“No place for me”
He moved around constantly when he was young. He switched schools more than once a year. He was always the new kid. Just when he would make new friends, he would leave them and have to start over again.
He was very smart. He was above average in reading in 1st grade until his teacher punished him for reading a book upside-down. He was just trying to show them that he was really good at reading and could even do it with a disadvantage. Instead of receiving the praise he was hoping for, he was sent to the principle’s office. He was humiliated in front of everyone. From that day forward he had trouble in school.
At the root of these and many other instances was a lie that was building in his heart. He learned the lie that there is no place for him.
As I talked to him he began to realize that, even today, he automatically assumes that people will reject him, that they are simply tolerating him until they found a good enough reason to toss him away. This has caused him to push people away and cut off relationships pre-maturely. This was a very destructive belief in his life.
He accused his parents for their contribution to this lie by providing a life of instability and accused his teacher of contributing to the lie by communicating that he wasn’t welcome unless he conformed to the teacher’s image. He accused many other people before God of their contributions to this lie. In the end he forgave them all because he didn’t want to carry any of this anymore and he could trust that God would do justice for him.
He confessed his part. He believed the lie and lived it out. He rebelled against the authorities at school and assumed people’s heart, not giving them a chance to show their trustworthiness.
He rejected the lie, asked God to break the power of the lie and asked God to replace the lie with a Truth. He heard God respond:
“This is my world, not their world. You are welcome in my place. I am the ultimate owner of everything.”
He also remembered a truth that God had given him earlier that summer, but hadn’t understood until now. “Any place you are at, you are allowed to be. I give you permission.”
After discussing these things we concluded that the Truth that God was giving him that night was, “I belong because God intended me to be here.” He asked God to bind this truth to his heart. The following week when we met he said that he was practicing this truth and reminding himself that he was in the right place because he is God’s.
Many people never feel like they belong, even when they are invited in. They are constantly on the outside, a loner, different. People don’t get them, “They would never understand.” They never feel at home.
This is not the abundant life that God wants for us. Even highly introverted people need to know that they have a place in the world (and eternity, for that matter). What does it take for you to feel like you belong? Do you expect people to accept you or reject you? Maybe you hear something in your head saying, “You don’t belong here.”