Today was week 4 of my new ward and I have to say, the best one yet. Nothing really was different. The only thing that changed was me. In book club this week, as we talked about Braving the Wilderness and belonging to yourself I realized that there are times that I’m really good at belonging to myself and times when I am not. One of the times that I am not is at church.
I realized that in the past few weeks I’d been trying to change what I could to belong to the ward. I was frustrated because I realized, I couldn’t belong to the ward in the way that others did because of things I didn’t have aka a husband and children.
But today, I decided I would belong to myself as I went to church. I decided to show up fully being me. I got out my study journal and wrote down all the things that came to mind and thoughts I had. I made comments in Sunday school. I introduced myself to people I’ve seen close up for a few weeks but felt inclined to just say hi or that I appreciated something about them or noticed them. These are things that “Erin–belonging to herself” would do! And Erin loved it! And I think because it likely came across in a more genuine way than what I had been experiencing–doing things because I felt I ought to do them, not because my heart was fully in it–the expression of gratitude for saying something, for introducing myself, for speaking up, for being present came out. I felt love. I felt peace. I felt hope. I felt happy.
Interesting how we are impacted by these things isn’t it? Interesting how we can get so wrapped up in fitting in or feeling like we needed to belong in a certain way that it ends up being a barrier to us just belonging to ourselves.
I’m so grateful to a Heavenly Father who is patient with His children. I’m grateful that we can learn and grow and change. I’m grateful that we can be and belong.