Pressures of Acceptance

Disclaimer: This post is from the archives, and may not represent the current views of the author. It also may not be at all interesting to read. Continue at your own peril!

I don’t know what to tell you.
I can’t seem to spit out the words
That so accurately depict my situation.
I’m adrift in a sea of lost communication.

I’m not doing this for the reasons you think;
I have my reasons, but I can’t express them.
I can only hope that you see the hurt in my eyes
As you disappointedly walk away.

You want me to get along, to be part of that group,
But it’s just not possible. I don’t fit in. I’m not like them.
I want to grow; I want to be better than I am today.
They are stagnant; they say they want to grow, but don’t.

If only you understood me, you would know.
You’ve never bothered to discover who I am.
You offer me no support for the things I want to do,
But rather point me in the direction you want.

I’m trying to find someone who understands me.
I’m trying to find someone who I can relate to.
And I’m losing more hope every day of finding that person.
I want someone to love; yet no one accepts me.

Please understand the reason why I look dead on the outside.
I have a world of new growth flowing from inside me;
I just have nowhere to let it show on the outside.
No one seems to want to see who I am inside.

Routines and daily rituals are just a show.
I’d gladly give them all up for someone who cared.
If someone out there showed me the need to change, I would.
I just haven’t found them yet.

God is the only one I have left to turn to.
He says He’s waiting with outstretched arms for me.
I wish I could see them; they’d be so much more real
If I could only reach out and touch Him.

God, please bless the group I’m in; show me how to show Your love.
Please bless my parents; they only want the best for me.
Bless those who aren’t growing; show them the need to change.
And help me be the one You want me to be. It’s my only hope.

Over the last couple of days, my dad’s been pressuring me to go to Sr-Hi Youth Convention. He’s offered to pay for it, he’s tried to get me to talk to Pastor Dave about it and get registered, but I just won’t. And even worse, I can’t even tell him why. I wrote this poem to try and explain it, at least to myself if no one else. It’s not the best poem I’ve written, but it’s about as close as I can get to an explanation. The youth group at our church is just so dead. No one’s growing as an individual, and the group itself isn’t growing either. And just when things seemed stagnant and dead already, the youth pastor decides he needs to leave. I’m not faulting him for that, but it just comes at a really bad time.

I mean, I’ve really tried to get involved in the group and such, but everyone’s so uptight about their own little mini-groups that they hang around with that there’s no acceptance. The only people I hang out with are Jordan, Kyle, Lawrence, Angelie, and Kristy. The rest really don’t care whether I exist or not. I mean, I know them all and they all know me, but we never say more than a few words at most – and that’s when we have to. I’ve been at the church now for at least like five years, and still no one talks to me much. They’re all content just to sit in their own groups and talk about pathetic stuff that doesn’t really matter anyway. The guys in the youth all are big on sports, and I’m really not at all. I mean, I like playing sports, and I’ve played stuff with them before, like football and basketball, but even hanging out with them and playing sports really hasn’t helped. I basically gave up on that because I have no energy to do much anymore, and the guys weren’t really accepting me more anyways.

So that’s the main reason for not wanting to go to convention. Of course, if I told my dad that, he’d just laugh and say, “Ahh, well if you go to convention, you’ll get to know them better!” But I mean, if 5+ years at the same church hasn’t gotten me that far, then going to convention isn’t going to help. There’s just no growth in the group at all. I don’t even like hanging out with Kyle and Lawrence, because all we do is play music and then make stupid jokes. It’s fun for a while, but then it just gets boring and pathetic. Where’s the growth? I want to grow. I want to be better than I am, and I’ve been trying hard to do that. But I don’t see anyone else who wants to do that with me. Everyone else is more concerned about who won the football game or who likes who.

