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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Finding Belonging During Life Transitions

Out of Place – Kari’s Story Moving to a new town is always a challenge, but moving to a town to pastor a church whose previous pastor was staying on staff was harder than I could have imagined.  The church was moving from a video venue to an autonomous church, and they needed a lead […]

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Finding Belonging on the Far Side of the Sea

Out of Place – Amy’s Story Looking back, it is hilarious how naïve we were when we moved with our four kids from our home in Pennsylvania to England.  The common language, the lifelong crush I had on all things British, and the beckoning call of adventure led me to dowse the entire endeavour with a […]

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Finding Belonging in the Unexpected

Out of Place – Carrie’s Story As I watched the group of twelve-year-old students standing in front of the homeschool group waiting for their gifts and prayers of blessing, I had this empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. This was an important rite of passage before moving up to the “Challenge years.”  My […]

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Shedding Labels to Find Belonging in God’s Family

Out of Place – Shawna’s Story “What are you?” he asked nonchalantly.  The solid wood bookshelf behind him provided an intimidating backdrop as I thought curiously how to answer. He occupied the coveted position of Partner in our New York City firm. Between his Brooklyn accent and abrupt demeanor, it resembled a scene from The […]

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