I’ve always wondered why I’ve never really “fit in” anywhere. During my childhood school days, I never really fit in because I was the quiet, studious type; I didn’t fit the mold of popular kids with perfect features, gorgeous hair or outgoing personalities. I attended a total of 14 different schools before graduating from high school, and in every one of them, I had one girlfriend, at most – and usually that one would be someone who was also an unpopular “loner” type like me.
When I joined the Army to get away from my abusive childhood, I thought I had finally found a place where I “fit in” because we (all colors, creeds and religions) were viewed as equals; all of us having to adhere to the same rules where we were expected to work hard and get advanced education so we could qualify for the next promotion. In other words, we were expected to strive to “be all we could be” while serving our country.
While I “fit in” professionally (because I’ve always been a hard worker, and a friendly, dedicated, cooperative person), I still felt somehow separated from humanity. Consequently, I always ended up with a lot of “acquaintances.” Rarely did I have any real friends. And when I did, it was usually just one person – because I simply did not “click” with most.
Always hoping to become a member of the “in-crowd,” I occasionally joined some clubs. For instance, I joined the Heidelberg Country Dance Club during one of my tours in Germany. It felt great to be part of a group, and I had LOTS of “acquaintances” there – but, as usual, only one actual FRIEND.
Still, try as I might, I continued to feel like an “outsider”….
Back in my earlier Army years, I sometimes managed to be the “life of the party,” thanks to my talent at the time for remembering and telling dirty jokes. Every time I did, I “felt dirty” – and kept wondering why, because this was the MODERN world, not the First Century! Eventually, I stopped, because – modern day or not - it simply wasn’t the “real me.”
Unfortunately, I could never figure out who the “real me” was! Apart from my Army rank and identity, “Carmen” was an enigma to me.
Decades ago, while stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco I somehow became involved with some filthy rich people – with the accent on “decadence, extravagance and pretentiousness.” For seven fun-filled months I enjoyed champagne breakfasts at fancy restaurants and attended weekend yacht parties with people who “knew people” and introduced me to some Hollywood movie producers (including a very short-lived blind date with a really arrogant movie maker named Harvey … as in “Weinstein” - if memory serves me correctly)….
As exciting as all this was at first, in all honesty, I didn’t “fit in” there, either. I simply didn’t fit in anywhere! I always felt “alone and different.” Always. It was like a CURSE!
Anyway, my “new lifestyle with the rich and famous” abruptly ended when, while at one of their extravagant parties (feeling all alone, even though I was surrounded by dozens of “beautiful” people), I literally “heard” a loud voice in my head that said, “Oh, God doesn’t like this!” Although there was no one nearby, I could have sworn someone had yelled that phrase into my right ear!
Even though I wasn’t really into God in those days, I decided that it may have been some kind of a clear sign that I needed to extricate myself from these people and their fake existence. And so I did – much to the chagrin of my “friends” – a husband/wife couple in a “May/December” relationship (yes, she was a “gold digger”) who had a painting of Marlon Brando as the Godfather hanging above the fireplace in their expensive Sausalito penthouse….
After my retirement from the Army, I moved to Springfield, Missouri, where I ended up in a huge singles group that changed my life; because it was there I eventually (on New Year’s Day, 1995) met a super religious Baptist “Bible thumper” who took me to his church on our first date – where the Ruach opened my spiritual eyes to show me WHY I had never fit in anywhere; and why I had been feeling “alone and different” all my life!
I’m guessing you thought you were going to read all about how my new-found faith changed everything and caused me to suddenly feel as though I “fit in.” But no – quite the opposite - because now I’m even MORE alienated than ever from humanity (especially, once I became Torah observant during the Passover holidays in 1998!).
But that’s a whole ‘nuther story.
Suffice it to say, YHWH gave me a like-minded husband in 2000, one who had also “felt alone and different” throughout the course of his life – and together we have accepted the fact that we really DON’T “fit in” anywhere … not even in the Messianic realm, because we refuse to accept hypocrisy (and let’s face it: there are MANY hypocrites!). We view the world as “black and white” …. You’re either a true, obedient Believer, or not. There is no gray area.
In order to truly belong to YHWH, we are told that we MUST BE HOLY and set apart from the world. Being “set apart” includes distancing ourselves from everyone whose lifestyle does not reflect Torah. That’s just the bottom line.
THANK YOU, YHWH for setting us apart and teaching us how to prepare for the Olam Haba/Kingdom to Come!