I spent 29 years of my life trying to fit in. I can’t rationally tell you why. I come from a loving family with parents who are still together and who encouraged each of my dreams growing up, even the ones I was terrible at. They rarely missed a choir concert or a swim meet, even though neither are ever the most exciting. But even still, I looked for a family outside of my home. I looked for people that I could call my people, that I could depend on to be there when nobody else would want to.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting friends — God didn’t create any of us to live this life completely alone. He designed the body of Christ very purposefully, to build us up and to draw us closer to Himself and to live out the individual purposes that He has for us. But He definitely never asked us to “fit in.” We waste our lives searching for the community and love that we so desperately crave, and for the few of us who do actually ever find that person who just “gets” them or that community that really understands them, they realize that while it is amazing and great and totally a blessing, it definitely doesn’t fill every crevice. And it most likely doesn’t last forever. No one person or group of people is really ever designed to be everything to us. We’ll never feel as if we completely fit in, because we’re always changing, always making mistakes, always having to forgive someone or be forgiven ourselves. We’re always growing in or out of certain relationships or jobs or phases or seasons of life, and people don’t always grow with us. It sucks, but it’s true. Nobody will ever always be there for you. You’ll never always feel like you’re surrounded by your people. That’s just reality.
But what I’ve appreciated most about this 30th year of my life, is that this is the year it finally dawned on me. With God’s incredibly patient and gentle guidance, I have ultimately come to this conclusion — that I do not fit in here (on earth), and that I probably never will. It sounds depressing, but this Truth is actually the most liberating and freeing insight that I’ve ever heard or experienced. The fact of the matter is, from that very first moment when I decided to follow Jesus with my life, I allowed Him to become my Lord and the Keeper of my Heart. I said “yes” when He asked me if I would be His daughter. I signed His adoption papers. I agreed to a life with a new Father, a new family, and a new identity. But when I made this agreement, those twelve years go, I wasn’t truly aware of the depth of His love for me. I didn’t realize just how rich I was to have this Father as mine.
1 John 3:1 says, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God, and so we are!”
God does not adopt us into His family because we are orphans or because we are homeless or because He sees how lost we are without Him. Yes, we need Him, and if you are currently a follower of Christ, you are most likely fully aware of your need for Him. But He doesn’t just offer Himself to us because He knows we need Him. No, He calls us His children because He loves us. Even before we knew who He was, He loved us as a parent loves their children even when they are still in the womb. Our God loved and cherished us long before we were even aware of His affections. See what kind of love the Father has given to us?
The fact that we can say we are a child of God is an incredible privilege. Anytime someone considers you part of their family, isn’t that the most meaningful compliment you could ever receive? Our God calls us His Beloved sons and daughters. His highly esteemed friends. He cares for us dearly and considers us each His favorite in our own unique way. We are worthy of His love, because He offers it freely, and there’s nothing we can ever do to take His love away or earn it any more deeply. His love knows no bounds. When we truly dwell on this Truth, it can be uncomfortable because we don’t understand it. His love is unlike anything we’ve ever known or experienced. But when we begin to truly embrace it, in all of it’s beauty and discomfort, His love will begin to change absolutely everything.
There is a song that I believe encompasses this incredible Truth, that really catapulted my idea of God’s love and sunk it into my heart. It’s called “Pieces,” by Amanda Cook. I encourage you to listen to this song if you’d like to begin to allow God’s Love to sink deeply into your heart and find a firm place to dwell there.