As I have the past several weeks, I’m once again joining in with the Five Minute Friday blog party. Interested in joining me? Check Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog for the prompt each week, then simply write for five minutes. No planning, just writing.
I’ve always struggled to feel like I belonged somewhere, with a specific group of people. Throughout my school days , I knew I’d never be “popular”, but I tried to at least fit in a little. Mostly I failed, and I’m ok with that now. I’ve come to realize it’s much more important to belong in God’s family, as His daughter, than to have a lot of friends and be considered cool.
As I went through college, I began to value less and less the “world’s” view on popularity, and I began to embrace becoming my own person. Ideally who God wants me to be, though sometimes I fail. I never claimed to be perfect after all!
Belonging has become something different over the past two years, as I’ve packed my life into 2 suitcases and moved 8,000 miles away from home. I thought I’d never truly feel like I belonged in my host community in rural South Africa, or be considered one of the family. I never thought my language skills would improve enough to have meaningful conversations. And I never thought I’d feel like South Africa was my home.
But I was wrong.
Maybe, just maybe….belonging happens when we don’t expect it. Maybe when we finally surrender that desire to belong, that’s when God helps it to happen. When we listen to His plan over our own. I never thought I would view my training cohort as close friends, but at the end of two years, saying good bye to them has been incredibly hard. They are part of my South African family, along with my host family and friends from school. Alongside random people I’ve been blessed to meet, who have opened their hearts and home to me.
I belong here, where I am, in South Africa. Because God has called me to be here.