The Lord did not people the earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world. Every instrument is precious and adds to the complex beauty of the symphony.
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin
This was exactly what we needed to hear this conference.
My husband and I are misfits, and we always will be. I don’t have to think about it much, because I’m off in the haven that is Primary. My husband attends Gospel Doctrine, though, and just about every Sunday I get to hear about what a horrible time he’s had in class. He doesn’t view a lot of things the same way most other people do.
We were talking about it last night as we sat in the church parking lot waiting for our daughter to return from her trip to Utah for General Conference. He said he doesn’t really place blame anywhere—and compared it to being a foreigner. It is a bit like that for us. We don’t have the same background, lifestyle, or outlook as most of the people we meet at church. It’s almost like we speak a different language.
Our kids feel it, too. My daughter bore her testimony recently and said our family are misfits, but it’s ok because we all fit in with each other, which is sweet. And a really super nice older woman told me later, “Don’t worry, we all feel like we don’t fit in,” which I think is true. But she doesn’t know us well enough to realize just how much we don’t fit in.
I told my husband I don’t want to fit in (I like who we are), and I think it might be worse to want to fit in and not be able to.
I had an email conversation with a commenter on this blog recently about not fitting the mold. He told me because we don’t fit the mold yet are strong in the church we’re in a position to have a lot of positive influence. I assume he means we can help others who are less active because they don’t fit the mold feel more comfortable in coming to church. And I have seen that. My son has really long hair. It’s not that unusual for boys to have long hair where we live—but his is really long, and bright red. Most of the kids with long hair look like surfer/skater kids (which they are)—but he’s a metalhead. I’m told often by a woman who brings her young nephew to church how great she thinks it is. Her nephew’s parents are not active members, and hippy types. Her nephew doesn’t just have long hair—he has dreadlocks. And whenever he says he doesn’t want to go because he doesn’t fit in, she brings up my son. And her nephew feels more comfortable being there.
Mostly, though, I don’t really think we’re doing all we can. We pretty much keep to ourselves. I mean, we’ve never really looked to church to provide us with a social life—most of our friends have always been non-members (or ex-members). I started a book group when we first moved here, and enjoyed that—although it was mostly sweet little old ladies who attended. I’m trying to start up a photography group as well. I just find it hard to really get to know people in the ward, especially when we have almost nothing in common. I’m sure it’d be easier if I wasn’t such an introvert. Any tips for me?
Anyone else feel like they don’t fit in?