We are connected.

We all have a place in this vast, beautiful tapestry called Humanity, and we are all connected through the sustaining threads of relationship and belonging. We become woven together in our tightly-knitted communities built on Story. We share our stories of where we are, where we have been, and where we long to go so that we can be known, be seen, and belong.

Within all of us is a longing for connection and purpose. We yearn for a sense of significance. We need to belong. Still, belonging isn’t always easy. For some, the word Belonging is confronted by another word; Rejection. At some point in our lives, our imperfections barred us from belonging. Tragically, we all have stories of when we learned that we don’t fit as we are. We are not enough.

Yet, love tells a different story of belonging. It plays by different rules. Love says, “You don’t have to be perfect for me to love you. Come as you are”. Brene Brown rightly posits, “Those who have a strong sense of love and belonging have the courage to be imperfect”. Love is very courageous. Both in its giving and its receiving, love must be bold. To love we must leap. We must leap into belonging, as well.

Belonging is what love does.

To be loved, we love. To belong, we give our very selves into belonging. We leap. We surrender. In the surrender of self, we find that we belong. It was Walt Whitman who wrote, “Behold, I do not give lectures or a little charity; when I give, I give myself”. This is a great mystery. Our outpouring of love is what connects us and brings us into belonging. The Bible says,

“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” II Cor. 5:14-15

We love because we have discovered our loved-ness. We have responded to Christ’s invitation to enter in, and we have come to find ourselves adorned in His love. This compels us to live in and out of the love we now know. Belonging is what this love does. We belong because we are loved, and we want others to come into this belonging, as well.

No matter where you are, you belong.

Are you busy?

Many of us have full lives and full schedules. We are trying to stay on top of it all. We are striving to be present and engaged, with and, for those around us.

Are you searching for a life of meaning and purpose?

Some of us are in search of the meaning of it all. We are asking, seeking, and trying to dig a little deeper. We know there’s more than meets the eye, and we aren’t content with the status quo.

Are you struggling in a time of hardship?

There are also those of us who are hurting. Life is hard for us. We never could have imagined it would be this hard, for this long, with no end in sight. We are wondering if the light at the end of the tunnel will ever come into view. We’re not giving up, but we are weary, and ready for the dawn to break.

Are you all-in and ready to serve Jesus?

Some of us are in the race. We know it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and we are relentlessly going after it. It’s not easy, but it’s what we’re called to. We have big dreams and big vision. We have come into the wide-open spaces of healing and wholeness, and we are ready to give our lives away for others. We are the seeds in the ground; ready and waiting to burst into the light.

Find yourself belonging.

Wherever you are, no matter what your story is, I pray you will discover that love has met you there. This love says that you belong, no matter how messy, busy, or challenging your life may be. You belong to God. You belong with us. You belong in your community.

You belong to God, dear one. He knew you before you were in the womb and He has an everlasting, relentless love for you. Look up, and behold the love He has for you today.

You belong with us. We are your people. A ragtag group of misfits brought together, despite our imperfections, to take the bold leap into love and belonging. We don’t claim perfection. We hold tightly to love. We are loved and we will love.

You belong in your community, your school, and your workplace. Look around. These are the lives you will impact. These are those you will teach, and learn from. We will help you and we will cheer you on, as you leap into what love will compel you to do for and with those around you.

You belong. There is a seat at the table for you. So, take hold of your identity as one who belongs. Reach out into your community, offering this love to others who want nothing more than to know they belong. Because this is what love does. It says we all belong, no matter where we are. Leap with us. And find yourself belonging.

By: Emily Klever

The post “Belonging”  appeared first in the equipHER September Newsletter on August 31, 2017.

Emily is a hands-on ministry leader who shares PCL’s desire to connect with, champion, and embolden leaders around the globe to realize their God-given vision and purpose within their community. Emily’s approach is to facilitate local and international ministry through relational, interpersonal techniques, which produce lasting impact for the Kingdom of God. Emily is a graduate of Northwest University, a Licensed Minister with the Assemblies of God, and has extensive experience in ministry, international mission, urban outreach and team alignment.

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