* Apologies for this late post! I was gone all weekend, and only remembered after I’d left that I had forgotten to put a post up.
This week I’m going to be sharing a sort of casual essay. I wrote it as a school assignment, but it quickly turned into something much more personal than a simple essay. I hope your hearts are encouraged by this!
In this culture of vast variety, it is sometimes hard to find your niche. A place to fit in, a place to belong. You look around at everyone, seemingly so different from you, and wonder ‘Is it really possible to find a place to truly belong?’ I have struggled with those same feelings, and so I invite you to join me, as I explore just a little bit about finding ‘a place to belong’.
As a conservative Christian girl, my values are almost always the opposite of the world’s values. As I look around, I see sinful people who are bound and determined to do what they want, when they want and how they want. People who dismiss God and his Word the Bible, on the grounds that it is old-fashioned/irrelevant/not for them/flawed/etc. People who don’t care about others; they only care about themselves. People that have twisted love into a gross, lustful, self-gratifying thing that consumes their lives. People that only care about the next movie coming out, the new Instagram filter, their iPhone, their computer, or the new fashions on the runway. People who can’t fathom living without luxury, Wi-Fi, all their stuff. People who need entertainment 24/7, whether it comes from their phone or their computer, or their computer games or movies. People who have an insatiable drive to get to the top of the pyramid, whether it’s career or social or something else. They long to have the best car, house, family, wife, friends, or stuff. I see families being broken apart because of selfishness, lust, anger, greed, or just plain sinfulness. And as I look around at all this brokenness, at everyone who holds such different values and morals than me, I wonder ‘where do I belong?’
Because as I look at the world, I’m struck with the massive difference between their values and mine. I look at myself, and I see sinfulness. But I also see values and morals at a complete opposite end to the majority of the world. I hold God and his word the Bible in high respect. I believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation, and that I am a sinner saved by grace. I believe that the Bible is God’s inspired word to us, and should not be taken lightly, twisted, or dismissed. My whole life is completely changed because I am a Christian. I have conservative views on love, believing that marriage is something between one man and one woman, and that sex should be saved for after marriage. I believe that dating should have boundaries and goals, and that it is something that should not be taken lightly. I also believe that woman should dress modestly, so as to not make it hard for men to keep themselves pure. I have a high view of life, believing that children are a blessing from God, and that a baby is a person from the moment it is conceived. No child should be killed because it is unwanted or the wrong gender. I also take a high view of family, trying to honour God with the way I treat my parents and siblings, though I fail often. As for schooling, I am home-schooled which automatically makes me different and weird from the rest of my peers. Some of my peers look down on me because I am ‘sheltered’ and ‘enjoy learning,’ two things that are very different from their lifestyles. Even little things, that my internet is monitored and restricted sets me apart from the rest of the world that craves 24/7 entertainment. Pretty much everything in my life from school to personal values is completely different from the world.
And honestly, it’s hard. It’s hard not being able to fit in with the crowd, not to understand the inside jokes, not to be ‘one of them’. Though I know deep down in my heart that I am doing the right thing, sometimes you just want to belong somewhere.
And you know what? That longing is something that has been gnawing at the human heart for all of time. The longing to have that hole filled, that heart-longing satisfied, the desire to find a place that you can truly say you belong. But since sin entered the world, people have become lost. They don’t know where they belong or how to have that hole filled and that desire satisfied. They search and search, but never truly find.
Some go the way of love, trying to fill the hole in their heart with relationships and promises of love and all they find is that people are fickle and at the end of it, the holes in their hearts are deeper than ever before.
Some go the way of entertainment, trying desperately to satisfy that heart desire with movies and books and friends and phones and unlimited wifi. But there is always some unattainable ‘something’ that they can never quite get, and so that heart-desire is never quite satisfied.
And some try and find a place to belong in their work, striving to fit in, to achieve the goals, earn the money, and climb the pyramid. But then either something snaps and their carefully crafted lives come crashing around their ears and they’re left with nothing, or they come to the end of their carefully crafted lives and realize that everything they’ve built… means nothing.
At the end, their hearts still have un-filled holes, their deep desires for something more are unfulfilled, and that cry for some place to belong goes unanswered.
But that is where I am different. Because of one thing.
My heart has been filled with unspeakable love. My desire for something more has been fulfilled, and my heart-cry for a place to belong will ultimately come true.
Because of Jesus.
His life-changing, glorious, all-consuming, sacrificial and amazing love has come into my sin-filled, holey, desiring heart and turned it upside down and around and torn it apart and recreated it and… filled it. In him, all heart desires are satisfied, all the holes are filled, and he has promised that one day, people changed by him will no longer live in this sinful, messy, broken world where no one can truly belong, but will be with him in the most glorious place we could ever imagine. Heaven. And there we will no longer wish to be a part of the crowd, to have a place to belong. Because there We. Will. Belong. There we will see Jesus face to face, and all our heart’s desires will be immediately and completely and utterly satisfied. There. With Him.
So, as I look around at this broken world that I live in, and wish that just once, I could be part of the crowd, to have a place to belong. I stop. And remember. That though this world has troubles, take heart, because Jesus has overcome this world. And he has overcome my sin on the cross in the most magnificently sacrificial love we could ever imagine, and he has filled my heart with his love. And because of this glorious truth, I no longer need to wish for a place to belong. Because I have the hope that I know, one day, I will have one. In Heaven. With Jesus. My ‘Place to Belong’.