D.U.F.F. Graduation (Dumb Ugly Fat Friend)

Do we ever graduate from being D.U.F.F.s?
You know, the “Dumb Ugly Fat Friend?”


I watched a movie with Layne recently called “DUFF.”
Had I known what it was about I probably would have passed. Too many memories . . . because for years I was the DUFF in every social situation.

The Dumb. Ugly. Fat. Friend.


I’ve been blessed throughout my life to have great friends!
I would not trade ANY of those relationships.

But really . . . my friends have always been beautiful or handsome! AND smart!
AND . . . They could pass Chemistry and Geometry without some assistance from the nice guy who sat in front of me. He always moved his elbow to the left during the major exams.
They could pass the drivers license test at the age of 16 and (not 18). Those three point road turns in a 1980 Mercury Marquis (aka LAND-BARGE) got me every time.
They didn’t have stretch marks by the age of 9 because they gained 35 pounds in one year. (I ate through my grief at the death of my mom, Velveeta, Bread, and Mayo were daily staples).
And my favorite . . . none of them were kicked out of the Academically Gifted Program in 10th grade because their IQ dropped so drastically.


Everyone else always seemed to have it all!
I was just “the nice girl.” The D.U.F.F.

As Layne and I watched the movie, I wondered, “Do we ever really graduate from being D.U.F.F.s?”


The movie had a plot that consisted of the fact that we ALL are duffs in some aspect!
None of us are the best at everything . . .
There is always someone smarter, taller, shorter, more toned/physically fit, intelligent, rich, connected, have more friends, more social . . .need I go on?

We will never be the best in everything! In fact, we there’s a good chance we might not be the best in ANYTHING.

It might seem cliché BUT we can be the best at something. We are gifted to be the BEST in ONE thing . . . and that is being who WE are individually created to be. Each of us determines that for ourselves; not by a standard or metric set by society or our peers.

Therefore, yes, Andrea, you can graduate from being a D.U.F.F.!

A few months ago I was being considered to be a presenter/speaker at a National Conference. I tried not to think about it a lot because I knew I would get my hopes up! That sounded VERY cool as I do have an affinity for talking!

I got a phone call and an “ask.” However, the longer I listened to the call the more I realized, “Wait, this is not the ask I had hoped for.”

I was second.

“Would you be willing to be a speaker in one of our workshops and your partner is _____?”

I knew that the “hurt feelings” were nothing more than pride and ego (sin). So as I found myself having those hurt feelings I did try to pray that I would let them go and frankly, get over myself and my ego.

However, I did have some anxiety with the whole, “Your partner in presenting will be _______.”

If this were 10 years ago I would say “YES!” immediately!

Yet now, when the workshop is on how to start a new worship service, my anxiety increases when I wonder if a professor at a prestigious university would even WANT to tolerate my crazy ideas that seem to reach folks in my ministry setting/context.

I decided I would make it work because it would be a cool opportunity to learn from a scholar who writes books on the history and meaning of worship and how that transfers to today.

As I was talking with one of my friends, a dynamic, unique, fantastic friend, she asked me what our content would be.

I told her I had no idea, the professor was in his writing season and would not be getting back to me until mid-July.
She asked me why I was going to wait until he told me what to do before I jotted down some notes on my own.

I wondered if she had gone through some type of lobotomy.

ME give a professor an outline for a workshop on starting a new worship service? HA HA HA! I was just going to wait on him to tell me what to do. I figured that was the way it should be. I am not “learn-ed” enough to be the one taking the initiative.

I resorted to being the D.U.F.F.


You see, being a D.U.F.F. is not just something we live into when we are in high school and encounter some bullies in our lives.


Far too often we resort to being a D.U.F.F. when we feel inadequate, ungifted, or like we are not capable of being or having more in life.

Yet that is the wrong way to view both life and ourselves!
Both Jesus and then later the Apostle Paul talk about how we can do far more than we ask or imagine if we rely on the power of the Holy Spirit within us . . .

As Richard Rohr writes, “The Crucified revealed to the world that the real power that changes people and the world is an inner authority that comes from people who have lost, let go, and re-found on a new level.”

Letting Go is key! Coming to know who we are in God (and remember, God is Love) and thus, who we are, period.

In the season of graduation and looking ahead to new things . . . we can all graduate from something to something.

For me, my hope is to reclassify myself. No longer a D.U.F.F. but become B.U.F.F. Not the weight-lifting B.U.F.F. because that doesn’t have high odds of happening, but a different B.U.F.F.   . . .

One who does know something about ministry. One who isn’t defined by weight or Velveeta.
One who is lucky enough to have some folks who love me regardless of any external factors.

I can be a B.U.F.F.
Bright. Unique. Fun. Friend.

Not a D.U.F.F. but a B.U.F.F. It will take some work but,

20 Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us. Ephesians 3:20.