A throwback to encourage y’all to be who you are and find tables that welcome you AND those no one else wants. It’s hard work, but it’s blessed work.
I’ve been thinking a lot about life lately, specifically my place in it.
I’ve been to church on-and-off throughout my life, and I’ve been drawn back to it so many times that I don’t just work with one; I’m now planning to pursue a seminary degree so I can one day lead one.
It’s exciting. And nerve-wracking. And I honestly don’t know if I’ll get the money to do it.
But the thing I’m most worried about is…where is my place?
Where is my place in the Church? And in this crazy journey called life?
Where is the place for the girl who:
Watches The Simpsons and Family Guy over Veggie Tails and CTN?
Swears, thinks, worries, doubt, and talks a little too much?
Fawned over Lion King and Peter Ban instead of Belle and Cinderella?
Obsessively read Harry Potter when told it was bad?
Gets excited over the Banned Books list?
Comes from a very non-traditional family?
Pursued a degree in Philosophy and Religion over…anything practical?
Struggled with God, mercy, justice, love, equality throughout the years of being surrounded by those who seemed so certain?
Played in the marching band instead of sports?
Wants to lead boldly instead of submit quietly?
I’ve made my places at tables before. At church the spots seemed readily available, even in leadership. In band, I made my place by performing better (or worse) than others in my section.
But when it comes to Church, to ministry, to making my place in this world and giving life back after being given so much, there seems to simultaneously be too much space available and not enough.
I have so many dreams and ideas but am not sure which ones to pursue. I have so many fears and insecurities that I feel limited. I feel pressure from myself and “society” to make a decision now, and my feet are frozen in doubt.
I know a bit of what my place is not. I know I cannot work in an office, or simply be a scholar, or only be deemed worthy as someone’s wife and mother.
I also know the craziness and chaos of life in ministry. I worry that the constant pouring into others will drain me to unforgivable exhaustion, and I fear the harsh words from those who question whether or not I’m fit for my vocation, for every reason from my sex to my story.
But if I say with so many others that Jesus makes room for everyone at His Table, and if everyone truly means everyone, from the sinners and saints, the rich and poor, the gay and straight, the USA and the world, Christians and Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists and Jews, I’ve got to accept that I’m part of that glorious Everyone, too.
But where will I sit at such an elaborate table?