“No matter how hard I try, no matter how fluently and magnificently I could ever answer their questions and no matter how much effort I make to show up to every gathering, I don’t think I will ever fit in or be enough.”
They thought they were just coming for a visit, but when your parents come over, no matter how old you are, sometimes its just inevitable and second nature for the weight of our hearts to buckle into the arms that embrace and breath grace over every thought or word. The breakfast bar jutting out between us, my parents sat, relaxed, elbows propped up, leaning in as I poured out of this desperate place.
I had been feeling the weight of not belonging, a feeling that blows through seasonly and hits just as hard every time as the last, like a subtle whisper telling me that while God calls others in clumps, so they can all comfort and support one another so they don’t have to be lonely, He calls me to an isolated ministry.
Now, that is obviously a bit of a fabrication from the enemy, but to my heart it can feel so weighty and true, especially when we are deep in the troughs of sanctification.
My mom affirmed those feelings for me, validating my feelings- not in the everyone-hates-you kind of way but in the ‘it happens’ kind of way, while my dad reminded me of their own struggles, and that not everyone is going to be friends with everyone.
And that is so true.
I have been in that place before, where I have appreciated other’s friendships even to the exclusion of myself. But lately, the problem has felt bigger than that. Because I know I’m not the only member of the body of Christ who feels unvalued and alone.
In the church today, sometimes it seems like no one wants to reach out to anyone or take time to minister to anyone that isn’t noticed or deemed valuable to someone of importance or stature.
We all want to minister to our friends or friends of friends, but do we really want to minister to the people who others see as annoying, or the person who no one knows and no one else has yet attempted to know?
My brother is a pastor. I’ve watched people go from uncool and unnoticed to cool just because he has had eyes to see them as valuable.
I’ve seen rooms full of women coming to hear one woman pour out her heart and share what the Lord has given her and I’ve seen an empty room when another is placed on the schedule.
I don’t want to be a member of that family.
If that is what God’s family looks like, I don’t want it.
And it’s not. That isn’t the way of the Father. Jesus didn’t sit with the Pharisees and religious leaders. The Holy Spirit didn’t come rushing in because people were educated and achieved diplomas.
He came to the broken hearted.
He came to the sick.
He came to the people society shut out and called outcasts.
He came to the people deemed unworthy and sin-soaked.
So when we set up our buildings and surround ourselves with a bunch of people that others would want to be around instead of the people God would want to be around, we are not experiencing His kingdom.
We’re experiencing our own.
In Ezekiel 35, God calls out the shepherds. He reminds them that he anointed them to shepherd His people, but they weren’t actually shepherding anymore. They were sitting comfortably, enjoying the elevated status without actually utilizing the anointing He poured into them. Without actually fulfilling their destined purpose.
I don’t want to be that shepherd.
Father, remove our hearts of stone and give us hearts of flesh and eyes to see. Flood us with your compassion and remind us of the anointing you’ve placed within us. Remind us of your family.
It’s your turn, love. Break the silence. Spill your guts.