The Search to Belong: My Story

What does it mean to “belong”? The definition includes these phrases: “to be suitable, appropriate, or advantageous” and “to be a member of a club, organization, or set.”  Everyone longs to be included as a part of something. Without the experience of belonging, we feel isolated and unimportant. The desire to belong is something we each carry inside of us.

This is my story. I want to share three lies the enemy told me about belonging as I was growing up and how Jesus has redeemed those thoughts.

The first lie I believed was that I must belong somewhere.

Where did I belong? My country? My family? I looked for a place to belong in the environments around me, but I did not find what I was searching for. Then, I discovered that belonging comes not from a place or a group, but a Person.

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.Galatians 3:28

In Christ—and only in Christ—can we find true belonging, being fully known and fully loved. I do not need to depend on ideal circumstances or a friendly environment to know that I belong. My identity and my belonging is found in Christ alone.

The second lie I believed was that my belonging came from the acceptance of others.

We are tempted to tie our identity to others and what they say about us. We want others to accept us, so we do certain things or act a certain way to gain approval. When we chase after belonging through the acceptance of others, we will eventually find ourselves at a dead end.

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. – Psalm 62:5

I have learned that my value does not come from what I can do or what others say about me, but from whom God says I am. My value does not come from my accomplishments, but from whom I belong to.

The third lie I believed was that my belonging came from my social status and wealth.

Then I discovered that Jesus’ love for me isn’t like the world’s judgment of me. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. ­–1 Samuel 16:7b

Belonging is not about conforming to an image. We can never deserve the price that Jesus paid for our belonging. Instead, we must come to His feet as we are, acknowledging that we are broken and need Him to restore us—as only He can.

Omee Thao

Omee Thao is the wife of Hmong District superintendent Lantzia Thao, and serves our team as member-at-large. Omee desires to be someone God can use to empower others—especially women—to rise up and allow Him to use them mightily to impact this generation.

Four Responses to “The Search to Belong: My Story”

  1. Omee,
    I am thrilled to be able to read more of your writing. I was so pleased to see you and speak to you at Council – even if only for a few moments.

  2. Dear Omee, I loved your story of belonging! What a blessing! Thanks so much for sharing this with us ???

  3. Omee, this is so beautiful! I was blessed to hear you tell your story in person at the Alliance Women event at Council. It was a joy to be at your table and spend time with you. Blessings to you and thank you for sharing what it truly means to belong ♥.

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