I still remember the day these words were spoken to me at a prophetic training event at church.
“I just felt like the Lord says sometimes you feel downcast about yourself. I saw you with a crown on your head. And He just wanted you to know … He wants you to see you how He sees you. He says ‘She is mine’… sometimes she feels like no one wants to claim her, but tell her that ‘I have claimed her, she is mine and I am proud to tell people that.’ I just want to say that you are His; He says ‘She is mine’ when He sees you. That Scripture came to mind, ‘I am my beloved’s and he is mine,’ but He was like ‘No, it’s I am my beloved’s and she is mine.’”
Can you relate to those words? Do they pierce your heart the way they did mine?
Many events in my life taught me that I didn’t belong. From the extended family that rejected my family and me because we weren’t good enough. To those middle-school years when false rumors were spread and I lost friends. When I switched school districts and had to start over at a new high school … and the bullying that occurred there. Then there was the time I desired to go to a Christian college, but still functioned in some of my before-I-was-a-Christian behaviors, and felt judged for those mistakes. The never-belonging experience list goes on and on. I know them well because I have rehearsed them over and over again. I could recite them without hesitation.
Of course, there is also the ultimate feeling of never belonging which only took place in my own mind. I was a self-rejecter more than half my life. I rejected myself more than the bullies, so-called friends and pretend family members ever did. Sure, their daggers stabbed me deeply and certainly played into my own thoughts, but the squeaky wheels in my head recited their words as if on replay. I hated myself and never believed I was enough. This consumed me to my core and at times made me physically sick (and it was costly).
When I heard these prophetic words, I knew God understood. He had seen those times I felt rejected. He knew the thoughts about myself that I meditated on when I was hurt. He knew it all and was present anyway. How comforting. How reassuring.
It’s taken me a long, long, long (seriously, I can’t emphasize long enough!) time to move forward. Imagine all the work that it takes to repair a cracked foundation and to restore a house. Yep, that was (is) the journey that I’ve been walking. It has been hard, grueling, yucky and just plain ugly work at times! I’ve had to expose and re-examine areas that I have wanted to block forever. I’ve had to look at places in my heart that were damaged and just plain comfortable. (Kind of like when there is a rock in your shoe, but you keep it there because the effort to take off the shoe is just more work.)
While journeying through this house-cleaning project, I started to embrace myself. Loving myself. And discovering that I am enough. I am valuable, and I do belong. My belonging has never really been about my family’s acceptance, how others viewed me or the hateful mudslinging of others. God was and is and will be there, calling me His daughter. He has caught every tear, and He calls me His own.
You and I do belong. We are unique individuals set apart for a plan that our Father has destined. There will always be someone who reminds us that we don’t belong. And there will always be a Father who reminds us, “No my child, you do belong.”
The word I received from God belongs just as much to you as it does to me. Your Father claims you. You are His child. You belong to Him. He loves you. He sees you and hears you. He longs to spend the day with you — the one He calls His own.