As a young girl I had a lot of friends. I got along along with most everyone and anyone. But I never felt like I belonged. It was like I had a voice telling me I was different. That no one was really like me. No one thought the way I did or felt the way I did. I simply didn’t belong. Whether in class, in a crowd or at a concert, I felt alone.
Have you ever felt this way?
I am adopted. I was always aware of this reality and in my younger years never thought much about it, honestly. At the age of seventeen years old life presented new challenges and I searched for a coping mechanism to get me through. I turned to substances. My attempts to deal with my feelings of not belonging were through drinking alcohol and popping pills. It was around that time I found out my biological mother was a heroin addict. That news solidified for me that I didn’t belong. I wasn’t even wanted. From birth, I didn’t belong..
Psalm 139: 13, 15-16a You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mothers’ womb. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born.
I remember reading those words and thinking…
“I am not a mistake. He knows me.”
Subsequently, I was reminded of John 15:16 which says
“You didn’t choose me. I chose you.”
Not only was I not a mistake, but I was CHOSEN, LOVED and ADOPTED. Do you see that? God decided in advance to ADOPT US into His own family! I belong! You belong! We belong!
Ephesians 1: 4-5 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.
These verses fill me with so much hope. It is not about ‘fitting in’ to this world, but belonging in God’s family. I have never felt so much peace and contentment as I do in just knowing that I am part of, and belong to, this family. I have a place.
Why? Because God chose me.
Romans 8: 15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
When we surrender to God and accept Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit begins to inhabit us. Most importantly, we are marked and chosen. We now belong in God’s family.
Romans 8:17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory.
This is our home. Therefore, we can experience this home, this belonging, here on this earth. We belong. Praises be to the Lord God Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth.
Jamelle is the founder/director of Reason 4 Hope which was birthed in 2011. She speaks to students in various churches and organizations sharing the love, forgiveness and hope she has found in Jesus. After spending fifteen years working as a high school math teacher pouring into the lives of her students, she started Reason 4 Hope. She has always had a love for teaching and continues to teach students, only now she teaches about Jesus instead of Math. Jamelle is a graduate student at Wheaton College pursuing her MA in Leadership and Evangelism. Jamelle lives in LaGrange, IN and is the mother of a 14 -year old daughter who loves dance. She enjoys traveling, working outside and being an involved “dance” mom to her daughter.