A few months ago, I decided to take a break from YOB. Some may have noticed, some may have not. It wasn’t a decision lightly made, but it was one that had to be done.

I am not a blogger. Never claimed to be. Never really wanted to be. I used to hate writing, and I’m still not sure I love it all the time.

When YOB was being birthed though, I jumped in. I wanted to give my part. I figured I could add my unique insights every so often. Two months in, I realized my thoughts were being published often. And what ensued was my normal self-motivated work process: do more than what is being expected.

I began writing more often to keep up with being published each week. It was pretty cool at first. But then I realized something:

I didn’t belong here.

An odd realization to make. YOB is for the outcast. It’s a place for those who feel they don’t belong. It’s a community for the outcasts, the ones who have been pushed outside the safety of their groups.

YOB is for those walking the “road less traveled,” to be trite.

And yet I couldn’t help feel this gap widening between myself and the rest of my brothers. And this tension was amplified with each blog posted. As I read their thoughts and stories, I couldn’t help but feel more and more separated.

I am in such a unique position among my other brothers. I am married (and yes, two other brothers join me in that category). I also have a child (just one other brother joins me in fatherhood).

I also work in full-time ministry.

Ah, that detail. That’s a new one.

I work full-time at a church, overseeing the children’s ministry. I’ve spared that detail till now.

Husband, father, and minister — I am my own little category amongst this community. And as YOB has progressed, I have felt that divide grow between myself and these other brothers.

As one brother put it, we are truly a minority within a minority. Imagine being a minority within that inner minority. Truthfully, there is hardly anyone else like me, the strange outcast that I am.

Honestly, it gets lonely being me. And I hate it.

Post after post of stories that attract people within the same little groups — and I am off on the side still waiting for someone to join me on my bench.

After months of enduring this, I simply couldn’t bear the weight anymore. I voluntarily removed myself from any future postings, put some separation between myself and most of my other brothers, and took the time to work through these feelings.

I wish I could say that this is my big return post. But it’s not. Simply an explanation for those who have noticed and wondered.

Perhaps this will anger you. Or confuse you.

But maybe someone could even be encouraged — that even amongst YOB, there are still those who struggle.

This is not a perfect community — it’s one that strives to live as the body of Christ but still doesn’t succeed 100% of the time.

I hope to return with more posts soon. But until then, I’ll be chilling by myself — an outcast among outcasts.

Do you ever feel like an outcast among the outcasts? What are some ways you belong, and what are other ways you don’t?

* Photo courtesy of Andrei Niemimäki, Creative Commons.

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