Where do I Belong?
Dictionary.com defines belonging as something that belongs. I don’t know your background, but did you get a sense that you belonged? The world and society says you only belong if you perform up to a certain standard. We can be insecure when we lack a sense of belonging.
You may have not known your parents, whether through adoption, abandonment, or death. You may have not been shown love, acceptance, or felt like you belonged. You may have experienced being bullied or ridiculed by your peers, and felt the sting of rejection by certain groups. You may have endured physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, and you have never felt like you belonged. You may struggled in school and not made the highest grades. You may have experienced being a teenage mother. You may have struggled with your health, and perhaps even been homebound. You may have come from a financially poor family, and struggled with trying to keep up. You may have a physical disability. You may struggle with your mental and emotional health.
A misfit does not quit fit into anyone class or group. There is a sense of not belonging.
I am a firm believer that attachment and belonging start in infancy and even in the womb. Our parents give us our first sense of belonging and acceptance as well as our image of God. Have you felt like you have never quit fit into a particular group? Have you searched for significance and belonging? I believe, that most girls/women and some men become promiscuous because they are longing to fill the void of belonging, attachment, and love. We see in our society every form of trying to fill the void of belonging and love, whether through gangs, cults, and even religion.
Psychologist, John Bowlby, introduced the attachment theory. Bowlby presents that when we are accepted by others we experience warmth and security, and by contrast when we experience rejection by others it can cause shame and anxiety. Bowlby’s work included his theory on the relationship between infants and their caregivers. It was proposed that strong, secure attachments found in early years were associated with an individual’s ability to form intimate trusting and emotionally secure relationships.
Psychologist, Abraham Maslow, introduced the “hierarchy of needs.” Basically he formulated a pyramid with five levels of our basic needs, one of the five, he labels love and belonging. According to Maslow, humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among their social groups, including family and friends. Humans need to love and to be loved by others.
You may be thinking that you have not received that kind of love and belonging in your relationships, whether family, friendships, or others. As a child, I did not fit in and belong, and even as an adult I still have not found one particular group of people I can say I totally belong. Even though, I do belong to the Body of Christ, there are stills groups and cliques we form in the church. I am eclectic, a hodge-podge of various things, and I am not a typical “church girl.” I don’t like dresses, things that are “frou-frou,” I don’t come from a Christian heritage, I prefer to hang-out with people who are the misfits, and I have a prodigal son that I had as a teenager.
Maybe you are physically disabled, homebound, homeless, an orphan, a widow, a teenage mother, have no children, single, financially strapped, have health ailments, or even emotional issues. Maybe you have come from an environment that you did not feel loved and felt like you belonged. Maybe you were abused, abandoned, rejected, and tossed-aside. Maybe you were forgotten or misunderstood. Maybe you have always felt different. You are not alone. There are countless others, including myself, who have experienced these difficulties.
BUT…Reflect on these truths…
You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, that you may proclaim the excellences of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
1 Peter 2:9
~ Don’t compare yourselves to others.
For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ.
~ Know matter your family background, you have been adopted into the family of God.
God has a special place in His heart for misfits. God always had in His heart to take care of those who could not take care of themselves, the orphan, the widow, and the fatherless. Jesus did not just come for the powerful, the prosperous, or the religious, but Jesus came for the blind, the lame, the diseased, the dead, the hurting, the outcasts, and the sinners. Just look through the Bible and you can find numerous misfits God choose to use and redeem for His purposes. God is a redeemer that means whatever your losses have been, He will rectify them. Abraham and Sarah, a childless couple, God chose to make a great nation though them. Moses, had a speech impediment and was a murderer, yet God still used him. The disciples were misfits, tax collectors, fisherman, and just commonplace. Rahab, the prostitute, obviously a misfit, was used by God and was seen as faithful. Naomi, a widow and, and bitter because of her circumstances; God sent her a kinsmen-redeemer, and she was used mightily with her daughter-in-laws.
God still uses misfits today! If you are a misfit, you can rejoice that God has a special plan and purpose for your life. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you belong to God’s family. Though you may have been rejected by people or may have not felt accepted; you are accepted and loved by God.