Almost anytime that my wife and I are getting ready to be in a gathering of people, I begin to stress and wonder how it will be. I stress about fitting in and not saying something awkward. I can feel something rising up in me, an extreme anxiety.
I remember when I was in high school, I went through a period in my life where I did not enjoy eating out or even attending movies. I would feel overwhelmed. I would sometimes even get the dry heaves. I am not sure where this came from. Almost anytime when I arrived somewhere I would end up having fun and most people would never believe this about me. I am a pretty decent actor and I often hide my real feelings with being funny.
Attending a new church is something that I absolutely dread. In my life I have been around way too many churches and had to go through this process more than I would like to admit. I often struggle to connect, especially when it comes to a commitment of my time.
I am in a season of life where I am choosing to embrace change, so now I look into gatherings. I push myself to be a part of larger groups more often. I am learning that through all my experiences that many people feel like me. We all feel different or estranged, but Christ draws us together to not be strangers, but live in a true community.