Rejection and Rejoicing {A Story of Not Fitting In}

 

Not fitting in is one of the most uncomfortable feelings in the world.

 

I was that kid in high school.  Or maybe we were all that kid.  I never fully clicked with any clique.  I could roll with the rednecks, I could roll with the freaks, I could chameleon myself into most groups.  But none were ever quite the right fit.  I was just . . . floating.  Smiling and nodding at whoever I happened to be around at that moment.

 

Such is life, I suppose.

 

If only we left this silly awkwardness behind in puberty. But so often this little social phenomenon, it follows us right into adulthood.  You are blessed indeed if you find a “tribe” of people who love and respect and get you in your own skin – even if that skin doesn’t come in cookie-cutter.

 

I’ve been riding a certain social fence for too long now. On one side sit the conservatives, the Republicans, the traditionalists. And on the other? On the other side sit the people I long to feel comfortable around.  They’re the evangelical rebels.  The truth tellers, the fearless ones.

 

Yet I’ve stayed on this wretched fence for various reasons – even though it’s unfulfilling, restricting, or even sometimes painful. And it’s greatly influenced what I say on my own blog – has caused me to write chained. Because you know what’s worse than not perfectly clicking with a group? Being rejected from it.  Being revoked of the option to try.

 

But as fate (or God) would have it, in these past couple of years I’ve found myself not leaping or falling onto the more comfortable side of the fence that I longed for but . . . being pushed.

 

And even though I knew it was right and natural for me to pick a side, I guess I just wanted to be the one to do the picking. Or I wanted to ride the fence forever.  But what I didn’t want under any circumstance was to be rejected by either side.

 

So I remained cautious. I dipped my toe and I flirted with jumping in with the rebels. And the crowd, they gasped. Then they either ran to catch me or shrunk back to protect themselves from my landing.

 

When, earlier this year, I made the decision to write about our journey of leaving our traditional church and fleshing out the why’s of it – I was let go from one of my writing commitments for a conservative site. With gentleness and respect it was explained to me that they no longer felt comfortable linking to my site.

 

And it hurt like a bitch.

 

I wish I could say I’m not bitter – but I am.  Despite the fact that I knew long before I was released from that obligation that I wasn’t a good fit for that group, it still stung to be rejected.

 

But it’s okay.

 

As time goes on I’m embracing the truth that when we let go of the things tying us down from our true skins and callings, new opportunities blossom to replace them.

 

Next week I’ll be debuting my first post on a brand new site that I am blessed to be a part of.  A Deeper Story has branched out into two new channels and I am ecstatic to be one of the new writers for A Deeper Family. The writings are going to be real and they’re going to be raw.

 

I’m so relieved to have “picked” a side of the fence and fallen amongst open and like-minded souls. Stay tuned.

 

 -Jessica

Comments

  1. I know whatcha mean. I’m going through it right now, as I being more open with real me that many find too weird and radical. I find people second guessing me and my advice, now that they know I’m not a right wing conservative Republican and that I’m unschooling. But luckily I have some people close to me that have gone through the same thing and identify the feelings I have. Best of luck on the writing gig, and can’t wait to read what you have in store for us!

    • No on ever told me turning 30 would feel so much like turning 15. I do feel like I’m slowly finding my “tribe” through. Hope you do, too.

  2. Trust me, us rebels have way more fun!
    Travis Mamone recently posted..Jesus DOES Offer EqualityMy Profile

  3. Hey girl! I don’t know how much of a rebel you’ve become, but I love me some you!
    It is true that I am conservative, but not necessarily fit into the “republican party” side of things. Things in this life go so much deeper than that…its about our love walk. Bump politics. Without love, none of those things mean a thing (It don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing). ;)

    I absolutely hate that you were pushed off the fence. I’ve been a fence rider on things myself. I’m finding more and more things that are disgusting me in some circles (tribes), but yet, I ride the fence. Perhaps, one day, I’ll get my push too. :P I think that if some folks really took the time to deep-down connect with me, they’d see that I’m a lot more charismatic than neat packaged religion. But anywho…

    I’m glad to get to KNOW you, Jessica; to hear your voice in things, to continue to receive your posts in my email, to pray with/for you. You give me plenty opportunity to see more than whats in my “bubble”. I appreciate that.
    Love you!
    Kela recently posted..Radically In LoveMy Profile

  4. We always fit in with each other :)
    Neffer recently posted..Suwannee River, 8/4/12My Profile

  5. I don’t think any of us ever fits in completely with a group. The hope for each of us, I think, is not so much to find a group where we fit (though that is a delight when it happens), but when we’re IN a group, to make space for those who don’t necessarily fit. I’m thankful for those who have done that for me when I didn’t fit, and I hope to find ways to do that when I’m the one on the inside.
    Alise recently posted..God Is Not EnoughMy Profile

    • Alise – I LOVE this response. What a great heart you have. And Jessica? Yeah, I know that awkward fence-sitting posture, too. I’m so glad you’ve found some space that feels a bit more like home to you at ADF. Same is true for me. (And BTW, EVERY decade birthday feels a lot like turning 15. Hate to tell you, but it’s true.)
      Diana Trautwein recently posted..31 Days in which I Am Saved by Beauty – Day 7My Profile

  6. Great post! It’s amazing how we can completely disagree with a person on what they say and stand for and yet still feel hurt when they reject us. I totally do this. Glad I’m not alone.
    Kate Hall recently posted..What Is the Hardest Thing You Have Ever Experienced? (Blog Challenge Day 6)My Profile

  7. So needed to read this today. Totally and completely described what I’m going through these past few years.

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