Joining the Five Minute Friday folks with Lisa Jo Baker for 5 minutes of unedited, raw writing. Take some time and come join us. We need your story. You need your story. He needs your story.
Today's word is...
When I was a teenager I remember how desperately I wanted to belong. I wanted to feel like I fit in and was accepted by the "in crowd". There were three basic groups – the jocks, the popular kids, and the “others”. I remember trying so very hard to belong to one of the first two groups. I played soccer and I was a cheerleader. I didn't really like either one of those. I only participated in them in order to belong to something. I even begged my parents to buy me expensive clothes and the latest gadgets in an effort to fit in with the popular kids. In the end, I can’t really say that I ever fulfilled my desire to belong in high school.
When I chose a college, I chose one that was far away from home. I wanted to get far away from the groups of people that never made me feel like I belonged. Once I got there, the "belong" process was about the same. I experimented with different groups of people – mostly sororities. I still wanted so badly to feel like I belonged. After 1 year, several terrible choices, and not being selected for any of the sororities, I left college to move back home and attend a state school. I never fulfilled my desire to belong in college.
About two years after I graduated high school, I set aside the college initiative and joined the Army. Surely, I would fulfill my desire to belong as a member of an organization that was rich with history and tradition, fighting for our countries freedoms. The Army, after all, is the ultimate melting pot of our melting pot country. Here, I found bits of my desire fulfilled – but never for very long. Just when I felt like I belonged, new people would come, and my current leaders, peers, and friends would leave to their next assignment. Then I was stuck trying to fit in… all over again. I can’t say that anyone or anything made me feel like I didn't belong. The experience just never quenched that longing desire.
Then I found Jesus. He gave me hope. He gave me perspective. He made me realize that no one thing and no one person can fulfill my desire to belong. He made me realize that I was wasting an awful lot of energy on things that simply did not matter. I was chasing after something that will never be fulfilled until I enter His kingdom. He made me realize that the easiest way to fit in and belong is to be who I am – who he created me to be - and long for only Him.
Now, my only real desire is to fit in with Him. There is nothing I need to do to be accepted by Him, because I already have been. I don’t need to be anything I am not, because He loves me just the way I am. Whenever I feel like I don’t belong, I need only to close my eyes and pray and He will be remind that I DO belong to something.
I belong to Him.
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
John 15:19 (NIV)