Out of Place Series – Brooke’s Story
We have all heard the saying, “like a square peg in a round hole.” I always imagine one of those toy buckets with all the shaped pegs and the lid that has the same shape holes in the top. You know the one.
Each time I hear this, I totally relate.
I always thought because I felt like I didn’t fit simply meant – I didn’t.
I allowed the world to define where I fit. That is a hard mindset to correct. One where I honestly didn’t fit anywhere. What a sticky lie I believed for so long. I protected myself with perfectionism and an unhealthy fear of being hurt, so I played small and never had to put myself on the line. That was the easiest route to bear, but unfortunately, it doesn’t get you to the place you want to be. Secure. Confident. Included.
Each of us is unique with attributes that make some things extremely hard or, the opposite, allow other qualities to come very easily. I find myself, even now, occasionally admiring the strengths of others and honestly, sometimes jealous. I see this a lot in young girls, even my own daughter. Pretending they are someone or something they’re not to fit in. Maybe it is part of growing up. The question is, does it have to be?
With a lot of help from Jesus, Brene Brown (a shame and vulnerability researcher), and Maya Angelou, I came to the conclusion that we all belong together, but God has a unique design for each of our lives.
“You only are free when you realize you belong no place – you belong every place – no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.”- Maya Angelou
I needed freedom from this mentality of belonging. We all do. And the reward is great when we realize it is not where we belong, but to whom we belong.
The reward is great when we realize it is not where we belong, but to whom we belong.Tweet
Challenge your mindset
What if all those times we felt things weren’t working the way we wanted or weren’t fitting properly, were simply times when God was simply saying “No” or “Not yet” to the things we are trying to add to our lives? These feelings could simply be the boundaries within us that God designed as a warning to look a little closer. His Spirit leads us to fill our world with authentic things and people. He knew we would be vulnerable, but we were not made to shrink back in uncertainty.
We were made to live in such fullness, that eventually we can do nothing but give back in the exact places where we filled ourselves with all the RIGHT things.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7, NIV
What fills you up, even if it’s not easy or pretty? A green flag of the Holy Spirit is joy, even when a task is extremely difficult. You may not even be good at it at first, but mastery, passion, confidence, and all the right people will come in that overflow of joy.
You do not need other people to arrive at the place where God wants you! I learned not to force things and began to pray for God to fill my life with what’s good, honorable, pure and lovely.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8, NIV
A Change of Perspective
Look at yourself as a whole bucket to be filled, adding only the things that God says yes to. Give yourself the control that the world has taken away.
This year, God has emptied and reset everything for everyone. What are we going to allow back into our lives? Can we slow our pace and listen when God redirects our hearts? Will we attune and heave heavy amounts of joy in its rightful place? I sure hope so.
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!
Brooke Giles is an Air Force spouse and stay at home mom currently living right outside Atlanta, GA with her husband and two young children. She is passionate about living creatively through writing, and encouraging others to do the same. She is currently writing children’s books, Christian fiction, and praying very hard to publish one day. You can connect with her on Facebook.