08 Nov A Place To Belong
Do you ever feel out of place? Like you’re just somewhere you don’t belong? I’m willing to bet that you’re a lot like me and can answer “yes” to these questions. In fact, I feel this way all the time. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always felt like it was hard to fit in and as much as I try, these same thoughts always run through my head; “What if they don’t like me?” “What if I embarrass myself?” “What if I sound unintelligent?” “What if there’s something wrong with how I look?” This list of insecurities can go on and on. I’m sure you can relate.
Growing up I felt this way in church quite often. I felt like everything I did was never good enough to the church leaders but I still went to church, Youth Group and played drums for the worship team every week. I even considered attending a Bible college after high school. But eventually the way I felt treated and viewed in the eyes of those at church, like they never liked my appearance or my choices (even though they were harmless and didn’t lead me away from following Jesus), caused me to feel so insecure that I walked away from church and God altogether. The next few years after that, I lived life as if there were no consequences. Who I was drastically changed and I found myself in some of my lowest points mentally. I left that once promising life filled with following Jesus and whatever his calling for me was behind and told myself I wasn’t good enough for that life. Who I was wasn’t good enough for the people around me, so why would it be good enough for Jesus?
Once I got to my mid-twenties, I knew that I had been living all wrong and that my life needed a new direction. My brothers had both been attending The Journey and serving there for a while. They invited me numerous times but I was hurt by my previous experiences with church so I was hesitant. Eventually I caved. From the second I entered the building, I was greeted with smiles and people were genuinely excited to meet me. I was blown away. It felt strange but I decided to give it a chance. I kept coming back and I loved it so much. My view of church had been completely changed. After attending a bit, I felt the need to get plugged in and start serving. But that’s where my insecurity truly kicked in. What did I have to offer people? What good could I do that would help anyone? I’m an introvert who could barely hold a conversation with anyone. Whose life could I impact?
A verse that comes to mind is 1 Timothy 4:12 NLT. It says, “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” You might be thinking the word “young” doesn’t apply to you here. That word can be replaced with older, shy, damaged, mentally unhealthy, imperfect, etc. Whatever you fill-in-the-blank with, you are a child of God and this absolutely applies to you. So, what insecurity is holding you back from what God has called you to? From living out your faith by showing the love of Jesus and doing something awesome for others? With God, you can overcome that. And that becomes your testimony. There is something in all of us that God wants to use for others so that they can find Jesus and follow him fully. In spite of any insecurities we may feel.
Because my brothers lived that out, I’ve now been serving consistently for the past four years, serving on two teams and I couldn’t imagine life any other way than living a life surrendered to Jesus. I’ve seen people find hope. I’ve seen students lead others to Jesus. I’ve watched a room change through powerful worship because the Holy Spirit was there with us. I’ve seen the broken give their struggles to Jesus and start a new life with him. The stories of life change you see and hear through serving continue to strengthen you and give you the courage to see past your insecurities to help others see Jesus through you. So what is it in that can be used to help others find Jesus and follow him fully?
Journey Students Team Leader
Journey Worship J-Teamer