Fitting In At the Foot of the Cross

I haven’t ever really fit in.  I grew up a poor, overweight, shy kid with a last name that just begged to be made fun of.  I didn’t have a lot of friends and lunchtime at school was brutal.  My only sanctuary during my middle school and high school years was the band room.  Music was literally my jam.  I was good at it and it provided me with the life-giving breath that I needed to make it through those years.

But over time, I’ve gotten more comfortable in my skin.  I’m still overweight and can still be aloof (because I’m an introvert that likes to listen more than I talk).  I also have a very mannish haircut, a nose ring, and a few tattoos (although only one is visible).  Oh, and I’m also studying to be a pastor.  In the south.  In a denomination that can, depending on which flavor, be somewhat hostile towards women preachers.  Thankfully, I’ve been blessed with a support system who affirm my calling and choice of hairstyles both of which make me feel empowered to be me.

Still, sometimes I feel exposed.  Like people are looking at me and judging me.  I’ve got this voice in my head that comes around periodically and reminds me of how much I don’t fit in.  Sometimes she whispers.  Other times she screams.  Then I start thinking I should probably grow my hair out and get rid of the piercings so I can be more feminine.  Maybe wear more dresses.  Or lose weight.  Definitely that.  Or learn how to be more outgoing.  Speak up more!

Why is it that we always want to change to fit other people’s expectations of what they think we should be?

Continue reading

Advertisements

A Place at the Table for Immigrants

 

Let me start off by saying that I’m, by no means an expert on immigration.  I was reminded of this as I wrote and rewrote this post based on new information I would find.  Although I’m not an expert and am still learning, I know that I can’t continue to live as though there aren’t people with thoughts, feelings, and needs affected by this issue.  Having said that, I apologize in advance for any fallacies below.

My views on immigration changed last Fall when I spoke with people going through the immigration process.  I’m ashamed to admit it, but I didn’t really know what a Dreamer was before then.  The people I spoke with are good people who are following all of the prescribed rules and desperately want to be either permanent residents or citizens.  I met someone whose husband has been waiting 18 years to become a permanent resident.  18 years!!!  You might think that’s impossible.  You might even think that I’m lying in order to get you to support the cause of immigrants.  I assure you that it’s not impossible and I’m not lying.  Trust me when I say that I was shocked at the information I’m about to give you.

Continue reading