Belonging vs. Being Used
You can sit with us.
Your story matters.
There’s a place at the table for you.
These are some of the encouraging messages smattered on shirts and coffee mugs and journals in all the Christian stores in all the states. I won’t lie—I’ve got a few of the shirts, and I like them. These messages are beautiful and helpful, and I believe during this space in history, when so many young women are unsure of their place and their worth, the encouragement is welcome. We have the joy of welcoming all the people, telling them they have a place with us, hearing one another’s stories, and allowing God to utilize them for His glory. We get to be people with overflowing tables and open hands, not crossed arms and saved seats.
But this doesn’t have to be the message that our souls crave when we as women of God encounter the world. We’re not meant to find our place or our inclusion in the world. Our “spot” in eternity was paid for by the cross of Jesus Christ. There is more here available for us than belonging to this world and our current culture.
I don’t like the feeling of being left out any more than the next girl. In fact, I hate feeling left out. I despise the sensation that everyone else has the upper hand or they somehow have something figured out that I don’t. I don’t love knowing that I’m excluded, and I certainly don’t want to be discounted from my community because of my faith in Jesus. Let’s be real: that doesn’t sound fun to anyone.
But more than I want to belong, I want to be used. And when I approach a people group—whether it’s the women at my church, the other moms at my kids’ school, or the gals I work out with at the gym—I don’t want to enter into needing their approval when I already have all the approval I need from Jesus.
I don’t want to be asking other humans to fill up the gaps in my soul. Rather, I want to be taking the soul answer to them: Jesus. If we’re going to change the world and stop being changed by it, we’re going to have to acknowledge that we already belong, we already have a place, and we’re already accepted. Not by humans or community or the kind gals we do life with—but by Jesus.
Remember in 1 Peter 1 when we were told to by holy as God is? Here's some wisdom on seeking to belong vs. being used by God from just after those passages: "Since you call on a Father who judges each person's work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear." 1 Peter 1:18
I also love Hebrews 13:14 that says: "For we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come." Looking down at our feet and finding ourself called holy changes everything when we look up at the world around us. We stop looking at this city, this community, this world to be our home - we start remembering that we don't just find our identity in God, but we find our future in His Kingdom. We already belong, and we are so incredibly ready to be used to bring other people with us.
Women of God, I have only question for you: Are we ready to change the story?
Are we ready to wholeheartedly embrace the grace of God and reject the desire to belong to this world since we belong to the Kingdom? Are we ready to take back some ground we may have lost in losing sight of our holy standing? Are we ready to allow God to use us to change the world? Are we ready to move into this kingdom on mission, with our hearts more intent on loving others and sharing His marvelous light? Are we ready to dance, stand, and run—for the glory of God and the sake of the world?
Let's go. Let's Dance Stand Run.