How to put the “BE” in Belonging

Out of Place Series – Sarah E. Westfall’s Story Involvement makes acquaintances, but often fails to produce soulful relationships. Connections are many, but thin, and we end up fitting in everywhere and nowhere at the same time. At least that’s my story. As far back as grade school, I can remember feeling almost “in,” but […]

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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 […]

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How to belong when you’re planted somewhere new

Out of Place Series – Kassie’s Story I flew to visit my friend in his home state of Kansas. The difference between Northwest Kansas and Northern Michigan shocked me. While flying from the Mitten State to the nearest airport and driving towards his family’s farm, I wondered: “Where are all the trees and water?” Under […]

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The truth about belonging that opened a callous heart

Out of Place Series – Abby’s Story “You’ve changed in the short time I’ve known you.” My friend made the observation as we drove up the windy road through the mountains, chatting on our way home from a moms’ night out. I smiled because I knew she meant the statement in a positive way. After […]

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How to cling to God’s promises to belong

Out of Place Series – Christina’s Story It was a Thursday, only six weeks ago as I type this, but it feels more like several years have passed. Sitting in a teacher training seminar after school that day, I should have been all ears and fully invested. As a reading teacher, spending a few hours […]

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How to Claim Your Identity to Belong

Out of Place Series – Twyla’s Story I paused at the line for “nickname” in the application for my first solo mission trip. Something in me leapt at the possibility of beginning afresh. Kat. No one would know I’d never been called this nickname before. Perhaps no one would guess that I was shy and […]

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When Grief Makes you Feel Out of Place

Out of Place Series – Sara’s Story My son, Silas, suffered from a disease that required him to be on feeding tube for the last year of his life. Not many people understood the challenges of having a child with severe needs, so whenever I met families like ours, we immediately bonded over our shared […]

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How the courage to let go helps us belong

Out of Place Series – Jodi’s Story I tried, but I just couldn’t keep up.  Running the roads, going to play dates, being in bible studies, mom groups, field trips, enrichment activities, hostess opportunities, outreach, life. When my now teenage daughter was much younger, I had seasons of running myself ragged trying to keep up […]

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Be Yourself to Belong

Out of Place Series – Brittany’s Story I am not the same. I do things differently. I used to look around and try to figure out why. I tried to fit in. I wanted to fit in, but it never worked for me. I was always a little out of place. I had been brainwashed […]

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Reaching Out to Belong

Out of Place Series: Jenny Lynne’s Story At the check-in desk, my escort to the administration offices asked why I was visiting the building. I told him I was there for an interview for the for the position of “Outreach Coordinator.” He gave me a quick once over and asked, “You done a lot of […]

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