Meanwhile, on the other hand, I’ve found a great group of people that I think really do want to grow deeper, both in maturity, and in Christ. This group of people has accepted me from the first day I showed up, and even though the guys there are big on sports, they don’t seem to mind the fact that I’m not that big on them. This is, of course, Central Baptist Church’s youth group. I remember sitting down with them at Jake’s house and having a discussion about speaking in tongues. That would never happen at my church’s youth group. And while this youth group has lots of fun, and they’re not serious all the time or anything stupid like that, they aren’t opposed at all to actually sitting down and learning something. I can see that they want to grow.

Here’s where the dilemma is. I really want to be committed to my home church’s ministries, which includes the youth group. I don’t want to give up hope on it entirely. Perhaps when we get a new youth pastor, things will change, and I don’t want to miss out on that. But I also just don’t like going there. It’s becoming a pain to just drag myself there. I get there, practice for worship, play my bass, and then sit with Jordan while Pastor Dave speaks. Afterwards, I hang out with Jordan, Angelie, and Kristy, and that’s about it. But I still don’t want to say that they’re just never going to grow and forget about it. However, I want to get more involved in Central’s youth group, because I really feel like I fit in there. I know it’s not all about me, and that I need to contribute to help others, but when I’m there, I have the chance to build others up, help others grow as I grow as well, and just plain have some fun. Their youth group is much more alive than the one at my church, and I don’t want to miss out on that.

The problem is, really, how to tell my parents about this. We’ve lost our good communication over the years, and while I suspect that most of that is likely my fault, the problem is that once it’s gone, it’s hard to get it back. I don’t feel like I can just sit down with my parents and have a serious conversation and have them take me seriously. So how am I supposed to tell them that I see the youth group at our church to be dead, and that I want to be a part of a group that’s already alive? They’d just perceive it as me being reckless and not being committed to the situation I’m thrown into.

The other aspect of this could be, perhaps, that God wants me to be in both groups for the time being. As of right now, that’s what I’m doing, and I don’t think I’m going to be dropping out of either one anytime soon. But perhaps it would be possible to somehow channel that vitality from the lively youth group into the one lying on its deathbed. The problem is how best to go about that. I don’t hold much influence over my youth group, and I don’t think that they’d just listen to me if I were to show them the need to change. They’d more likely just label me as an “outcast”, a title I’ve been working hard to avoid. If there were some way to either bring the lively group into the dead one, or the dead one into the lively one, to just show my youth group what they’re missing, I would do it. I just feel powerless right now to achieve anything of consequence. And I suppose I’m supposed to feel powerless, because it’s not my group; it’s God’s group. Ultimately, He has to fix up His people, and if He wants to use me to do it, that’s great, but I think He’d be much better off using someone of influence.

Perhaps the easiest way would be to bring the godliest guy I know to my youth group: Jon. I could explain the situation to him, and perhaps he would come and at least scout out the situation. He might not have much luck influencing anyone, but he’s got a great heart, and I think he would at least give me his opinion on the matter. I’m just not sure that it would do much, though, since I already know much of the situation. I guess the best strategy would be to wait until Pastor Al comes in as the interim pastor and see if God works through him, and failing that, wait until the new youth pastor comes. Maybe God’s gifted one of those two to be a paramedic and revive the group. Failing both those options, I think it’s time for some emergency action. But I don’t think the group can get any more dead than it already is, so I’ll wait until these two things happen and then reassess the whole situation.

So that’s the long-winded explanation of what’s on my heart right now. I don’t have much of an opportunity in the situation I’m in to be a witness to non-Christians, since I really don’t have much contact with any right now. Right now, the best thing I can do is to help Christians grow, something that can be done through encouragement – which I’m utterly horrible at. If you’re a Christian reading this, please pray for New Life’s youth group; pray that God would work in each individual’s life to help them grow closer to Him. Right now I think they would all say they love God, but I’m not seeing much love to others – and how can you love God without loving others? It’s impossible, really. And just pray for me; I have a lot of stuff running through my head, and I just need your prayers right now. I know that’s pretty selfish of me, but God’s a big God, and He can handle it. That’s all for now. Ciao.

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