A Stranger….. and Yet, Belonging

Taking risks


It is a funny thing that you can be a part of a culture or group that adamantly proclaims that it is “you” and yet feel very ostracized because it doesn’t reflect the very “core” of who you are. And then life does a 180 degree turn and you find yourself in a new place and culture that could potentially be threatening and reject you. Now you are a minority in the workplace. You have different speech patterns, different ways of looking at things, and of course, you are different because your belief and walk with God shapes the very essence of who you are and where you are going. (Or at least your belief in God was the factor that always ostracized you in your previous culture since you weren’t allowed to talk about it in the workplace and at times got rejected by social groups for it). Shouldn’t you be so far out of your comfort zone that you long to go back to what you once knew and the precarious “acceptance’ in the former group you once had?

But what if instead, everywhere in your new culture there were affirmations that you belong and this is where you were meant to be until you had fulfilled your purpose there? What if the people in your workplace that look somewhat different from you and have a different culture from you say, “Stay, you are one of us?” What if new neighbors and workers stream through your new living place and tell you that they want you to stay and they’re so happy you came to live among them? And most of all, what if your supervisors, coworkers, and visiting agency workers all speak openly to you of their walk with God and how it determines why they serve other people with their whole hearts?

Would you stay? What is this crazy place and who are these people you’ve come to live among? By the world’s standards you shouldn’t be any more comfortable. But you’ve found freedom. You’ve found freedom to be who you are as a Christian and not feel pressure to hide it. You found freedom from heavy taxation and regulation burdens. You found freedom from a Governor who tells “all your kind” to leave the state. And you found diversity, which you longed for, because only in diversity can you truly appreciate the array of humanity and the array of characteristics in yourself.

Perhaps you will stay. After all……it was a huge risk that is seeming to pay off well. No, you will stay because God orchestrated every last detail of your move, right down to giving you and your family the idea to begin with. He spent time on the details, giving you a piece of land that was very specific to your needs, at a discounted price, and with even the soil laid out so specifically that it defies logic. The details extend to how he provided a job where you were given less stress, greater pay, diversity, more freedom, and very specific supervisors and coworkers.

This is how God works in our lives. His ways are so far above our own, that often the things we would pick for ourselves are not truly what we want or need. He knows us so well that He will provide the opposite of what we thought we needed and it turns out to open up a whole new world of interest and purpose. We are all sojourners on this earth, only here for a short time. But if we commit our lives to God, then we can rest assured that even though life will be tough and trying, we will find true purpose, freedom, and membership in a place that we belong.

2 thoughts on “A Stranger….. and Yet, Belonging

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