I knew when I chose this topic that I would not be able to explore the depths of the subject in 31 days. I think it might take another 40,000 words, and someone a whole lot smarter than me, to help us understand how we belong to our people and our place. However, I have written what God laid on my heart every day — even when it was personal and sometimes painful. I’m glad I took the challenge. Here are the highlights…
We were created in the image of a Triune God who spoke the very words, “It is not good for man to be alone.”
We were wired to be with others.
God set eternity into the human heart. We long for heaven.
We can never be totally fulfilled here because God has put that longing into each and every one of us.
The Story began long before we were born — it’s not all about us.
We are part of a Grand Epic of which our life story fits into a few paragraphs in the chapters surrounding 2000 A.D.
Everyone has baggage. No one is perfect. But we are still enough.
Sometimes we think we are not enough simply because we don’t believe God.
God uses sinful, fallen people to accomplish His work.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Sometimes we need to seek out a counselor or a pastor and ask for help… to understand and believe.
Believe. Trust. We are enough.
Loneliness might be the hardest cross we bear. — John Eldredge
We don’t belong sometimes because we have bad social skills. Don’t hug the wall. Be brave.
Women need one friend out of 500 — Just one to feel like she belongs. — John Gray
Do you walk in a room and say, “Here I am” or “There you are” — it makes a difference.
Dare greatly in the 3 words, There you are!
We need to look for the one instead of waiting for the one to find me.
It’s time to put on our capes and be brave.
Look to the fringe and see the people. People need us. People need Jesus.
Shame doesn’t cause us to change our behavior in a good way; it will more likely cause us to behave badly. — Brene’ Brown
Shame keeps us on the outside looking in.
Some of the shame we carry in our backpacks doesn’t belong to us. We should never have picked it up.
It’s time to clean out our backpack.
Both misplaced shame and well-placed shame can cripple us if we don’t know how to deal with them at the root. — John Piper
Misplaced shame does not dishonor God.
Well-placed shame does dishonor God.
There is a place where shame and grace and mercy collide — it’s called the Cross.
God, in his mercy, offers us grace and forgiveness when we bring our shame to Him.
Zero-tolerance to end bullying and violence does not work.
It’s time to focus on teaching and modeling pro-social behavior, like teaching kindness. — Susan Swearer
Everybody loves good fruit: God gives his children good gifts, The Fruit of the Spirit, as we attempt to find our way here on this earth. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control.
One of the secrets to belonging is to seek God first.
Don’t steal someone else’s perfect place.
God has someone prepared for that job, but it may not be you.
God does, however, have something prepared for you — you just need to find it.
If you live in America, 12% of us move every single year — almost 40 million people.
Put the GPS away, and get to really know your city.
Eat locally. Shop locally. Find a church. Meet your neighbors. Find the library. And go for a walk.
Think positively about your new city. Give it time, and don’t compare.
Keep connections with old friends as you make new.
Figuring out what makes us tick is a great way to find our people and our place.
Core values define you.
Get out there and meet REAL people.
Real connection comes only when we meet face-to-face.
Shares, likes, and selfies are no replacement for the bonding that takes place over food, drink and the sharing of stories.
People who share our core values make great “footings.”
Enjoy the “whimsical pillows” but keep the sure footings in your foundation.
Your “decor” can be eclectic and varied. The more colorful the better.
“Fitting in” is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be to be accepted.
“Belonging” doesn’t require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are.
True belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world. — Brene’ Brown
Our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance. — Brene’ Brown
Things aren’t tidy. Things are messed up. We need to be vulnerable.
We need to be who we really are. And ask for what we really need.
Fitting in IS NOT the same as belonging.
Belonging is when you stay connected to your true self, who you really are, as you connect with others. You’re willing to share your success as well as your failures.
Fitting in is when you lose yourself to look, think, and act how you think others want you to look, think, and act.
Everyone is looking for empathy. — Elizabeth Murphy
I can’t fully understand your situation, because I am not you, but I will stay with you in it. — Elizabeth Murphy
I am like them and they are like me. — Elizabeth Murphy
I learned SO much from writing this series. I feel like God gave the words to me — for me. They washed over me like a private therapy session each day. If you followed along, thank you, and I hope you learned something valuable during the month. What’s your favorite highlight or quote?
Come back a couple more times as I have a personal story to share with you next week as I wrap up, Do You Belong? — a Write 31 Days Challenge.