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 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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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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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 When You Just Want to Be One of the Girls

Out of Place – Pamela’s Story Sundays are my favorite day of the week. I wake early to get in some prayer time before I arrive at the church building at 7:30 am for worship sound check. My hubby, the pastor, likes to get to the building by 6:30 am so he can pray before […]

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Finding Belonging in God’s Presence

Out of Place – Meredith’s Story The idea of belonging was always a mystery for me. I’d thought of it in terms of ownership or membership. “Does this dog belong to you?” “She could fit all of her belongings into a small knapsack.” “With his flag planted in the ground, he declared this land now […]

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How to Find Belonging Around the World

Out of Place – June’s Story When I first met Billy and May, they were in their 30s and had already moved from Australia, and lived in my region of southern China for almost eight years. They had five children under eight at that time, one of which was a local Chinese boy they’d adopted. […]

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Why We Are All Worthy of Belonging

Out of Place Series – Brandy’s Story His name isn’t important. Though, as with any boy you have a crush on during your formative years, he went by both first and last. You know the type. They are the “Jordan Cattalanos” and “Dylan McKays” of the world (at least that’s who they are if you’re […]

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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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