I can take the physical strain of our move. All those weeks of sorting, packing, stacking, and cleaning, followed by a couple of days of frantic last minute packing, loading, driving, unloading, and settling in- those were a piece of cake. Okay, maybe not quite a piece of cake, but when compared with trying to make new friends and find my own niche here, I'll take the physical challenge any day.
I can't blame anyone but myself. The people here are friendly. They try to be helpful. They've told us how little there is to do in the area (not so helpful) but then told us about all of the shopping and attractions in the region (more helpful.) We went to a ward devotional and bonfire tonight and a couple of the members made sure to include us in their conversations. It was nice just being in a group and enjoying the smell of a campfire. But I feel so stupid, awkward, and boring. How lame does it sound to say "it's okay that there's not much shopping- I'd much rather read a book or go hiking anyways"?
What can I talk about that would be even slightly interesting to anyone here? I don't know anyone well enough to know their sense of humor or whether I need to be politically correct. I want to be friendly and social but I can't think of a thing to say. I'd forgotten just how awful it feels to feel like I'm not a part of a group. It makes me miss all of my friends in Cincinnati even more.
Thankfully, last night as we were doing family scripture reading we read a passage that gave me comfort and almost prepared me for how I would feel tonight.
1 Corinthians 12:18-23 "But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness."
As I read this I recognized that although I may not be a more prominent, useful, or "comely" part of the body of Christ, I am still a part. Even when I feel like I have nothing to offer and that my existence itself is a lesson in futility, I know that God values whatever contributions I make. I may never be a social butterfly, I may never be good at conversing with new people and I may never be the type of person people look to for leadership (and certainly not for fashion advice! lol), but I can still be whatever part I am and put forth my best effort. Tonight I truly feel like one of the "feeble members," but I know that I am necessary. It may be a while before anyone here gets to know me well enough to appreciate my "interesting perspective" (not my words... that's what I've been told by numerous people) or before I am able to contribute in any meaningful way, but in being feeble I am giving others an opportunity to show and teach charity, patience, and acceptance. They are able to supply my lack through their talents, and for this I am truly grateful. It helps ease the loneliness and the fear of never fitting in.