A Found Belonging
Movies have always been really important to me. In moments of boredom, a movie is a quick and easy cure. In uncomfortable social settings, when my confidence is nothing more than a dog with its tail between its legs cowering in some dark corner of my mind, hearing someone quote a line from a movie I love is an instant bonding experience, one that gives me some ground to stand on.
In relationships, movies serve as a point of conversation and connection and a practice of perspective—how multiple people can watch the same scenes onscreen from only a seat apart and yet come away with completely different thoughts about what they just watched has always fascinated me.
At the very least, movies often serve as a reflection (sometimes through an exaggerated, fun-house-esque kind of mirror, but a mirror all the same) of reality.
For almost anyone who has ever seen a movie, The Breakfast Club is an undeniable classic. If you’ve never seen it, here’s the gist: You’ve got this ragtag group of kids who never would have come together if it weren’t for a fateful detention that brings them into the same room one Saturday, and their common enemy: the Assistant Principal. In this unlikeliest of spaces, with these unlikeliest of companions, the characters of the movie are freed to become fuller than the labels they have been given by their peers and elders. Over the course of one day, a group of very different-seeming people discover that they aren’t really that different after all, and they all become better for it. Trapped in that library, they become free for the first time.
My Summit Connect group is to me what detention ended up being to the kids of The Breakfast Club. It is a place where I have found belonging amongst a group of people who I never would have met otherwise—where an oddball group of girls with different backgrounds and different interests and different perspectives have come together through seemingly random (but in reality, probably God-ordained) means. It is a place where I have learned so much about myself—where I have grown in grace and understanding through those things being shown to me, through differences in perspective that are healthy to talk out.
In my Connect group, I have found a group of girls who have made me a fuller version of myself. I have grown to understand how dynamic Jesus was through all of the different kinds of good they reveal to me, the different facets of his personality that they each reflect.
When we first sat down in one of Summit’s upstairs rooms as a Launch group—hesitantly making small-talk over Publix fried chicken and being on our best behavior—we knew nothing about each other outside of a series of quick judgements made based off passing comments or clothing choices or careers. At that first meeting, we were all actors in a movie, playing the part of ourselves, presenting our best versions.
Now, we dive deep into some of the more challenging parts of Scripture. We wrestle with doubt. We disagree. And we love each other. We’ve become more than just stock characters. We’ve allowed ourselves to be known, and now there’s more to know because of it.
The Breakfast Club ends—in true 80’s fashion—with a montage scene. Clips of each kid heading home from detention flash across the screen as an essay to the Assistant Principal recited by the gang narrates. “What we found out is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal.”
I’m a little bit of Rebekah, Taylor, Madi, Katie, Brittany, Angelyn, Dana, Haley, Alicia, and Jen. We were never meant to be stereotypes. We were never meant to be packaged up neatly into little boxes. We’re all a little bit of everything, of each other, of Jesus. And with each weekly meeting, we gather more and more pieces of each other and prepare to carry them with us as we go out into the world, our metaphorical fists pumped high into the air.
We are really big fans of community around here! If you're looking for an opportunity to build relationships with others at Summit, joining a Connect group is a great next step.
Lexi Ciulla is a partner here at Summit. She has been attending Summit for almost three years, is a volunteer writer and artist on our magazine team, and volunteers in Base Camp as a Large Group Storyteller and in BCL. Lexi is a Grants Manager for a nonprofit called Education Foundation and she loves doodling, laughing, napping, and telling anyone who will listen about how much she loves Matt Damon.