THE GIFT OF BELONGING
Updated: Oct 16, 2020
Have you ever just felt alone? Feeling like you are surrounded by hundreds of people, yet all by yourself? Ever tried to put yourself out there, but time after time, event after event, you were left out? No one is calling, no one is texting, no one is posting on your Facebook wall. It’s just you…and well…God. Sometimes it may feel that even He too is nowhere to be found… you are just alone.
I have felt like this, way too often. I remember, just last year, I had just taken a leap of faith and moved from New York City to rural Maine. I knew nothing about Maine, and I knew no one there. Being a social person, I thought it would only be a matter of time before I made friends, as that is usually how it has happened for me in my past cross country moves. Little had I known that this move would be different. The culture was different. The weather was significantly colder and snowier. The people seemed just as icy as the weather. It was horrible. I moved right at the cusp of winter and it felt like all I saw was darkness. Depression started to set in. I felt lost. Did I make the right decision? Did I hear God correctly? Am I supposed to be here? If the loneliness was not enough, I began to experience extreme oppression at my job. It felt like torture.
It was not until I took a trip back to Trinidad and Tobago for my birthday that the light came back to my life. The second I landed, I felt free. I think back know and I realize that feeling of freedom came because I knew I belonged there. I was born and raised in Trinidad; this was home. That got me wondering, is there a way for me to create that same feeling in Maine? A feeling of belonging?
“Belonging means feeling loved and accepted for who you are and knowing that your story has meaning and purpose,” says Donna Palmer, Chief External Relations Officer at Ubring.
Let's be real for a moment, my life in NYC was hard. There was a ton of turmoil at my job, I was overworked and underpaid, and everything was just so expensive. I felt like I was in a never-ending rat race of trying to make ends meet month after month and failing miserably at it. But there was a bright side. I belonged. My church had just announced the launch of the NY campus and as a church volunteer, I was elated. I had my family and I had my church. I met some of my closest friends at this church and I finally felt comfortable. Suddenly! The moment that comfort set it, it was time to go! An amazing opportunity presented itself and I knew it was my time to ‘jump’. At the moment everything was getting good, I had to leave. Maybe this fact made my transition to Maine even harder.
In Maine, I experienced racism and sexism unlike anything I ever experienced. The people were generally nice, but the micro-aggressions and prejudices were alive and well. How do I as a young black woman navigate this? Then came the global pandemic, then an uprising of racial conflicts nationwide. It felt like one thing after the other. The trauma was real.
If you have had a recent life change, a shift from belonging to not, the feeling you felt is grief. You are grieving belonging. Being quarantined at home, can amplify that grief. As Pastors’ Children, we know all too well the grief of not belonging. The church judged us and the world pre-judged us. It felt impossible to fit in. At times, you believed that you found your tribe, but deep down, it just didn’t feel right. There was always something missing. Even now, I haven’t truly figured out what that 'something' was. But I know now, finding my tribe, in The PK Connection, I know that gap has been filled. Finding people who understand both your struggles and your triumphs is like a breath of fresh air. It felt like a homecoming. The PK Connection didn’t only help me find myself, but I found God even deeper.
You see, I always belonged. My belonging is rooted in my identity in Christ. My sonship with Him is the key to my identity. The grief of not belonging was actually an identity crisis. Once I realized this fact, I began my journey toward belonging. Be encouraged, God has not forgotten you. He sees you, hears you and has your best interests at heart. He is a masterful guide if you let Him lead you.
There is something so wonderful about the love of God. He loves us even in our most hideous of states. At my dirtiest, He called me the ‘apple of His eye”. When I didn’t deserve it (and I never will) He rescued me. His Grace and His Mercy covered me. I made mistake after mistake and He still made a way for me. Why, because I am His child. I am called. You may not know what your actual calling is, but beloved, know that you are called. Being born into the lineage of Priesthood has its benefits after all. Being a PK gives you that free gift of belonging.
If you are still struggling with loneliness or looking for somewhere to belong, I have a great solution for you. Join us at The PK Connection, there is always a place for you here. We are a tribe for Pastor’s Kids who are just doing life together. We have monthly meetings online where we share, encourage, support and build each other up. Don’t miss out on this Gift! See you soon!