Read This When You Feel Out of Place

Desert plants thrive in the desert. Tropical plants thrive in the tropics. Wildflowers thrive in the forest. But have you ever felt like a palm tree among pines? A bird of paradise among roses? Have you ever been transplanted to foreign soil, unsure if your roots will ever grow deep enough for you to thrive? Have you ever looked around, and felt so different, so other, that you wonder if you’re going to make it? Have you ever wished that you looked more like the plants surrounding you?

Bloom where you’re planted

I have. More than I care to admit. I’ve hopped across countries and across states, first with my parents, then with my husband. I have felt out of place, despairing that I will ever belong.

Looking back over my trajectory, I can see that God – our master gardener – has brought me through both seasons of drought and seasons of quenching. Seasons where I was convinced I was planted in the wrong garden, and seasons where my roots felt deep.

Pruning that felt painful and unfair at the time has yielded unexpected fruit. I was transplanted many times before I understood that I belong to a Person, not to a place, that the only roots worth growing are in Him.

To stay or to go

In Genesis 12, the Lord tells Abram to leave all that he knows behind. 

“Go,” God says.

“Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”

After hundreds and hundreds of years, after generations of family ties to a people and to a place, God tells Abram to go. 


In verse two, we see it’s to “make of you a great nation,” to “bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.”

Sometimes, God uses us right where we are, but sometimes, God calls us outside of our comfort zones. That might look like moving. That might look like living counter-culturally. That might look like doing something new, something that scares us. That might look like leaning into hard spaces instead of coasting through life. That might look like trying and failing and trying again. That might look like obedience without understanding.

It all might make you feel like a palm tree in a pine forest.

So Abram, unbelievably, went. And his journey was filled with waiting, trusting, making mistakes. He wandered as a nomad. He questioned God. It wasn’t always easy, and it wasn’t always comfortable. But God was with him every step of the way and ultimately blessed him with a family as numerous as the stars in the sky.

Rooted in Him

God, our master gardener, has planted you where you are and called you for a purpose. It might be unclear to you, and you might be uncomfortable, but know that he will provide all that you need to thrive. When we are rooted in him, he will sustain us. He is our soil, our light, our living water no matter where we are planted. 

Need some extra encouragement? Download free printable coloring pages and Bible verse cards that remind you that you belong in Christ! Sign up with your email below to access these (and much more) in my free for you library!

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Sarah K. Butterfield is an author, speaker, and ministry leader who has a heart for empowering women to grow in their faith and be intentional with their time. She and her husband and two boys live in San Diego, where she writes about pursuing a deeper relationship with God in the midst of motherhood.

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