I had an embarrassing moment at church a couple of weeks ago.
I’d been scheduled to be “worship leader” (this is a more traditional service so what that means is doing the call to worship, scripture reading, etc. It does not mean a singer in this context. No way would anyone want me as that.).
I’d also been scheduled to be one of the elders serving at the communion table.
I knew both of these but I compartmentalized them in my head and somehow had not actually connected the fact that they were both on the same day, despite thinking about them both that morning.
We sang our first hymn and as the call to worship popped up on the screen, I was still sitting in my pew. I smacked my head, said “oh geez” and walked up to the podium. I didn’t have the paper everything was on; I hadn’t even bothered to pick it up, but was able to read off of the screen.
There was a time when I would have wanted the floor to swallow me up if something that embarrassing happened to me, but I didn’t feel that way this time and I was able to laugh about it.
The reason is that I found a church where I belong, not just a church where I fit in. The difference between those two concepts were something I read about in Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly. She writes:
“Fitting in and belonging are not the same thing. In fact, fitting in is one of the greatest barriers to belonging. Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be in order to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.”
I’ve spent a large portion of my life fitting in instead of belonging, especially in church situations.
It’s a different world when you belong somewhere.
Along those lines, in this video, she talks about the importance of some people’s opinions, and that the opinions of people who actually matter “are the people who love you not despite your vulnerability and imperfections, but because of your vulnerability and imperfections.”
As a recovering perfectionist, I’m glad I can be in a place where I don’t have to be perfect, where I don’t have to fit in, but a place where I truly can belong.