Embracing Our Weirdness with Wonderful Strength

An Interview with Laurie Wallin

Wonderfully weird . . . not many of us would put those two words together. However, Laurie Wallin—certified life coach, speaker, teacher, and gifted author—reveals that God has in place a master plan for our lives that is, indeed, weird and wonderful.

Most often, we get stuck in the frustrations of being different—or in the differences of others—and can’t see God’s design in it all. As a mother of four, Laurie found herself at the bottom of a dark pit, depressed and deeply discouraged by the overwhelming challenges of raising a child with differences.

In this candid interview, Laurie openly talks about times in her life when, in spite of her devotion to parenting and prayer, things went from bad to worse and she felt as though God wasn’t hearing her cries for help.

Watch the interview:

Eventually, Laurie realized the Lord was using these painfully complex challenges for a greater purpose . . . His sovereign purpose.

As a result of submitting to His will and His ways, Laurie’s perspective changed.

First and foremost, she learned that God’s design for every life is different and that He offers significant strengths to be used in unique ways. Laurie speaks very honestly about hardships, human differences, helping others, and finding hope in what may appear to be totally hopeless situations.

Interview Questions

How did your book Why Your Weirdness Is Wonderful: Embrace Your Quirks and Live Your Strengths start coming together?

  1. What are some things that get us “stuck”?
  2. How do you turn your challenges into strengths?
  3. How do you turn what we may see as negative into positive?
  4. How have your experiences with your daughter changed your perspective?
  5. What was it like when you didn’t see any change in your daughter?
  6. How did your challenges affect your marriage?
  7. How does the program you developed fit into the church setting?
  8. What was your favorite chapter to write, and why?
  9. What encouragement can you offer those who are at the bottom of the pit?
  10. What final comments or encouragement can you share with us?

Let Me Hear from You

Psalm 139 tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made—a truth that is hard to accept when some people are so very different, especially when a disability or mental difficulty has been diagnosed.

We know God never makes a mistake, yet we often get stuck in thinking people who are different or diagnosed with a disability are to be discounted rather than part of God’s divine plan.

Maybe you feel that you are a mistake . . . as if you are not good enough, not strong enough, or too overcome with worry or frustration.

  • Have you ever considered that your unique ways are gifts from God to be used for His purposes?
  • Are you stuck on the negative side of a diagnosis, unable to see that God has a plan to use all of us for His purposes?

What are you struggling with today?

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Connect with Laurie

Laurie WallinYou can purchase a copy of Laurie Wallin’s book, Why Your Weirdness Is Wonderful and connect with Laurie on her blog at www.lauriewallin.com.

Insight for Living Ministries Resources

Related Special Needs Blog Posts by Colleen Swindoll Thompson

  • Jane Franks

    Hi Colleen: I just listened to your interview with Laurie Wallin and resonated with the issues on so many levels. One thing that struck me is that while I am a generation away from you (we won’t talk in which direction! 🙂 — just kidding — I’m grateful to God for all the stages of my life!) — but what struck me was how much this information is needed with aging as well as children with special needs. I think you will remember that I wrote recently about us, and I want to chat with you more. I need to spend some time and prayer thinking about what God is telling me about this, but I see a need to incorporate the threads of Laurie’s findings especially geared to the end of life as well as the young. I don’t know if this makes sense. But it has given me great hope and very timely as for the last 3 days I was in a very dark hole “looking up” and crying out to God for some resolution or insight, and then boom! Up pops your newsletter!! Talk about answer to prayer!! I’ll be getting back to you, soon. Thank you so much for including this interview. It was just wonderful and I plan to get Laurie’s book! I will email her, too. Thanks again!! 🙂

    • Jane,
      You are so right — it’s not geared just to kids with special needs, or even to us as their parents. It’s for each moment in our lives when we need to see God more clearly working in us and our lives. Different stages and seasons we face bring fresh desire for that, for sure! Praying God would meet your deepest need in this area with His presence.

