If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you. John 15:18 (ESV)
I'm going to be real honest: it's hard being a Christian. Not in the sense that I'm being actively persecuted like my brothers and sisters around the world, but in the way that there are times when people say pretty harsh things because they don't see my life as a valid way to live. Now, I'm not a perfect follower of Christ—so far from it—but I am actively adamant about one thing: I want to be like Jesus.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. Ephesians 5:1 (ESV)
The Lord has placed a call on my life, and I'm striving to walk according to that path. Over the last few months, this path has become more and more clear to me as I've sought out His will, and with that has come (at times) an overwhelming wall of opposition. Not in a direct "you absolutely shouldn't do this" kind of way (though, at times it's been that too), but, for me, it often comes in getting downtrodden because of words that wound me to the core (I'm a words of affirmation person) and, as an over-thinker, they weigh me down and creep into my subconscious.
In the midst of this, however, the Lord continues to teach me.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 (ESV)
We are promised hardships in this life—Christianity is, by no means, a walk in the park. Whether it's being crushed by the phrase, "I'm not mad; I'm just disappointed," being abandoned by a friend you thought would be there forever, or fired from a job you adore, trials will happen—in some way, shape, or form. The cool thing about this, though, is that in the midst of it all, Christ is there. He doesn't move, change, or abandon us in the midst of the struggle.
In our mess, tears, and depression, He is there.
In our isolation, anger, and frustration, He is there.
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. James 4:8 (ESV)
I'm learning to take comfort in this—to rest in the fact that, though the world, my friends, and my family may not all understand the path on which I'm walking, it has been directed by the God of the universe. The purpose of a Believer is not to accumulate the most friends, the closest family, or the the largest following; the purpose of a Believer is to glorify God in all that we do—through trial, pain, sadness, and success.
I'm learning that the world's expectations of me will never be met, because I am called to live a radical life of reckless abandon—sometimes that means taking a risk and embarking on an unknown adventure for no other reason than that's the direction to which I have been called.
Friend, praise God that you are not meeting this world's expectations. Take heart, and rest in what the Lord is doing in and through you.