You know that scene in every high school drama – the one where the new girl walks into the cafeteria, scans the room for a welcoming space, and resorts to sitting alone in the corner? Cheesy though it is, the feeling is one many of us can relate to.
Isolation in a crowded room. Entering a space you know you’re supposed to be in, and still feeling incredibly out of place.
Unfortunately, it’s something all too many women – myself included – have experienced in the church and in entering Christian culture.
Feeling like you don’t fit in is always painful, but it’s particularly hard when you’re entering a space that claims to offer community. It can be a deep wound and one that often feels hopeless to heal.
When I started my blog last year, I connected with some other Christian bloggers and writers pretty early on. It was exciting at first, to meet other people on the same path. But I realized quite quickly that I didn’t seem to fit in with the people I was talking to. We had different writing styles, career goals, and in all honesty, life plans.
We were all raised in a world that encourages a herd mentality: fit in, be one of the crowd, and when you don’t – there must be something deeply wrong with you.
But also – stick with me here – maybe the reason you don’t feel like you fit in is because you’re not supposed to.
Over and over, in the New Testament, we see Jesus puzzling others by who He spends time with. Rather than choosing all like-minded individuals who dressed the same, voted the same, and lived identical lives, He pursued, ate with, and befriended those that everyone else cast aside. Jesus’ ministry of radical love began long before the cross.
The God we serve is loving, inviting, and anything but cliquey. Christian spaces aren’t supposed to feel like a high school cafeteria.
You were created intentionally. Fearfully and wonderfully made by a Creator who knew what He was creating you for.
Your life, mission, talents, and passions aren’t supposed to resemble those of anyone else – and they’re certainly not an accident.
More often than not, it’s our own feeling of insecurity that creates that mindset of “I don’t fit in”. Isolation and loneliness are not God’s plan for your life. While not everyone will be your best friend, simply being who you were made to be will not keep you from finding community.
If you walk into a room, emotionally hunched over, convinced that you are too different, you’re going to have a much harder time feeling accepted – purely because of your own fear. But if you walk in confidence, knowing who you are and whose you are, you won’t HAVE to fit in to know that you belong.
If this is hitting home for you, there are three things you need to know.
Firstly, you are deeply and fully seen, known, and loved. Just as you are. Wherever you’re at.
Secondly, in your life, you will probably end up in spaces where, yeah, you actually don’t fit in – and that’s okay! Just as we were all made uniquely, we have our own sets of needs, desires, giftings, etc. and we’re not supposed to be everything all at once.
Don’t be afraid to try new things, meet new people, and explore what else is out there.
Thirdly, you’re in the right place. We are so glad that you’re here. The Well was created to help you find community with other imperfect women seeking Jesus – and you definitely fit in here.
To read more from Anika, visit her website.