How to Find Belonging in a New Country

Out of Place – Madhukanta’s Story It has been more than 26 years since I first set foot on this vast land. I was barefoot. My shoes were hurting after the long flight and I was carrying them in my hand. This was after getting married, somewhat hurriedly, to someone I had never met before. […]

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How to Embrace Your Differences to Belong

Out of Place – Melissa’s Story A stare comes from the person across from me with raised eyebrows and squinted eyes as they try to smile. A feeling of awkwardness comes over me. “Oh, I was too much!” I think to myself. “Why am I so excited talking about buying vegetables for a new recipe […]

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The Out of Place Mama

Out of Place Series – Elisa’s Story I never expected that mommying wasn’t really my thing until I became a mama.   Although my childhood fell short of sunshine and roses, I had a great family life growing up. I came from good Christian stock, with a tint of hippie love and missionary-radical in the mix. […]

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Belonging From the Fullness of God

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, […]

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Finding Belonging in the Church

Out of Place Series – Meghan’s Story Wringing my hands is a nervous habit. Picking at my nails, biting the inside of my lip, too. And I was doing all of that at once my first night of small group. With hesitating steps I rang the doorbell of the church, and the warm if not […]

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How to Belong When You Don’t Fit the Career Mold

Out of Place Series – Camille’s Story I graduated high school as valedictorian of my class fifteen years ago (Wow! Time certainly does fly.), so one would think that by 32, I would have already answered the question: What do you want to do with your life? When I was younger, I was an excellent […]

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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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