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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Longing to Belong as a Military Wife

Out of Place – Chantel’s Story As I sat curled up in the nook of our oversized chair with tears flowing down my cheeks I reached for my cup of tea since it always comforts me. I was snuggled up in our cozy lounge chair with a bible at my side and a sleeping baby […]

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Finding Belonging on the Childfree Path

Out of Place – Tiffany’s Story Someone once said “no one gives you a road map for the road less travelled”. The terrain is unsteady, roots pushing up out of the soil, rocks litter the trail. You push through, chopping down the brush, climbing and tripping and stumbling through. With no directions to guide you […]

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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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Becoming a Place of Belonging for Others

Out of Place – Jennie’s Story “We really don’t fit in anywhere, do we?” I finally admitted it out loud to my husband. We never quite fit the mold provided for us by society. Looking back over the years we’ve been married, we have tended to run from the mold, which has made it difficult […]

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Finding Belonging When God Takes Away Your Community

Out of Place – Rachel’s Story It was the 5th Starbucks trip that finalized it for me; I was no longer part of the circle and I needed to accept it.  The women who I had spent hours doing life together with the prior three years walked by me in the hallway of the church […]

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Finding Belonging in a New Stage of Life

Out of Place – Elise’s Story It was the fall of 2012. I was attending Allume, a blogging/writing conference. I was so excited!  Blogging was still newish, along with online magazines, contributor websites and the like. My friend Kimberly Amici and I had recently started CirclesOfFaith.org – Where Life, Faith, and Community Intersect. Our site […]

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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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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’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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