      • Jane Franks

        Oh, thank you. It’s so good to interact with you guys. Yes, the older I get and the longer I walk with the Lord the more I see it is so true what Paul says in Phil. 3:12 — It’s not that I’ve obtained this, what I’m telling you (the Philippians); I’m not already perfect; I’m pressing on to make it my own, because Jesus has made me his own. One of the things I take away from this in context with what you are saying is that he was telling them It’s tough! We’re pushing on together here! And I want you to see God working clearly in your life, too! How much we need that encouragement, don’t we, from other “fellow pilgrims, who get it too!! And the great thing is Jesus has ALREADY made us His own, uniquely equipped, as you said, for the job He has cut out for us!! Thanks again, so exciting for this reminder!! I’ll be praying for you and following your work!

        • Jane,
          I’m so glad you brought this up….I thought about it when I was writing your last note but forgot to include it. Yes, God does allow us to strugglfo with our humanity as I’ve found it is humbling and refining. He doesn’t take away those ‘thorns’; one reason is that if He did, it would be so easy to become prideful and not dependent upon Him. I read in one commentary that Paul’s thorn was severe enough that it affected his ministry ability at times…so there is always hope for you and me. In the midst of it all…His grace is always sufficient…thank the Lord that is true. Thanks again for connecting and I look forward to hearing from you soon. Colleen

  • Jane Franks

    Hi Colleen: I just listened to your interview with Laurie Wallin and resonated with the issues on so many levels. One thing that struck me is that while I am a generation away from you (we won’t talk in which direction! 🙂 — just kidding — I’m grateful to God for all the stages of my life!) — but what struck me was how much this information is needed with aging as well as children with special needs. I think you will remember that I wrote recently about us, and I want to chat with you more. I need to spend some time and prayer thinking about what God is telling me about this, but I see a need to incorporate the threads of Laurie’s findings especially geared to the end of life as well as the young. I don’t know if this makes sense. But it has given me great hope and very timely as for the last 3 days I was in a very dark hole “looking up” and crying out to God for some resolution or insight, and then boom! Up pops your newsletter!! Talk about answer to prayer!! I’ll be getting back to you, soon. Thank you so much for including this interview. It was just wonderful and I plan to get Laurie’s book! I will email her, too. Thanks again!! 🙂

    • Dear Jane,
      How great it is when we cry out to the Lord and he answers so quickly! I agree, Laurie’s work is fantastic….and timeless. There have been several personality books I’ve used with my kids so I could learn how to parent them according to their bents, strengths, and unique make up. I also agree there needs to be so much more of this as a positive outlook! Laurie is fantastic at pinpointing the root rather than just look at the outward behavior…can you imagine how confident and ‘settled in their own skin’ kids would be today if adults and parents took the time to dig deeper into the lives of one another and the next generation. I ate up her book…it’s great and I would love to hear what you think of it as well. Enjoy. So great to hear from you! Have a great day. Colleen

      • Jane Franks

        Oh, I so agree with you! I found it helpful in marriage relationship thinking, too. It is really so basic. I think we get so bombarded with information from everywhere that we forget about the basics. That was one thing Dr. Bright kept reinforcing when I was with Campus Crusade — “don’t forget the basics!” But spending time and listening and slowing down long enough to do that. It takes a lot of discipline. Jettisoning some things we might like to do or think we ought to do. Sometimes I spend longer in Bible reading/study and journaling in the morning than I think I “should”, but it’s often on those days I get the most done!
        I’m rambling here! But it is so good connecting with you! On another subject, I read some of your personal journey story and can resonate on another level. My husband was “battered” by a difficult life experience when I came into his life. And we have had to work through a lot of things that are the result of fallout from that. I want to encourage you that your heart for God and helping people to see Him and their strengths in Him comes through. I see compassion in my husband, too, for having been through some of what you experienced, too. God uses these things. This ministry you are doing is so important. Take courage and keep up the good work!! I am praying for you.

