Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. Galatians 4:6-7
For a long time, I just didn’t feel like I “belonged.” As a child, I didn’t have a group of friends to hang out with. My one friend, a neighbor around the corner, frequently left me out of activities with her other friends. And when I got into high school I felt more like I was on the edge of my friend group. Fast forward to adulthood and I never quite fit in with the boozy softball coach crowd, the gossipy PTA crowd, or even the Girl Scout leader gang.
And when I married I was an outsider to a large, wonderful family. Yes, they welcomed me but I couldn’t share in all the stories from long past because I never lived in the town they were all from. My own family consists of myself and my parents – who I see and speak with infrequently.
I spent a lot of time in prayer over the years asking God to work His changes in me so that I could feel like I belonged, somewhere, anywhere. As my faith has progressed I’ve come to realize that I first need to accept being a part of the most important family of all – God’s. I praise Him today that He sees us as His sons and daughters. We are His beautiful children whom He loves unconditionally. We belong to Him.
That’s been a hard message for me to soak in and accept. When I stand in the mirror I’ve asked God to help me see what He sees. To love myself as He loves me – no matter where else I may have felt rejected.
And it’s funny how God’s ways work. When I focus on God’s love, gifts and promises the more I feel that sense of belonging. He places me with new people and new situations that He has prepared for me. I slough off the old negative feelings and instead give all glory to Him who loves me and who draws me closer to Him.
I recently heard a lesson about belonging. As Christians we are admonished to “remember our last name.” Like children of our earthly parents we are to go about our lives remembering who we belong to and who we represent. That really hit home. When I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior I became a part of a special family. One where I’m expected to remember my last name and act like I belong to the Lord Most High.
It’s amazing how God gives us the next steps when He sees we are ready — when we start acting like He expects us to. He brings in new people to our lives when He knows we can openly accept His new ways. I find myself so incredibly blessed by, not only the women that have been populated in my sphere, but the men. Strong Christians who love people. Faithful Christians who serve others. Young, old, every race and quirkiness. And I feel like I belong.