For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to belong somewhere. I have always felt different. Sort of like I’m standing just outside of the circle. I’m not quite included. I always imagine that the group in that circle will just move on and if I don’t keep up I’ll be left behind because I’m not actually in the group. I just stand around with them.
I think this is why I liked being school clubs. I knew I belonged there. We were all actors. We all built sets, hung lights, did the make up, and mended costumes. Well, I didn’t mend costumes and I kept my feet firmly planted on the ground, but I helped with those things. We were like family for that short time.
Youth group. I LOVED youth group. It also helps that I spent all my time with the youth group leaders, Ralph & Teresa. Ralph taught me how to drive, geometry, and other stuff. Teresa taught me how to make chicken & dumpings, introduced me to Cinnabon, and made me laugh so hard I’d thought I’d pee my pants. Oh my, just thinking about the toy store in the outlet mall in Lincoln City makes me start to laugh even now. She also showed me that I can still be loved even when walking in complete disobedience. She loved me in my rebellion and rejoiced when I, the prodigal, came back home.
I did feel like I belonged when I first became a Christian. I went to church and youth group. I did feel like we were family. Although, I didn’t understand why those pesky boys were always teasing me. I didn’t grow up with siblings in the home and I didn’t have a brother, so I didn’t understand that kind of teasing. I have to say, I miss those guys. Mostly.
For the first time since I grew up and left that church I am beginning to wonder if I can belong again. Yesterday at church I heard things that stirred me. I’ve heard things before. I even wrote them in my journal last year, but nothing changed. This time, though…this time, it felt like change. When Jim was talking about how the church has been a church of transition for the past 10 years I realized that I have felt like that, too. Like I am just here for a short time. When I was first married we moved about 7 times in a year and a half. I’ve been in this house for 5 years, but it was never meant to last this long. 12 moves total in 10 years. That’s a lot for this girl who lived in the same house her entire life. We moved in here with the expectation that we’d move on in 2 years. I kept going to my church in Mac. I kept up with all my Mac activities and friends. I didn’t intend on becoming part of this Sheridan. I wanted to be in Mac. I didn’t even unpack all the way because I was moving on. My friend, Tim, would ask me every week if I knew the names of cashiers or my neighbors. He’d ask what I was doing to build the Kingdom here in Sheridan? I’d laugh and tell him that I’m not going to connect here because I never wanted to be here. We’re on a 7 year balloon payment because this was so temporary. Now I know I’ll have to move on unless a miracle happens.
Yesterday I realized that we never know for sure how long we’ll be somewhere. None of us do. I decided that where ever I am, I want to be completely there.
Now, I just have to figure out what that means for my family and me.
Friends who trust me. I feel so unworthy of such trust.
Purple painted fingernails.
A dog that loves me.
The cleansing power of lemons and sugar. My skin is so soft today.
Church yesterday. Jim’s first day as Pastor.
Children who desire to bless and please me.
Children who play pretend and call it, “being in skits with each other”.