The alerts pop up in my email or calendar. Maybe it’s the notification comes via social media. I’m not invited, but I’m reminded I’m not invited. Weird how that works out. You can be a part of the crowd, yet be an outsider. There doesn’t seem to be a place for you. When you don’t belong, it can wreak havoc on the heart. Frankly, I’m tired of the jagged edges of my own disappointment. It’s time to take curative action.
I have often wondered about belonging. Fitting in, staying in, and being in have been challenges for me at various times in life. Maybe it’s because I expect too little or too much. Maybe my perspective needs a little tweaking or shifting. Whatever it is, I know change needs to occur, and that change isn’t an external one. It’s completely internal.
This idea of belonging or not belonging as weighed on my heart for a while. The idea of working through it does not intrigue me. Honestly, it’s sometimes frightening. I’d rather pretend it would all go away, but that’s not how real life works. I can’t grow into a better, more whole me when I am not willing to work through the pain of being dislodged from groups, friendships, or families. How else can you or I overcome and find tiny victories, if we cannot face the ups and downs of life?
In this moment, I’m choosing to sit in the discomfort. I know the process is part of the healing and restoration. The longer I have sat in it, the more focused I become on getting to the root of the issue. I can focus my prayers and thoughts. I can ask myself tough questions like: why do I feel like I don’t belong? Why isn’t that true? Is there a deeper issue? What’s the truth? What’s God’s word on the matter? In a way the questions allow me to be more objective and much less subjective. I can push through my sorrows by defining where the stem from in my heart. After all when you don’t belong, it’s about the soul finding its place, its home.
Obviously the answers to these kinds of questions vary. But here’s what I’m learning. There are seasons where too many other attachments would thwart God’s purpose and plan for my life. There are seasons where not belonging is actually for my good. There are seasons in which not belonging is a healthy boundary. I wouldn’t know these things without sitting in the hurt of separation and getting real honest about what’s really at stake. It takes time and energy.
I’ll just give myself the grace to hold faith, to believe that God has good for me, and that I am never alone. Whether I belong or not, I’ll give myself the grace to be sometimes set apart. I know there is something holy and beautiful woven into the fabric of my soul as I wait for God to make a place for me as I continue to make a place for Him.
This post is a part of my 31 Days of Writing challenge and the second half of the lemonade stories. There are more stories to tell and moments of when to live through. It’s all about taking the sour things of life and reframing them to find the sweetness of faith, hope, and resilience. I hope you’ll join me on this month-long journey. You’ll also find me sharing bits and pieces on my Twitter and IG accounts. I’d love to see you here, and you can also subscribe to my blog/newsletter here.