I don’t fit in. Over the years I have tried to fit in at different times and in different places. I used to wish that I could fit in. And sometimes I would try to stay quiet and trick people into thinking that I fit in. But the truth is, I don’t fit in. And I have accepted it. In fact, I am learning to embrace it, although there are still times when it is hard.
I am a Bible believing evangelical pastor, and I am a woman. Now that I have children, I stay home with them, but I also preach, teach, and lead as called. I am passionate about issues facing women and girls, I am passionate about poor and marginalized populations, and I am passionate about living out God’s word, and sharing the gospel of Jesus. My heart breaks over cultural messages that are leading people away from God’s word. And my heart breaks over some messages from churches that are leading people away from God’s word.
My more “conservative” reading of Scripture tends to put me at odds with some of the more “liberal” churches that have embraced women in ministry. My gender, and my understanding of Scripture passages about women in ministry, put me at odds with some of the more “conservative” churches that prohibit women from holding the office of pastor or elder.
So I often find myself afloat on a sea of Christian judgment, being too liberal for the conservatives, and too conservative for the liberals.
And although being tossed around by the waves is sometimes accompanied by a bit of sea sickness, I think, over all, it is a good place to be.
Christ didn’t call us to find groups of people who agree with us on everything, and then hang out with them so we feel good about ourselves. He also didn’t call us to be disagreeable people, belittling those who disagree with us, with a self righteous attitude. He simply called us to live in him, walk with him, and trust in him. And if that leads me to places where I don’t fit in, then that is where God wants me… getting the tiniest taste of what it means to be an outsider, learning to gently and faithfully preach what God has shown me, even when others disagree, and finding my identity in Christ only, not in my church, not in my friends, not in my fellow Christians, but in Christ alone.
The world may not know what to do with me, but that’s OK. God does.