Discovering what love is one day at a time
Do you remember the game the “Farmer and the Dell”? “Hi-ho the derry-o the Farmer and the Dell, The Farmer picks a wife… the wife picks a child”, and so on and so forth... Everybody always wanted to be the Farmer, because then you knew you would be in the group. Nobody ever wanted to be the cheese, well, because the cheese stands alone…and goodness gracious no song is longer than that one when you are the last one picked, and you have to be separated from the group….alone, by yourself, with nobody.
So often, I have conversations with women about their sense of belonging. I hear things like, “I don’t feel like I belong,” “No one really talks to me,” “I do not feel like I fit”. We all desire to be part of the bigger picture, belong to the group, have friendships and have an authentic experience.
The desire to fit in, sometimes may cause you to detour, and compromise your values, seek others approval, and not be your true and authentic self. So often then, the blame gets cast to the others in the group that they wish to belong to. Isn’t it interesting, that in our human behavior, when we choose to compromise who we were created to be, our fleshly human response is to point fingers and cast blame on others?
The root of the issue, I believe is self acceptance. If you truly allow yourself to be you, if you love your neighbor as you love yourself, you will bring “you” to the table as is, imperfect, struggles and all. The beauty of this life is that we all fit. We all have a place. We have to be willing to be exposed and vulnerable, naked and unashamed.
For me, the ability to be open exposed and vulnerable has come by believing God, for believing what He says about me. His Truth does not bind me to the standards the world has set, but it sets me free. My identity is in Him. In Christ, I am accepted, and fully loved. He has given me the strength to stand alone, in this physical world, yet I am never without His presence. True belonging comes when we live loved, when we receive God’s love for us, His love for ourselves, and His love for others. When we do not receive His love, we allow barriers to wall us off from ourselves and others, and from the One we truly desire to belong to.
For me, I had to be willing to experience being the “cheese.” I had to come to a place where I could see me for who I really was, and allow God to love me. Don’t get me wrong,He is not finished with me yet, however accepting His salvation was truly the beginning , His finished work on the cross enables me to be able to like me even love me, and accept me as is. If we have barriers in our heart about ourselves, we will have barriers in our hearts with others. There is a difference between being the cheese standing alone with a heart full of love, and being the stinky cheese or having the cheese touch, with barriers of self-hate or loathing for others.
To belong, we need to be willing to be vulnerable, take risks, listen, lean in, and brave the unknown. We need to have a love for others that is greater than ourselves. We must be present, willing to walk into the uncomfortable, and not compromise for our own comfort. Belonging is walking in truth, God’s Truth and our present reality.
Today may we have the courage to be all that He has created us to be. May we not allow compromise to rule over us, fear to paralyze us, and barriers to keep us from truly loving one another.
I have been married to my wonderful husband for 24 years. We have two young men ages 20 and 15.. This blog is somewhat of a journal and attempt for me to keep a purposeful perspective on life as a whole.