Tuesday, June 26, 2012

“You’re not one of us”


I’ve never been much of a joiner, someone who seeks to be a part of a group, to belong. I didn’t join any sororities. I have always had several groups of friends while not belonging to any. I haven’t even officially joined a church though I was baptized. Belonging gets in the way of my rebellious nature.

I actually walked away from the group in high school which claimed me (long story) so I’m in the senior picture with them but I personally didn’t count myself as one of them; and in time they have confirmed my status. I do feel poorly about my action though I’ve been able to move on for the most part.

So, when I was told “You’re not one of us” a few years ago by another group, I couldn’t figure out why that still bothers me to this day.

I wasn’t looking to be “one of them.” And now I feel like it’s a repeat, that in time this group is confirming my status. Even the people in the group who claim friendship with me… I feel like I could disappear and not be noticed. In fact, I pretty much have disappeared. If they have noticed, I have not noticed any indication of it. If any have missed me, I don’t know about it.

Yet for my friend’s sake, I recently went to an event where that Group was also. The day after was really difficult for me. Spending that much time, practically the entire day, with them replays in my mind.
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I have been debating whether or not to use aliases for people and I think I will. Even though people close to the subject should immediately recognize to whom I will be referring, I don’t want those outside to think poorly of these people.

My friend Tanya and her husband Kirk are good friends of mine and of the Group. Whenever I have the chance, I hang out with them. Usually that has meant that even if they’re going to meet up with the Group, I will still go with them. I don’t know if I can do that anymore and I feel poorly about it.

I’m not as strong and confident as I used to be. Besides my own private struggle, the experiences with the Group have really… brought me down further.

To see those faces just makes me feel bad because all I hear in my mind is “You’re not one of us.” I can’t see how I will ever be comfortable around them. I still leave room that “all things are possible,” but this? Peace in my heart?

Usually I don’t care for my own comfort. Usually, this wouldn’t matter to me enough to cause me to react. I wouldn’t be motivated by discomfort. If it’s the right thing to do, I try my best to do it no matter my comfort level.

Now I find myself cutting all possible ties with them and people related. I find myself avoiding them whenever possible.

And so I tried to put on a brave front recently, but I’m about spent.
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One in the Group, Bradley, has tried a few times, when everyone else was preoccupied, to have small talk with me. I’m not skilled at small talk, or with lying, and I am so uncomfortable with him that he probably thinks I’m being a snob or that I’m holding a grudge.

The thing is, all of the junk in the past is still unresolved for me and so I have no idea what to say. I’m not intending to be rude and I’m not in the habit of snobbing people. I’m really not!

I appreciate him trying and I can’t think that it’s easy for him to do. Yet how can I make small talk with someone whom has never taken responsibility for being mean to me?

The one who actually said the words to my face in front of others, “You’re not one of us,” I have avoided at all cost. He has made no effort at all and I doubt anyone will encourage him to do so or that he’ll think on his own that he ought to do so.

Whatever “ministry” they might be doing, I don’t care about it. It seems false to me. They might be doing good actions, they might be doing actual ministry, but I don’t see it. I don’t believe that they genuinely care about people and sometimes even about Jesus. I can’t see it because things are unresolved.

I want to see it. I want to believe that God moves. I want to know that they are doing well.
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All of this is a major reason why I have left the church that I love. It’s killing me, it really is. But they’re there and all I will see is “You’re not one of us.”

How can Christians say that to one another and think that we’ll make an impact on non-believers? How can I attend a church and worship the God I love when people are saying “You’re not one of us?”

How can I go and fellowship in the presence of people who are the face of my bitterness?

How can I be effective in ministry?

How can I tell others how great God is while I’m so sad about God’s people?
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Besides Tanya and Kirk, there is one other in the Group who means a great deal to me. I’m so scared that my pain with the Group will forever keep us apart. Because I am never willing to be a divisive factor- which is why I tend to walk away from such situations- in this case between this person and the Group, I’m not looking for a choice to be made, me or them.

I’m so afraid that it will come to that.

It shouldn’t have to come to that.

I don’t understand. I just don’t understand why this person didn’t walk away from me when I gave the chance. I don’t understand why this person just won’t let me disappear like everyone else has. I don’t understand.

I can’t think that I’m worth all the trouble.

I don’t want drama.
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I’m not entirely innocent of all this. I did not manage the ministry well or give it the start it deserved. I got distracted from the task I was given. I wasn’t the leader that I ought to have been.

Yet I can’t think that I did anything to deserve such cruelty. The second thing that echoes in my mind is that I was called a “dictator.” I didn’t demand anything of them. I didn’t withhold anything. They were set against me from nearly the beginning. I wanted the chance to dare. They wanted… something else, expected something else of me.

And so this dictator is not one of them. This dictator surrendered the position that was never hers and disappeared.

I’m not one of them, and what follows in my mind, though they didn’t say it out loud, is that I never will be.

And it’s still not what I want, to be one of them.

I just want to be free of the pain and to be reunited with the church that I love.

I tried as long as I could to be strong and brave for the sake of others. I’ve let them down.

If you’re not a part of this situation, and I seem to disappear from you a bit, please I hope you know now that it isn’t you. I might just be struggling and I don’t mean any disrespect to you. It’s not an excuse at all; I’m simply saying that pain tends to influence poor behavior and I apologize for my poor behavior. My pain doesn’t make my behavior right.

Mahalo for reading and if you’re a praying person, please say a prayer that God does something amazing to change our hearts towards him, for in that will be the healing.