        • Jane,
          Oh my goodness…you have no idea what an encouragement your note is this very moment. WOW…how the Lord keeps reminding me that He is close and compassionate and connected to my life and the lives of those I love. Really, to all of us…you and your hubby. I want to thank you for patiently working with your husband; helping him along the way to become strong and secure. In just a few short years, God has used him to bring healing to my life and to my kids…we were just reflecting on that as we celebrated our anniversary last week. Now with your note here, I feel the touch of our Lord once again; nudging me to press on and ‘fight the good fight’ in faithful endurance. Really, I can’t thank you enough for your discernment and for following God’s lead to send me a note of encouragement. Have a wonderful day, Colleen

          • Jane Franks

            Very good! Let’s keep in touch! Are these posts private or do others see them? If they are not private, do you have a personal email that I can use? Over time, I want to share some other things that may help both of us! You are such a blessing to me, too, and God has used me to help others and I only give Him the glory for this. I do not aspire to fame or anything like that! Do have a good day, and I am grateful if anything I say can be used of God to help! Hang in there! You are doing great work!! We have no idea the ripple effects of social media! I am convinced God is doing SO much throughout the world, under the radar!! A friend of mine in ministry — mostly online (a spinoff from Crusade — helping ministry leaders stay abreast of the cults and cultural shifts against Christianity) — once told me: God is the God of cyberspace, too!! I believe it!! Satan uses it for sure, but God is greater! We are going to see some exciting stuff when we get to heaven!!

          • Jane,
            These posts are public but the good news is that they minister to all who read them. Your words of encouragement may be just for one who needs it at just the right moment. Feel free to contact me at the Insight for Living phone number… 972-473-5000 … and we can connect via phone. That will be more private. Yes, God is the God of cyberspace as well…sometimes that is hard to remember with all the stuff we hear about hacking and earthly worries. God is over it all, isn’t He! You are such a blessing and I’m thankful to the Lord for our growing friendship. Have a wonderful Monday. Colleen

          • Jane Franks

            Thank you, Colleen. You are such a blessing, too! This will be a busy week, but I will be in touch again soon! I hope you have a wonderfully blessed Easter! And a wonderful week. Jane

          • Jane,
            Looking forward to the week as well. Great to connect. Have a great night. Colleen

          • Hi Jane, was wondering how your week went? Thinking of you! Colleen

  • Jane Franks

    Sorry for the double entry! I’m new at using Disqus. I think I’ve got it now!

  • Terri Novak

    Dear Colleen and Laurie,
    What (yet another) GREAT interview!! I loved the concept of not kicking yourself into the next state (or for me, into the ocean) for the character traits that you’d love to just dump. For me, it’s — oh my, did that just come out of my mouth withOUT passing through my brain or through any form compassion?! YIKES!! One learns the art of constant apologies with this trait. Having had a substance abusing mate years ago and going through the 12 step programs around it, one of the key issues in the steps is about your own character defects, identifying them and then humbly asking God to remove them. One thing my sponsor told me at the time is that it is up to God as to which ones are removed. We humbly ask and he has the final say. Hmm…not liking that too much as I would like them ALL removed, after all, isn’t that more glorifying to God to not be “defective.” Yet, I’ve forgotten that point of so long ago and now I’m blessed to be reminded of it and can now learn how to work with those character traits so that they are life-giving instead of destructive, shaming or depressing. I just bought the book 🙂 Thank you SO much for your time and for the thoughtful effort you both put into this interview. I hope the Lord blesses you for all the help you give others.

    • Dear Terri,
      I’m so delighted you enjoyed the interview! Laurie is amazing; her wisdom and perspectives give new life into what many would believe to be hopeless. Yes, I too have some of the qualities I want to kick across the universe; hearing Laurie turn those into powerful and positive traits brings delight. There are times when I think….how does she think like that…come up with such a different perspective? It does sound as if you have gone through some devastating experiences; it’s my guess that the abuse nearly ruined you. Abuse causes us to believe we are worth nothing and have nothing good to offer. HOWEVER, since God is our maker, and he doesn’t make junk, then you are of immense value to Him and to others. I will pray that you will begin to see the things you believe are negative in a positive light. I think her book will be of tremendous support. Let me know how it comes along and what you are learning about you. Have a wonderful day. Colleen