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Can't Quite Fit In

I should start by saying that I'm a born-again christian. The Lord pulled me from my gutter two years and one month ago. I was in deep in a lifestyle that would have eventually killed me and possibly my children as well. I've been attending a certain church for almost two years now. It'll be two years in March. My main problem is that I still don't fit in and I'm thinking of leaving the church to try and find another. Somewhere where I would feel accepted.
I have tried everything I can think of to gain friends in the church, but nothing's worked. I was even the church's event coordinator, in charge of Easter and the Family Camp, but that seemed to set me further apart from everyone. I've tried paying attention to what people like and do and talking to them about it or subjects related. I've tried talking about God. Nothing seems to work. My pastor doesn't even talk to me.
Recently I've just been standing in the middle of the lobby, watching everyone walk by me, look at me and not even say a hello. I try to say hi, ask people how they are, but most of them don't even acknowledge me. There are times I will walk up to someone and attempt to start a conversation, and they will stand there for a couple seconds then notice someone across the room that they have to talk to and walk off without thinking anything of it. I've invited people over for dinner, out to coffee, over for coffee, anything I could think of. Volunteered to help with nursery, volunteered my help with problems, which I was shot down on very quickly.
I understand that people are busy. I know what being busy is myself with being a single mom, full time college student and working a part time job. But in going there for almost 2 years, I think I would have made a friend by now.
My past life style sets me apart from most of the people there, but I'm no longer into drugs or the other influences that poisoned my life.
So what's so wrong with me that I can't have a friend?
I'm not talking about a boyfriend either, I have one of those and I am happy with him. But I need women friends. Someone to share with.
Why is that the one thing that I can't have?
I've prayed on it...everyday since I became a christian and broke all ties with the lifestyle that I had. I've prayed for a friend.
I'm beginning to resent the people in my church for it. I see all the women sharing ideas, recipies and just being friends, and it hurts so badly that no matter how hard I try, they refuse to include me.
I think that's enough for now, this probably isn't a good way to introduce myself on a new site.
I'm just hoping that someone out there might have a word of advice or encouragement for me.
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Staff Member
Hi lordsria, welcome to the site. Sounds like something is wrong with the church atmosphere for the most part. I mean I can't imagine a church being that way to someone after they've been there for two years. Real odd. If being GOD's will, find a new church to go to. There are many around and I'm sure you'll find a better place for you to make new friends and enjoy your church experience.

God bless
Hi Lordsria, Man that makes me sad what I just read. I've been in the boat where my husband and stood out for some reason by not getting invited to things but we did have aquaintences. I think it is best to find another church, that's just not right. My husband and I became involved in a church in our community and it has been great. I encourage you to do that.

Your story made me feel really sad. My family was saved over 3 years ago and the church we attended when we were saved was too late at night for our son who had to get up early the next day, so we started going to another church. It wasn't right for us and we stopped attending for about a year (very dangerous for anyone, especially new believers). Eventually a great friend invited us to a new church and it was AWESOME!!!!!!!!! We've since moved and have searched for a new church for the past 4 months. We go to a new church every Sunday and continue to pray that the Lord will lead us to the church where He wants us - where we can serve Him.

My advice: Pray. If led to move on, simply move on. Nothing wrong with that. There are a lot of good churches out there, but that doesn't mean they're all for me (or you). If you're led to stay, continue staying involved and eventually you'll wear them down. Kill them with kindness.

If moving on, write down what's important to you in a church (praise and worship, drama, child care, the hours, large, small, etc). Don't settle!!!!!!!!!!!

Lastly, I understand the need for a friend, but going to church is about Praise and Worshipping HIM!!!! He's really the only friend we need. Focus your attention on Him and you will NOT be let down.

My thoughts and prayers are with you!
I'm beginning to resent the people in my church for it. I see all the women sharing ideas, recipies and just being friends, and it hurts so badly that no matter how hard I try, they refuse to include me.
I think that's enough for now, this probably isn't a good way to introduce myself on a new site.
I'm just hoping that someone out there might have a word of advice or encouragement for me.[/QUOTE]

Hey Lordsria!

Welcome to Talk Jesus!

We are blessed that you are walking with Christ. We are praying for your children for God's hand upon them. We pray that the seed is also planted in your boyfriend and that God will work through him. Sounds like home life is at peace, lordsria. Praise Him!

You are in a delicate situation, lordsria. You just received Christ a little over two years ago and right now it is important that you receive fellowship support from your church. How do you expect to grow? Many churches, not all, have this similiar problem of being more of an "activities and social group".
"Busyness" gets in the way. Many churches sadly, not all, do not have a solid volunteers 12 step process in place. Volunteers do not receive appreciation for their time and efforts, which is the incentive for volunteers to keep going, especially when burn out becomes a factor in the ministry.

Here at Talk Jesus you will get the support of alot of sisters but who will want to blessed by you as well. Talk Jesus is CHURCH! Remember, God is building you up too to help the next sister whom you can mentor. We hope you have already fellowshipped with brothers and sisters at Live Chat.

