22 Days of 31: I Don’t Belong
This is my first week back in school. There was an assignment that required a 500 word response. Each student’s reply is posted so that the others can read and reply or challenge.
My first response was, I don’t belong. Instead of searching for references, I was looking up the drop and refund policy. After all, I’m 53 years old. What am I doing back in school?
Therein lies my burden. Although I’ve spent my entire career being in the center, I never felt that I belonged wherever it was I found myself. I’m not an introvert by any stretch of the imagination, but there’s always this nagging tick of inferiority.
This class is part of my doctor of ministry cohort that I was accepted into this semester. After reading the bios of the others, I saw that they were pastors, and ministers and theologians. And while I understand this isn’t a competition, I still carry the weight of never being good enough.
The funny thing is, I’ve earned a bachelor’s degree, a master of public administration, and a PhD. I defended my doctoral dissertation after completing the college’s program faster than anyone in my cohort, and then sold my research to a publisher, who produced a textbook and law enforcement resource manual.
Still, I moved away from academics because I didn’t feel as though I belonged there. So now I’m back at that crossroad. Instead of relying on what I’ve learned to write this very first of many assignments, I relaxed and began to pray.
You can’t force God to respond. I’ve learned that you offer an invitation, and He’s anxiously waiting to enter (Rev. 3:20) your situation. It was the same this week as I typed and then deleted over and over. Once I stopped to ask Him to show me where I needed to be and exactly where I do belong, the concepts formed into tangible words.
I just wrote what I was led to write, and it felt more comfortable than any class I’ve taken or taught. When it came to an end, I ran a spell and grammar check along with a word count to be sure I didn’t fall short. And, this is no lie, it was exactly 500 words on the dot. You think God’s got this? Yes, He does.