlight. It’s funny because whenever I did win competitions or received attention because of my accomplishments, it was the most uncomfortable place to be. I became bashful, shy, and quickly returned any compliments that came my way.

But the word “average” has a different meaning to me now. It means that I must submit to a different plan, a plan very different from my own at times. I understand now, I must check my intentions and my actions because I already know that all of my talents are His. The day I gave my life to the Lord I gave Him permission to do as He will with them.

I may not see my skills or abilities as valuable in my own eyes at times, but I know He sees so much more. While I may only see myself as average, He only cares that I am available. The Bible proves that it’s the ordinary, average people He uses most. And I don’t want to miss out on Him using me.

Have you ever struggled with feeling “average” or comparing yourself to others? How has God used you in some extraordinary way?

Destiny is married to her college sweetheart…Mr Right. They have 3 beautiful children. She describes her blog, A Place For Us, “as a place to share the transformation of my cookie cutter house into the home of OUR dreams….a place that family will gather, kids will grow up, a place to put up my feet, have neighbors over, a safe place…here words are spoken with the intent to reflect the unconditional love of Jesus…” You can find her on Twitter and Facebook, as well.

image props


10 thoughts on “Just Your Average Joe”

  1. Nope! Never!
    My natural talents are pretty average!
    But when you know (like, KNOW, KNOW) God, there’s always going to be a purpose greater than this whole world that pretty much separates you from everyone else.
    You are special. You know Christ!
    So, I am always compelled to say that thing friends don’t want to hear. To say something about Jesus and how awesome He is, or rebuking them, and them rebuking me. Accounting for each other’s faith.
    It sounds pretty average, but for me, it took lots of prayer to finally be able to open my mouth up and speak out about my salvation. And when I do, I know it’s what I should be doing and what I want to be doing for as long as I live.
    Winning a soul over to Christ is the greatest feeling ever. Now I just pray for more souls to be saved!
    So, even you feel like you’re average, there’s no one else on the planet that can do what God wants YOU to do.
    That’s why He created you.
    I don’t feel that’s average at all. (o:

    1. Nadia,
      You totally got me thinking about something in a new way. I have never really thought of the fact that just by virtue of knowing Jesus, someone is special. I mean, I’ve felt grateful, honored, thankful, but not necessarily special. I think because I am always trying to represent Christians as humble and not haughty. Except that, you’re right, we are special because we belong to Him and He has given us purpose. it’s not that we are better than anyone else (or those we don’t know the Lord) but that we are fulfilled in Him. Love this idea. I might even write a post about it! Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. I have felt exactly like this. If everyone feels intimidated by those really gifted cool kids as I did then no one would come to Christ through testimony. We would all be to busy cringing at our lowly state in comparison to others talents to hear the gospel. I am at my best in God’s eyes when I am what He created me to be. He can then use me to reach other average people like me without alienating them.

    1. Ken,
      I think you touch on a great point, which is the fact that our own inadequacies and insecurities are often what can help bring people to the Lord, or at the very least help paint Christians as approachable and authentic. When we don’t pretend that we’ve got it all together or that we’re perfect, we do a better job of pointing people to the One who is perfect and anything but average.

  3. I’m with Nadia, I don’t think anyone’s average and “average” is just a lie the enemy uses to keep us from realizing that God has GREAT AWESOME AMAZING plans for every single one of His children.

    Nadia also hit the nail on head saying, “there’s no one else on the planet that can do what God wants YOU to do.”

    Comparing ourselves to others is very close and often related to envy if you think about it. It’s not that we necessarily want what others have, but sometimes we tend think that because they have or do something “better” (I use that term loosely) that they are in fact better than us and we’re simply average or OK.

    The truth is we’re all equal and in being a part of the Body of Christ, each of us have our own unique function. It’s about us living in Him to figure what it is and then using it totally for His glory!

  4. just ran across your blog via ally spotts, and I love this post! actually just had a conversation about this a couple days ago… It can be really frustrating sometimes! My only brother is profoundly gifted–we are both in college; he makes straight A’s on full scholarship, while I make mostly B’s with the occasional A and C, and while I have a small scholarship, I have a lot of student loans. I’m not dumb, but I’m not particularly smart or witty either; I’m not unnattractive, but on the other hand, I’m not pretty; the list could go on and on. I find extraordinary hope and comfort in my faith that Jesus Christ infuses my otherwise ordinary life with meaning, purpose, and beauty! The depths of His love and grace are all that I have, and this transforms my everyday. I have nothing to offer except that which has been given to me by grace. In an odd way, his grace enables me to give thanks for my “averageness” that continues to keep me humble and make me thirsty for more Jesus.

    1. Olivia,
      Wow, your comment could have been a post in and of itself. You said it so beautiful and so well. I love this, you said: “I find extraordinary hope and comfort in my faith that Jesus Christ infuses my otherwise ordinary life with meaning, purpose, and beauty!” That is amazing! That’s is the Gospel right there–that He would take us, who are weak, boring, ordinary, broken, hopeless, forgotten–and give us meaning and purpose by dying on a cross that we might know Him and proclaim Him.

      Thank you so much for sharing. Hope to see more of you around here, as well. Blessings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *