How To Know Where You Belong

bind my heart wm

I thought an awful lot about running away yesterday. Mostly when I bumped through the back door on my way out carrying too many things and spilling coffee on my shoe and my hand.

And maybe a little more when I started scrolling through the IG feed looking at all the lovely verses and pictures and colors and lives encapsulated in those tiny squares. They all seemed so polished and pure but I know deep down they aren’t the full picture.

And maybe my flight response kicked into overdrive when I lamented the ratio of things to be done to my mental fortitude to accomplish it all. Work tasks, house maintenance, home projects, etc. etc….It was almost a full on George Bailey moment when he grabs the top of the newel post in “It’s a Wonderful Life” only to have it come off in his hand when he had just finished complaining:

“It’s this old house. I don’t know why we all don’t have pneumonia. Drafty old barn! Its like living in a refrigerator. Why can’t we live somewhere else instead of this measly, crummy old town?”

When I have that feeling of wanting to get lost in the same old movies, or take an extended vacation or run from a sticky situation I know I’m probably really avoiding a bigger issue.

We had a full holiday weekend- complete with car care conundrums (which thankfully were solved by Saturday), musical interludes- as the boy and I took our ‘show’ on the road to another church only to have a tough act to follow when the sweet organist passed out during the prelude (she’s ok hallelujah! but man was that scary!) and a little deep kitchen cleaning thrown in for good measure (because maybe I’m ruminating on some other deep stuff…)

As I scrolled though my pictures preparing to write I contemplated how nice it would be to run away to some of these places again…

{Carter’s mountain orchard… I have a hankering for fall… and some apple pies…}

Or here…

{Scenes from around Crabtree Falls…}

Or to redo a trip to here…but maybe with a little less frigid temperatures…?

Did I ever tell you the story of how we ran away to Niagara Falls? We started out on vacation to Massanutten between Christmas and New Years and at the end of that week decided to drive to Luray Caverns in the Shenandoah Valley of VA  ….And then after seeing all there was to see there but still not ready to go home, around 5pm that evening we decided that Niagara Falls sounded like a cool side trip that wasn’t too far away. {P.S… it was a lot farther away and if we had smart phones or GPS’s at the time we maybe would have thought it through a little more} …..Upon arriving in upstate NY in the middle of the night and securing a hotel to rest for a few hours we heard there would be some weather coming in the next day. So not willing to be stuck in a blizzard in a state where we didn’t belong, hundreds of miles from home, we set out early to see the sights… in freezing weather… and then out-ran the storm to make it back home right as the ball dropped on a new year.

When I want to run from my job or my church or my responsibilities it’s easy to convince myself that it’s just a change of scenery I need. But guess what…the issues just tag along behind. Because you are where ever you go…

And when I struggle with thinking I’m just not made for this (fill in the blank with whatever your situation may be) Well, there’s a little truth in that too. I’m really not made for this earth because if I’m a Christ follower then I’m indeed made for eternity. So it’s really no wonder why sometimes I don’t have the patience for the petty, mean or vile things I see happening in the world.

Through my whole life I have struggled with wondering where I belonged and what I’m meant to do. The awkward realities of being a teenager often bring the struggle to light but I’m finding sometimes it lasts much longer and that even grown women do battle with the same insecurities that taunted them as young women.

Listening to a replay of a talk that Emily Freeman gave at SheSpeaks a few years back she described how one would think they had ‘arrived’ and finally found a place of belonging after publishing a book or two and how for her that notion is still completely false. When I find myself thinking that I have in any way shape or form arrived as an adult -completely competent in my abilities to orchestrate my life and finances and job security, well, I’m making the same unfair assumption.

Last week I stumbled upon a pretty little blog by this girl and noticed she was holding a “Blogtember Challenge” with writing prompts and link-ups each day similar to this 31 days challenge I did last year. I considered joining in until I let myself be convinced that I wouldn’t belong because they all seemed more fashionable, creative and just plain ~younger~ and I felt like I’d just be crashing their party.

So I promptly shut the laptop and tried to forget all about it because feeling like I don’t belong makes me want to run and hide.

One thing I have figured out is that wanting to run away points me to the fact that maybe I’m really running on empty.

And in either case, I won’t get very far. Instead of distancing myself, I need to lean into where I am right here and now fuel up with God’s presence.

Jesus tells us we belong and loves us and says that we are His – set on this earth for a purpose which boils down to basically this: share His love with each other. Encourage one another. Help each other- especially when we see a sister about to bolt because they just can’t even.

When we feel like running away we should take it as a nudge to run to our savior because right by His side is where we belong.

So maybe I’ll put the black and white movies on pause and take in the words in black and red on the pages of my bible instead. I’ll let my mess be my message and maybe I’ll circle back to that writing challenge and jump right into the deep end smack in the middle of it. I’ll revel in His goodness knowing when I release all the outcomes to Him and keep my eyes focused, He’ll help me walk across the overwhelming waves of life- safe and secure. No running required.

Thanks as always for giving me another place to belong- right here with you all.


8 thoughts on “How To Know Where You Belong

  1. Heather,
    Those photos of you at the falls are downright frigid and sent me running for a blanket! Phew – -thank goodness the beach photo followed — and I may be mistaken but I think your photos covered all four seasons! Which reminds me of these varying seasons of our lives — how the wait puzzles us but sometimes prepares for a busier future, how the winter rest saves our strength and the spring that follows (for it ALWAYS follows it, doesn’t it?) revives us. Praying with you about it all! And oh, spilling coffee is not a great way to start the day and the IG feed? I had to shut mine down the other night because I could not look at one more ecstatic amazing photo! But I feel sure there are more of us souls waiting on God and following him step at a time than there are those who have already arrived! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha!! I never noticed the photos went with each season! And Spring will indeed come again. (though I really am excited about Fall right now…!) Thanks for praying along with me. Your sweet comments and taking the time to read my sometimes jumbled thoughts mean so much! And yes I think you’re right, there’s a lot of waiting going on in the kingdom even if IG makes us want to think otherwise ; ) ♥♥♥

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  2. There was once a man in Maine that owned a donkey – a really nice little donkey. But, the man really wanted a racehorse. He talked to everyone about his wish of owning a racehorse until one day he met another man who told him that some of the best racehorses came from Virginia. the man thought about this and decided that if his donkey went to Virginia it would become a fine racehorse. So, he loaded the little donkey onto a freight train and shipped the little donkey to Virginia – hoping / believing that the change of location would turn the donkey into a racehorse. So, after a night of traveling the train arrived in Virginia. The man ran to the freight car and was rubbing his hands with anticipation as the doors were opened. After a few minutes a figure appeared in the doorway. The man’s jaw dropped open, he couldn’t believe what he saw. There in the shadows stood his little donkey.
    Sometimes, no matter how much we think a change of place will change everything – we still are faced with the same little donkey. And it was a little donkey that was chosen by Jesus to help him carry His message to others.

    Love your writing, Heather.
    Bill

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Loved your comment Bill ; ) Had me thinking all weekend! Right where we are and just as we are is how God wants to use us. Donkeys or racehorses. Hope all is well in FL!! : )

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