In the World: Where to Turn When You Don't Fit In


I don’t fit in. Never have, to be honest. Even as a child, I wanted to be in whatever club was cool that month. I’ve always wanted a group of close friends, but that’s never really happened. I’ve had groups of acquaintances and one close friend if I was lucky. Mostly, though, I’m kind of a loner, but sometimes I long for a REAL friend.

Even as an adult, I associate with people who have a common interest. Once I left work, for example, i never saw old co-workers again. As a mother, I belong to a fabulous local Catholic mothers group. But even there, I am on the periphery.

I belong to a very small church with a group of VERY orthodox Catholics. It’s primarily made up of large families who attend the traditional Latin Mass & homeschool their children. We don’t get to know these families much because we only see them at church and we generally have to get back home right after church – football, hockey, kids are STARVING,you know. Priorities :).

My mom’s group on the other hand, is a little more mainstream. They are lovely women who are working very hard to grow in their faith & raise their children Catholic. These women attend the regular mass and (many) send their kids to Catholic school. I get funny looks when I stick close to home with my small children with whom we co-sleep, nurse for an extended period, don’t have baby-sitters, and plan to homeschool.

One would think that I’d just need to find common women of faith, right? To be honest, there is an enormous gap between these two groups and I’m not fully at home in either one. During my last hormone induced pity party, I had a bit of an epiphany. I don’t fit in anywhere else on purpose. HIS purpose. God is my rock. He wants to be number one in my life. HE wants to be the friend that I talk to more than any one else.

Knowing that this is how I am “in the world, but not OF it” makes the occasional loneliness easier to bear. I’m not meant to belong in this world; I belong to his.

To whom do you belong?


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  1. Jen, I love this post for your honesty and self disclosure. As I get older, it seems to me that so many of us feel this way… that we are “in the world” but not “of the world”. I enjoy great friendships, but the relationships that matter most to me are those I share with my immediate and extended family, with my husband coming in a big first place (outside of God, of course!). I love your reminder to take our cares and concerns to Him and to lay those burdens at His feet. Thanks for a thought provoking column!

  2. Great post! I have often felt this way since becoming a stay at home mother and I really like your perspective on belonging to HIS world!

  3. Valerie Shepard on

    I feel the same way! Isn’t it amazing how we can all come from different backgrounds and yet still feel like outsiders? If we are all outsiders, who’s really on the inside? Maybe it’s our imagination. I bet all the saints felt a little awkward at times for not following the mainstream. Even Jesus was abandoned and denied by his good friends. I have trouble remembering this and try not to feel envious when seeing other people so excited to see each other, talking and laughing, enjoying their friendship. Thank you for the reminder that Jesus will always be there for us. I also take consoaltion in the company of the angels and saints. Who can feel alone with the whole company of Heaven at your side?

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