How to belong when you don’t fit in

Out of Place Series – Becky’s Story

When I became a mom, I thought I would finally fit in. Parenthood was the accumulation of countless prayers and deep-seeded desires, and now it was my turn. Many of my friends already had kids so it seemed like I would gain access to this new season with authentic community by my side. But it wasn’t as smooth as I had hoped. Eighteen months into parenting, my husband and I had a hard talk with my son’s pediatrician. 

“David is not developing in all the areas we would like to see at this point. I think it would be best if you had him evaluated for sensory issues and possibly autism.”

I remember sitting there listening to a professional tell me my son was not on the typical path other children were on. To me, he was perfect and he still is. But that was the moment. Right then I realized our family’s journey would not be the same as others. We weren’t ‘normal.’ We were different. We were something special.

Our boy is almost 10 years old now and we’ve had our fair share of feeling like we don’t belong. We’ve seen the stares from strangers as he’s melted down in public. We’ve noticed the lack of invitations for gatherings or events. We’ve watched from the sidelines as other parents bond and their kids happily play. Our family has felt the sting of harassment through harsh words and rude actions. We’ve been left out, overlooked and forgotten. We’ve even had difficult times connecting at church or finding one that provides care for the unique needs of our family.

The road to belonging has not been easy.

But our God is a faithful Father. In His kindness He’s shown me what it means to belong when you don’t feel like you blend in – how to believe you’re included when your heart feels excluded. Because belonging isn’t based on our circumstances. It isn’t based on the opinions of others or the approval of the world.

As God’s children we are part of His diverse family. Our standing stays with our Creator and our worth belongs to Him. 

how to belong when you don't fit in

Taking hold of God’s truth

I was processing a recent hurt dealing with feeling rejected as a family, and the Lord revealed something to me from my one of my favorite sections of the Bible. The truth had been staring at me for years because I regularly pray Ephesians 3:14-21 over my life, but this time it jumped out.

“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” (Eph. 3:16-17 NLT) 

What does it mean to have the Maker of the universe make His home in our hearts? To have heaven come down and dwell within? Our family has moved on multiple occasions and when we move into a new home, we immediately try to settle in. We make the property ours and bring our life into the space. 

The same goes for the Spirit. When God steps in and makes our hearts His home, He fills every crevice and corner with His perfect goodness and grace. He doesn’t want to occupy only part of our lives. He wants to fill it all. Our entire being becomes the property of our healing, redeeming God. As His presence settles in, all lies are pushed out by the power of truth and the beauty of His love. When we let our Maker remodel our hearts, the beliefs we held about our worth, value and acceptance are replaced with confidence in our truest selves. Nothing can shake this home. Nothing can uproot God’s care.

No matter what we face in life – no matter what anyone says or does – we are precious to our King. We are all called special and made to be His. Rarely is it comfortable to have our worth renewed and our minds transformed. Instead, it’s incredibly messy and sometimes downright painful. But if we want to break free from the world’s definition of fitting in, we need to be brave and have faith in God’s life-changing words. 

We are important to Christ. We matter enough for Him to dwell with us forever – to bring His resurrection life into every space of our hearts. In God’s family we are included and welcomed with open arms. This is our reality even when circumstances dictate something else or feelings bring us down. We are His chosen children.

Trust me dear friend, we do and always will… belong to Him.

If you’ve ever felt like you don’t belong, this series is for you! Every Monday, we’ll hear from someone who has also struggled to belong. Be sure to subscribe below to get The Scoop so you never miss a post! As a thank you, you’ll receive access to belonging-themed scripture cards and adult coloring pages in the free for you library!

Thanks! I can't wait to connect with you!

Becky Beresford lives in Huntley, IL and is happily outnumbered by her husband and three wild boys. She is a writer, dreamer, certified life coach and speaker with a Master’s Certificate in Discipleship from Moody Theological Seminary. Becky loves encouraging God’s Daughters to embrace their holy worth and live life fully loved. When she isn’t at the keyboard, you can find her dreaming of sandy beaches, serving mamas in church and hanging with her people. She would love to connect with you online at, where you can grab a FREE copy of the Brave Woman Manifesto: Five Things to Tell Yourself When Life Gets Hard. Feel free to follow her and the weekly Brave Women Series on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter.

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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.

3 thoughts on “How to belong when you don’t fit in

  1. Wha–???? I just wrote a blog post called “The #1 Reason You Feel You Don’t Belong” and it will be published in 2 days. So, after I read your story here, I quickly zipped over to my blog draft and inserted a link to your story.

    Sharing our stories brings healing to our hearts and to others. Thanks, Sarah. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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