During your next cup of coffee or time alone, please read and meditate on 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 "one body with Christ" and 1 Thessalonians 5:12,13 "respect those who work hard among you".

I sent you additional information. Be encouraged. There is a stepping stone here that God will use to help you grow.

Your brother in Christ Jesus!
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Cant Quite Fit In

Lordsria,Stop trying so hard to fit in, be your self and God will do the rest. Most of all pray for those that are unfair to you . My prayers are with you. God bless.
Hey. It sounds like what you are going through is tough. Maybe one thing you could do is ask God what you have to offer. The church body is for the purpose of sharing God's gifts and focussing on God. Also, going to church isn't about you or them, it's about your relationship with God. Maybe you should talk to God about what you are missing out on and see what He can give you to replace it. It would be much better coming from God anyway. Also, for every time we extend love to someone and are rejected, somewhere along our life's journey, we get it back. So don't despair. God might be testing your faith. Even though we can never tell exatcly what God is doing because His ways are so mysterious, we can still ask for insight. Nothing happens without a reason and God has our entire life planned out for us. So, don't worry, God is probably strengthening you. And He will probably turn the whole situation around before too much longer if you stick with it. There has to be some reason that you have stuck with it this long anyway, right? God's not going to let that be wasted. Think about David, who was rejected by his entire family, then years later, after failing many tests of faith, and being mistreated, was made King and God says about him that He is of God's own heart and His psalms are all throughout the Bible. I bet God is doing something really good and you just don't know it yet. That's how we are as humans. The people at your church might be weak in other areas and you might discover a strength (with God/in God) that you could offer.
Anyone ever had a verse smack you in the forehead? Just a disconnected thought...

lordsria, I feel nearly the same way at my church. I've only been a member for about a year, but I don't really feel as though I fit. I believe I'm the only person there my age who's single and unattatched. I've tried to get to know people and so forth, but as soon as the "coffee hour" after the service is over, these kinds of friendships, or perhaps mere cordialities, don't spill over into the rest of the week. Yet, as I was reading your post and the replies following, a verse smacked me in the head... well, not literally. :wink:
I have a similarly checkered past, myself. I was baptized in my grandparents' church, and a few years later my parents divourced. My mother felt subtly unwelcome in our church after the divource, and left shortly thereafter. Lo and behold, the Lord caught me about 10 or 11 years ago, and I surrendered my will to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (and the crowd goes WILD!) However, it took me 10 years to begin attending church.
I almost feel guilty at this point, because my church is very warm and welcoming. They value newcomers and a lot of them take special steps to make sure visitors and new folks feel welcome. However... as I said, I'm sitting, chronologically speaking, between the teenagers, and the young marrieds. And feeling quite in a class by myself.
That said, I was reading your post and commisserating, when of a sudden:

"1 Timothy 4:12
12Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."

rambles across my train of thought. I feel we might be kindreds, still young in the faith, but I can't help but wonder: Weren't the Apostles all new believers at one time, too? Heck, Matthew was a tax collector for cryin' out loud! So, it isn't something I've done, I think to me... what can it be?

One of our elders, a man whom I look up to in spiritual matters, spoke a warning to my group the day the Consistory approved us all for membership. He said, "Watch out, because now that you're all going public with your faith, the enemy will be comin' for you. Just be ready."

Could that be the source of our feelings of isolation? This is something I've been praying over and considering for quite a while, especially since this feeling of isolation is now interfering with my regular attendance. Or, I could be overthinking and jumping at shadows... thus the trouble with being relatively new in the faith. eh?

Food for thought... Mmmm... munch munch munch...

Well I returned to church for the first time since joining here and posting about what is going on. I realized one of the main problems there is that there isn't any love for people not in their groups, in otherwards, family or people they can get things from.
After experiencing all the love and acceptance that I have here at TalkJesus I saw what was missing from my church. I know that I can't change them, only God can do that.
But I have made a decision.
I decided that I was going to find a new church. One that loves the Lord and shows it. I asked God for the release to leave again and this time He gave it to me. I have a few churches in mind and I'm going to try them and pray that God leads me where He wants me, where He thinks I'll do the most good.
Thank you all for your support and love.
I have learned more from all of you in the short time I've been here than in the whole time I've been saved and attending the church. Thank you thank you thank you!
I thank God everyday for leading me here!
I'm sorry to hear that you are feeling that you do not belong. Maybe this is Gods way of telling you, that you are not in the right place. He may have something bigger and better waiting for you and that church was just a stepping stone to prepare you for what he has for you elsewhere. Sometimes it takes baby steps and that church was able to help you spriritually develop because you did not have other things to take away your concentration.

Do not let your spirit be hindered. Pray and ask the Lord for his guidance and seek out other churches to see if you can find a place that you can call home.
Thank you PrePrePrin and all others who have been so loving in your advice and support! I have moved to a new church, one that God led me to. It's wonderful, full of the Holy Spirit. God bless you all!