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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

Belonging: forever in the family

I have always kept looking for a place to belong. A place to call my own. One where I would be loved and accepted for who I was. One where no mistake I made would ever be big enough to separate me from the love of the community. I want a place to call home where peace and unity are available in abundance.

This longing can make me do really stupid things. I have spent a lot of time and energy trying to be accepted by certain people. I have spent a lot of emotional energy worrying whether I will someday lose my position of acceptance in the community where I love and change and grow. I keep worrying if I don’t work hard enough, why would anyone love me? At what point will I make a big enough mistake and be found no longer acceptable?

Over the last four years as I have made New Jersey my temporary home, I have struggled a lot with the concept of family. I have carefully tiptoed closer to having real relationships with people. I have committed to relationships for the first time in my life. I have learned that with commitment comes character change. If I am not going to run away, then I have to face the shortcomings in myself and those around me… and choose to love anyway.

As I went through “recovery”, my relationships became healthier and healthier. I learned how to do things God’s way instead of the way that made the people around me temporarily happy. As I have chosen to follow His way, I have also parted ways with many people. People who didn’t want to come along with me on my journey. Even though it was a journey I felt God calling me on, I felt guilty about the separation. Wasn’t I the one choosing to change my life? So wasn’t I the one guilty of the separation in the relationship? Didn’t God call us to love? How could love ever “abandon” people?

I kept carrying this weight with me. It was as heavy as a rock. It wasn’t a pebble either. This weight intensified my fear that I would lose the relationships I was gaining through following Him. What if someday I wouldn’t be a part of my spiritual family either? What if they would abandon me? As, dare I say, I had abandoned others?

Then two weeks ago, I woke up on Sunday morning. I don’t know if you have ever had a revelation, but I had a revelation. It was entirely God-given; and in my counselor’s words, it was providential.

I realized I didn’t join God’s family when I came to New Jersey. The last four years of character change did not change anything about which family I belonged in. The tough conversations I have had, the crying and healing I have done, and the decisions I have made changed nothing about my spiritual position. My spiritual position has not changed in the last four years.

I had joined this amazing family nearly eleven and a half years ago when I accepted Christ. Long before I ever met the people in New Jersey, we belonged to the same family. We were on the same team. We had the same good, good Father. I realized my family wasn’t going away. They were forever. It is true that time, relocation and character choices may create fluctuation in how often we see each other and the intimacy we experience together; but this is my permanent family.

It reminds me of a saying I have seen, “I smile when I think about how I am your sister. I laugh when I think about how you can’t do anything about it.”

Pretty much that, but I don’t laugh in the “ha ha, you’re stuck” sort of way, but in a way filled with joy and delight. I experienced church differently that Sunday. Laid to rest is my fear that I have to “do” to belong here. I can just “be” because there is nothing they can do to truly get rid of me. Not that they want to.

I finally figured out I am secure. God wasn’t joking. I am a part of His family. I joined it over eleven years ago. It may have taken me some time to learn how to live in that reality, but I have been a part of it since I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Nothing can separate me from His love. His children will continue to occasionally hurt me, but my siblings and I will always have the opportunity to make amends and live in unity. I have the rest of my life to do the work of my Father with my siblings. I have the rest of my life to truly quit doing and realize I can just be. This isn’t a few year fluke. This is what I get to do for the rest of my eternal life. I am so glad.

Where do you find your security? Do you have to “do” to be acceptable or can you just “be”?

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