When You Don’t Belong

Have you ever felt like a fish out of water? I have. I’ve spent my entire life feeling that way. In grammar school, I used to pass by a cheesy early nineties poster that read, “March to the beat of your own drummer.” I swear it was the hope that I clung to for years. I would think: Maybe I’m not weird. Maybe there are other people “out-there” who will “get” me. Maybe….

What began as a hope in the heart became a reality in my early 20s. My husband and I started attending an awesome church that was filled with the most loving, kind, graceful, intelligent people I had ever met. I felt like this was a group that wouldn’t want me around since they were so cool … and hip… and… well… not like ~me~. But I found myself accepting their invitation of friendship and living in true community. It was a mind blowing, heart exploding, “I-can’t-believe-I-get-to-experience this” life for about 6 years.

That’s why when I had to prepare to move away (now nearly two years ago) for my husband’s job, there was panic. I knew I’d never experience this kind of community again. And despite killing that fear in my heart, the past year and half has proven it to be true. For a year and a half, I’ve trudged through in our new local and church communities, knowing I don’t belong. That once again, I was the fish out of water. Crisis set in.

I can’t do this forever.

I can’t live this way.

Maybe you can relate?

The truth is, we can’t do life alone. We can’t even do it with just a spouse or partner. Life was meant to be lived in community.

But what if you are in a church, a group, a community and you’re still not connecting? What if people around you are willing to be in community, but there’s a barrier that stops you from going forward? What then?

And maybe even more dreadful, what if you have to stay put in a community where you just don’t jive with others?

Well, Ephesians 2 may hold the answer. In it, Paul is writing to a group that actually didn’t belong with God’s people. He recounts how Jesus made it so they could belong. He pens the beautiful truth that:

“Jesus is our peace. He has made us one group. There’s no more labels. He breaks down the walls of hostility. AND… that He reconciles us both to God and to the church.”

So, the question and conviction comes when we apply Ephesians 2 and ask ourselves: Are we stopping Jesus from doing what He wants to do? Are we hindering the work that He died to do? Will we “allow” Jesus to reconcile us to others?

And even more poignantly, will will let Jesus reconcile us to the church?

Ouch.

There’s a requirement of letting go in order to do that. Letting go of grievances. Letting go of perceptions. Letting go of labels. Letting go of insecurities. Just letting go.

But if we belong to Him, the answer to “will you…” has to be yes if we’re going to keep growing in Him and with others. I hope this blesses you.