Beyond Blending In (a book excerpt by Wendy Kim)

Growing up, I always knew I was different. I did anything I could to conform, to be like the mainstream, to blend in. I looked successful. But over time, I realized I couldn’t keep it up. I wanted to be authentic.

If, like me, you've felt trapped by cultural expectations, here are tools and strategies that helped me overcome my cultural bonds. I believe that if these things helped me, they can definitely empower you.

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About Church by Pastor Kate

The church, you see, had been both a home to us and a place we'd been exiled from. Still, we felt this pull, an agony really, to keep her alive. If the doors kept swinging shut on us, we'd be the damn doorkeepers ourselves. Maybe it was a bit haughty of us, definitely a little audacious, and most assuredly dangerous. What if we too became irresponsible doorkeepers? What if in our eagerness to become a place of healing for the wounded, we only inflicted more wounds?

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Kate Martin Comments
Why I Need to Zip it for Jesus

But gradually, it dawned on me: everyone speaking there looked just like me. Straight white men. I had a platform— not because of insights, or gifts, or passion— but because I fit the profile. And what about those who didn't? Every time I spoke, I realized, others were paying a cost in the sacrifice of their own powerful insights, gifts, and passions. We were all being impoverished by the loss. 

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Today, the Sunday before Good Friday, the last Sunday of Lent. The last look inward before all is lost and all is gained even more. Today, in this deep search inward, we dedicated our children. In the midst of this incredible community of misfits we stood with our family and promised to raise our children in love and grace. None of this is easy. None of this is what I expected. All of this is what I needed.

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Sojourn GraceComment
What is Broken is Not Lost

So I put myself back together. Piece by piece, I recovered parts of myself that I had shunned from the very beginning of my self-awareness. Yes, I am queer. And that's okay. Yes, I do want kids someday. And that's okay, too. No, I cannot do it all. And that is just fine. No, I do not have all the answers. And I shouldn't have to. Slowly, I redefined myself in my own image, rather than those of the people around me. I became me. 

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Sojourn Grace Comments