Saturday, July 9, 2016

Misfit


All of my life I've struggled with the following feelings:

I'm a misfit. 
I don't belong. 
I'm different. 
I'm not part of the popular crowd. 
I'm not good enough.

For the most part I've overcome those feelings, but from time to time they rise up inside of me again.

I felt that way when I went to college and then on to seminary and many of the students were from families with a long heritage in our denomination.  There seemed to be this club where if you had the right name, you were accepted.  I came from a single parent home, was unknown and to be honest, felt "not good enough."

I went on to work for an inner city ministry and those feelings dissipated.  For much of our church ministry they have been silent.   This past week they rose again.  As we spent the week at our district's family camp they were so loud that I could barely think.  As I saw people who have grown up going to this camp get together, the thoughts and feelings chattered at me.  I saw the comradery and fellowship they had and felt like was on the outside, looking in.

Quite a few times I heard pastors of larger churches being held up as the ones on the cutting edge of ministry.  During those times, I felt that feeling of dejection and that inner voice, "You and Dan are meaningless."  "Small church pastors don't count." 

As people nodded to me only to talk animatedly with the person beside me, I realized that those feelings I thought were long gone were still there.  And I don't like that feeling.

But then the Lord reminded me that my life is not about me.  It's not about receiving recognition, accolades and praise.  It's about serving Him.  And He reminded me of the verses that I claimed long ago as my life verses and asked me the following question.  "Can you continue to serve me even if no one notices?"   "Even if you are snubbed and ignored?"  "Can you do my will even if you are alone?"

And my answer is, "Yes!"  That has always been my desire and I do believe that He reminds me of that from time to time.  I may be a misfit in the world's eyes but in His eyes I am His daughter and He loves me.  That should be enough.

Philippians 2:3-8 (HCSB) ~

Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus,
who, existing in the form of God,
did not consider equality with God
as something to be used for His own advantage.
Instead He emptied Himself
by assuming the form of a slave,
taking on the likeness of men.
And when He had come as a man
in His external form,
He humbled Himself by becoming obedient
to the point of death—
even to death on a cross.