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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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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