Thursday, January 30, 2014

To Be Found Peculiar Among the Peculiar People: A convert's story part 1

To have the Weirdos thing you're weird, now that's sayin' something!

I think there are just a few in the Church that don't quite fit in anywhere, outside or in. And I'm one of them. I have found there are several factors that make up an Outsider on the Inside. Being a convert is one sure way, but not the only way.

I am one of these Converts. That's right! I'm a Mormon. I was an Outsider the moment I stepped through those doors. Not only did I have tattoos and body piercings, I had a Past...and some of those people knew it. Others just assumed I was bad because I had "that look". And they were right! All of it was true. I wore my Past on the Outside. You may not know exactly what "it" was, but "it" was there and you could just feel it.
Okay, not THIS bad, but you get the picture

By just looking at me, I had the kind of Past that you grab your children and hold them tight while bearing your teeth. That was until I opened my mouth. I would talk and let people in let them know just about anything they wanted to know about me. I never kept my Past hidden BUT you had to be brave enough to ask me and not just judge and assume.

here are a few crazy Singles
Many well-established members did take up the challenge. It wasn't until I learned about and experienced the Single's Ward that I truly started to bloom and feel accepted. A church building filled with 18-30 year olds who were confused, sure of themselves, brave, and scared all at the same time were my kind of people. These Church members asked questions of me and of my life like a child--wide-eyed, anticipatory, and surprisingly accepting despite what the world may think of this group. And once I was able to have some sharp points smoothed, learned the lingo, and understood more of the Gospel, I was more capable of communicating my Past properly.

Communicating my Past wasn't simply telling all the gory and lurid details, it was more of how I learned from it, how it shaped me, how I am a better person because of it all.
Leah (blonde) and Me (not blonde) lol

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