Finding Belonging When You’ve Lived Here and There

Out of Place – Elisa’s Story The first time someone scoffed at me for wanting to live in the southeast U.S. I was in 11th grade. He said, “Oh, they don’t like us down there. They still call us Yankees.” So? I thought. It’s where I belong. From the time I was 16 years old […]

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Finding Belonging in the Face of Rejection

Out of Place – Heather’s Story There was nothing atypical about that first day of physical therapy school. But the next three years would be filled with heartbreak, success, failure, and some of life’s greatest lessons. Twenty-five of us sat in a medium sized classroom; each equal parts excited and nervous at the same time. […]

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Finding Belonging in our Loneliness

Out of Place – Joy’s Story On an Irish summer day, overcast with a gentle breeze, a fourteen-year-old girl sits alone.  A stranger in this place, she has found comfort in the whispers of the ocean.  Her free time finds her wandering the trails along the coast.  Today, as she sits on a large rock, […]

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Finding Belonging When You Feel Like A Misfit

Out of Place – Rachael’s Story “What would you say to the woman who feels like a misfit?” the woman interviewing me asked.  As I considered the question, all the situations in which I’ve felt like an outcast or outsider flitted through my mind: as a young girl on the playground, as an awkward teen […]

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Finding Belonging in a Foreign Country

Out of Place – Jodie’s Story As a newly married introvert, I found that the label 外国人 “foreigner” was the only thing that fit me in our newly acquired host culture. While my extroverted husband with his natural language ability and flexible personality seemed custom made for China, I felt out of place.  If you […]

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Finding Belonging When You Feel Invisible

Out of Place – Melissa’s Story As a young girl, I understood that belonging with others felt normal and very safe. However, to really belong, I realized you needed to be known and loved. More than someone just knowing your name; it’s that feeling when someone you know gets excited to see you and runs […]

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Finding Belonging in the Pews of a New Church

Out of Place – Katie’s Story After a quick glance in the mirror to make sure my mask matched my outfit, I realized I had plenty of time to walk. Swoosh. The revolving door spit me out into the concrete jungle and Google maps directed my steps toward a new-to-me church. Moving in the middle […]

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Finding Belonging Even When We’re Not Chosen

Out of Place – Marnie’s Story Just weeks before high school started, we left a bustle-y, colorful South Jersey town for this sleepy, tucked-in-the-hills community in southern Ohio. From East coast to Midwest. From urban to country. From 600 students in my class to 64. From Burger King to Burger Shack. In that town of […]

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Finding Belonging in God’s Purpose for Our Lives

Out of Place – Casey’s Story “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s the question every little kid is asked no less than 1000 times throughout the years. We’re told, “You can be anything you want to be.” But that be, I found, has standards. Be means success. It means making […]

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Finding Belonging Between Two Worlds

Out of Place – Jolene’s Story 2020 has been a year!  I committed to writing this piece about “not fitting in” earlier in 2020 and it has been a challenge to put into words something that summarizes my experiences and shares how vulnerable I feel when sharing my story.  Every time I sat down to […]

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