Where do you belong?
If you’re married, it’s probably a simpler question to answer. And if your relationship with your spouse is good, you can confidently confirm that you’re wanted and that you have somewhere you belong. The addition of children quickly adds other layers of relationships and the ability to identify with people. Think about playgroups. Playgroups are less about the children and more about the moms. There’s something incredibly life giving about being around people who “get you.”
But what about those who don’t feel like they belong?
- The young woman walking down the hall of her college dorm who feels like everyone has found “their people” but her.
- The woman going through a divorce who no longer feels accepted among all the couple friends where she once found her community.
- The single man or woman who watches as each of his or her friends transition into married life.
- The family that finds itself starting over in a new city, maybe as a result of a promotion.
As someone who’s in the process of starting over, I’m reminded how fundamental a sense of belonging is to our health. Quite honestly, it’s something I took for granted for many years. So, what do you do if you’re struggling with feeling like you belong?
There’s a sense that you have to push yourself to go make new connections. Staying isolated and being reminded of your lack of connection will never help. Determine what environments are most conducive to your personality and then take baby steps by putting yourself in the places that are easiest for you.
This is natural for an extrovert, but even an introvert can take a class, volunteer somewhere, visit a church, or join an exercise group. Think of what you love to do and how people connect around that interest, then make yourself get there. Or think about what you wish someone would do for you and then do it for someone else. The world is full of people needing to be seen and accepted.
Sometimes we need to lean on the relationships we do have for a season. Pull some of your connections from the past into your present. Maybe it means picking up the phone and making a call just to remind yourself you aren’t alone. Consider inviting someone to come visit you.
This is a season and it will pass. The enemy wants you to feel alone. Don’t let him win.
There are two truths that run parallel. First, we need community. God didn’t create us to live alone. The need is legitimate. Second, we often (accidentally) allow our sense of belonging to be what determines our sense of worth. Be careful to recognize if you’re making this mistake. I’ve taught on identity my entire ministry and I won’t stop. We should never lose sight that our worth is not determined by how many likes we get, how many friends we have, or how often someone calls us to go do something. The way we keep our heads above water in a season where we feel disconnected is to dig into God’s Word and be reminded that our value and purpose have already been determined.
You are a daughter of the King! Lauren Daigle’s song You Say says it best…
The only thing that matters now is what You think of me.
He thinks very highly of you, my friend. He made no mistakes when He created you, and His heart is for you to lean on Him while He helps guide you to find community. We can count on that.