A SENSE OF BELONGING

Is it just me or do you still have a hard time shaking off the insecure feelings you developed when you were younger? My biggest problem growing up was handling not getting invited somewhere or exclusivity within my own friend group. It happened to me quite often (probably because I was whiny) and I could never shake that weird feeling of being alone. When you’re younger, it’s a lot harder to assess why you may not have gotten invited and just walk away. As a 13-year old, I didn’t realize I was craving that sense of belonging. Every single person on this earth belongs, it just often takes us a while to understand and remember. Whether it’s work, school, or even in your church, it’s often hard to understand why we feel so unwanted. Let’s talk about it because, between you and me, I still forget where I really belong.

I’m sure you already know that I am going to say “we belong to God.” And while, yes, that is my main point, it’s not always that easy when we are down here on Earth. Feeling excluded or lost is such a common pattern in our youth and oftentimes leaks into adulthood. It’s really easy to feel lost in a crowd at a large university or a big church. The older you get, the fewer friends you have and the easier it is to feel truly alone. Right out of high school, I did an internship at my church. For two years I was surrounded by friends and always had someone to talk to. Once that internship ended, I felt so lonely and withdrawn. It has taken me up until almost the very moment I am writing this to understand what Lysa TerKeurst writes in her book Uninvited, “Rejection- it may be a delay, it may be a distraction. It may even be a devastation for a season but it is not your final destination.”

While I did not necessarily feel rejected, I felt ejected from society and friendships due to a change in my surroundings. But through that chaos, I ended up making a new best friend and grew even closer to my sweet friends I had outside of the internship. Loneliness, rejection, hurt, and isolation are so temporary when you look at the grand scheme of your life. These feelings are temporary because they are worldly and 1 John 4:4 says, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the One who is in the world.”

We don’t belong to this Earth, we don’t belong to a group of friends. The only thing we really belong to is God. Romans 14:7-9 says, “For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” How liberating is it to know that we don’t live for ourselves but rather for God? This makes it so much easier to turn seasons of devastation and loneliness into seasons that glorify God.

You can spend your life wishing you belonged to something or you can begin to understand that you already do. Psalm 100:3 says, “Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.” God created us to belong to Him and live abundantly. He did not design us to belong to this world. Let’s be real, if we were supposed to belong to this world we probably wouldn’t feel so uncomfortable and emotional all the time, am I right? We are God’s and not of this world and He is simply waiting for us to understand this so we can fully embrace our identity in Him.

Lysa TerKeurst (Uninvited) says, “Live from the abundant place that you are loved, and you won’t find yourself begging others for scraps of love.” Let’s stop pitying ourselves and begging for love and attention from people who weren’t made to do that for us. God already loves us and gives us His undivided attention because we belong to Him. So next time you see your friends hanging out without you, remind yourself whose you really are.

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