Where Do You Fit in Church?

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photo credit: industyweek.com

I sat on the outside aisle taking it all in. The lights, the music, the lyrics. I was surrounded alone. Surrounded by people of like mind, of like faith, yet something in me couldn’t process it. I wasn’t struggling in my faith. I wasn’t having an emotional crisis. I was, I still am, fed up.

Institution bothers me. And somehow the Sunday morning from 10-12 has become just that, and I am suffocating. My edges have never fit in the smooth curves of normal. But the frustration comes from a different place. I don’t need to feel normal. I just need to feel like I, with all of my angles, am loved, valued and important.

Church isn’t the place for that.

Before you get mad and defensive or try to save me from the devil or myself, know that I’m doing just fine. My faith is in tact. I still love God and believe it all, even when I don’t understand it. And maybe this is one of those things I don’t understand. Or maybe we’ve got it wrong.

Church as it is works great when you don’t know God. When you’re spirit is crying to be saved and you’re at rock bottom. Church can go into the trenches for the desperate ones and soothe them helping them climb out of the darkness.

Church is perfect for the pretty people with pasted on smiles that were yelling at their spouse and kids to hurry up and stop fighting just thirty minutes earlier. But only if they’re willing to enter Stepford as they cross the threshold.

Church is amazing at taking you and laying you down, if you’re willing of course. It will be happy to trod all over you in the name of service leaving you covered in mud with the heart pressed out of you.

The thing that church is not so good at. Normal. The normal, everyday people that aren’t in crisis, yet don’t want to fake it. The ones who have shattered the mask and don’t want to put it back together. The ones trying to live a life of faith and love in the midst of piles of laundry, bills that are late, and the kids that keep fighting.

Where is the room for real life in church? Because I haven’t found it.

If you’re not in the pit, Stepford or a doormat how do you fit in church? Is there even a place for people that are that are working and walking the best they can in the everyday? What about the feeling that church is just one more thing on the perpetual list?

I don’t know what to do with this. I’m not angry or bitter, but disillusioned and tired.

I’ve lost pieces of me trying to fit where I was never meant to belong.

I wonder if I’m the only one tired of the institution and desperately missing the body. The body that believes and loves and walks through it all together. Maybe I just have too many angles.

Somehow I don’t think the cross had curved edges.


8 thoughts on “Where Do You Fit in Church?

  1. I stumbled upon your writing thru InCourage. You are very talented and I like how you honestly bare your soul. This post is how I feel 100%. It is not how Jesus intended the “church” to be I feel. Have you read Love Does by Bob Goff? Just wish churches were more like this. Thank you for sharing your gift!

    • Hi Amy!

      I am not sure what happened, but this comment got lost in the great big internet! I’m so glad I found it.

      Thank you for your kind words. It’s so nice to know we’re not alone, isn’t it? I’ve never read Love Does. I’ll have to add it to my list!

  2. Thank you for this post! I’ve definitely been struggling through these feelings and figuring out this modern day church and where I fit in.

    • Nina, It can be so tricky, can’t it?! I’m navigating it one step at a time. So excited about the new series I have coming up about the church. If you’re interested, you can get it right to your inbox by signing up 🙂

      And I have no idea how, but this comment got lost in a black hole on the internet. I’m so grateful I found it though 🙂

  3. Becky,
    I really appreciate this honest message as well as your writing voice. I have also struggled with church and feeling judged and that I can’t be myself in it. I think it’s a really important topic that needs a voice.

    I grew up as an Eastern Orthodox Christian and it provided a great community for me. In certain churches I feel very comfortable and others leave me feeling bruised and wounded.

    I have found a church where I live in Santa Rosa, CA that is great because it has a bunch of normal people.

    I have come back to the church by setting boundaries and understanding that I have a voice-my own thoughts, feelings, emotions and beliefs are just as valid as the next person, no matter what leadership role he is in.

    I’m not telling you to go back to church, I’m telling you that I understand the pain that a church can create. I’m sorry that it has done that to you.

    It seems we need a new church that supports people in the light of true God.


    • Marina, I hear you so deeply in my heart. That balance of boundaries and understanding is a tightrope and the only way to walk it well is when our eyes are on Jesus. Amen?

      I have a new series coming up soon on the church. If you are interested you can sign up and the posts will come right to your inbox. And I’m sorry. This comment must have gotten lost in a black hole on the internet….so glad I’m seeing it now though 🙂

  4. Becky,
    I relate to this post. I grew up in that church you are talking about. I didn’t want to go to church, and it felt like punishment to do so. I have always struggled with feeling that I should “want” to go — but I don’t. I now attend church someplace that is real and has room for all of us with problems (I think that would be all of us). Church gives me an opportunity to worship and learn, but still, sometimes I long for the closeness that I have with my christian girlfriends. (I happen to have the best friends in the world.) Maybe that’s something “church” just can’t provide.

    I just found your blog, I’m enjoying your personality, and I think we might be soul sisters (books, chocolate, tv, and tea!) Bless you for writing in truth!

    • I think it’s so easy for us (humans, people, sinners with the best of intentions) to complicate church. Then I becomes something so different from what it was supposed to be.

      You should know, you are not alone friend.

      Also, I’m always up for a soul sister when it combines these favorites 🙂

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