Pause

What’s standing in the way between you and feeling fine?

What’s squeezing you in its grip, refusing to let go?

What’s staring you down, telling you to give up?

Opposition = the force that works against you. And it’s not always a cartoon character bad guy, is it?

It could be a hurt you can’t release. A person you can’t forgive. A habit you can’t shake. Those people who never believed in you. That voice in your head that tells you you’re nothing.

What if you listened for a different voice instead?

A voice that whispered the truth?

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Listen

Lord, listen to my voice when I cry out— have mercy on me and answer me! Come, my heart says, seek God’s face. Lord, I do seek your face! Please don’t hide it from me! Don’t push your servant aside angrily— you have been my help! God who saves me, don’t neglect me! Don’t leave me all alone! Even if my father and mother left me all alone, the Lord would take me in.

Psalm 27:7-10

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Think

“Even if my father and mother left me all alone...” Ouch! Sociologist Brené Brown says there is no pain like the pain of feeling you don’t belong in your own family.

Even when you believe somewhere inside you that God is real and God is there, it is incredibly hurtful to feel like an outsider in your own home. This feeling of being unwanted, misunderstood, or totally different – within your family of origin – is much more common than you might think.

It can be hard to see God’s face and feel God’s care when your mom or dad act like they don’t care. But hear this: the Bible says that to some extent we are all strangers and aliens in this land, never truly at home on this earth. And know this: the Lord will always, always take you in.

Cari Pattison

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Pray

In your time of prayer, let this be God’s encouragement to you today:

“Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.”

God, thank your for giving me a place to belong. Amen.

from Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown (2017)

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Go

Thus sayeth the Lord:

No weapon formed against you shall prosper.

No weapon of defeat,

No weapon of self-doubt,

No weapon of fear or rejection or jealousy or rage.

No thing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

So be strong in the Lord and in the power of God’s might:

‘Cause nothing can stop your journey now.

Cari Pattison

Cari Pattison is an ordained Presbyterian minister and fitness instructor. Originally from Kansas City, she just completed over a decade of ministry work at The Reformed Church of Bronxville (NY). On March 17, 2019, she leaves to hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.

What Wondrous Love is This

Mark Hayes

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