The middle school years are tough. Your body is changing. Your brain is literally rewiring itself. Friend groups are an ever-evolving amoeba. And despite hundreds of years of research, clothing designers still haven’t figured out middle school boy dimensions. These are just some of the realities of being a middle schooler without any other outside factors. It’s as if the struggle to fit in is built into the life stage.

These realities seemed heightened for me as I switched schools just before entering 8th grade. All I wanted was to fit in at my new school, so I tried everything. It started by joining the football team. However, weighing in just under 100 pounds and measuring just shy of 5 feet tall, that didn’t go well. Then the first day of school came and I remember sitting at numerous tables during lunch that first week trying to find “my people”. Middle school is a microcosm of what I believe we all feel at points in our lives…a struggle to fit in. This doesn’t change as adults, but it should be different in the church.

When I have sought to lean in and love people who are not like me, it helps me to remember that my relationship with Christ is powerful and can reshape everything about me.

Darby Strickland

The desire to fit in is as common to humanity as goose poop on a sidewalk beside a pond. It’s everywhere, homes, schools, workplaces, and yes even the church. And the sad reality is the very place the desire to fit in should be met with the greatest fulfillment, it often is not. Why is it the church struggles to help others feel like they fit in? Why is a church somewhere I can often feel like I don’t fit in? Darby Strickland gives a very helpful perspective on “Community: A Struggle to Fit” in her article.

If you can remember the last time you felt like you didn’t fit in, especially at church, I’d encourage you to read the article. What did you enjoy about it? What made you think in a new way? Is there anything Strickland says that causes you to change something in your interactions with others.

As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.

Until Next Time,

Photo by Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash