‘I know what I am doing, I have it all planned out…plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.’

Recently I discovered the children book by Max Lucado called ‘You are Special.’ It is a brilliant story that tells of a wooden toy called Punchicello who is covered in grey stickers because sometimes he does silly things like fall over. The stickers make Punchicello really unhappy to the point where he would no longer leave his house.

Like the wooden toys in the story, I find that often society labels us. These labels can range from loser to popular; from boring to fun; from ugly to beautiful; and everything in between. And these labels can hurt. People can spend their lives trying to be accepted, trying to gain the “good” labels. Even if these worldly standards are achieved, they can also be lost in a blink of an eye – we see in all the time in celebrity magazines.

Our theme for Diamonds this year tells us that we are chosen by God; chosen daughters of the King. At our last event, we were looking at the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Cheri told us of how God chose Mary, despite her age and despite her fear, he had a plan for her life. I highly doubt that when she was growing up that Mary planned to give birth to the saviour of the world, however it was God’s plan for her. It really struck me how often I forget that I was chosen by God, to be used by God. Sometimes I end up focussing on the bad labels that I begin to doubt that God could ever use someone as broken as me. I forget that God has not chosen me because I fit the criteria that society thinks is the best; but because he made me unique and he has a plan for my life.

Now as I type that I laugh awkwardly to myself, because I am in my final year of university and have not got a clue what I am going to do afterwards. But as Christmas approaches, I am reminded that, irrespective of the uncertainty of the future, we can celebrate the birth of Jesus knowing that God has us in his control. And just as he chose to use Mary, he has also chosen each one of us – no matter what the world tells us.

(And if you want to know what happens to Punchincello, you will have to read the story for yourself – it is worth it, I promise!)

Love Rosie