About the Author

Ann Voskamp is a farmer's wife, the home-educating mama to a half-dozen exuberant kids, and author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, a New York Times 60 week bestseller. Named by Christianity Today as one of 50 women most shaping culture and the...

Recent Posts

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Ann,
    Reading your post makes me yearn to speak in the tongue of my Father’s land right now. The closer I get, the more the yearning grows. So many times in this life, I have felt like a salmon swimming upstream…always going against the way the world goes. But, one day (hopefully with a double rainbow) I will be welcomed home. Knowing my citizenship is secure gives me the hope to keep carrying on, this side of Heaven, one step at a time. Thank you for a beautiful post that reassures me of this truth!!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Bev, so love your heart. And your words? Like a glass of cold water. With you, one step at a time, friend. You and I? #Forward!

  2. What a wonderful reminder that this is not our home. Hope you had a great trip to the USA! Love that grace story. When people show each other such grace, I always see it as the glimmer of a reflection of what Christ was trying to teach us.

    • ‘…glimmer of a reflection…’ what beautiful words, Amy, *thank you*. Astonishing grace — may we never get over it!

  3. I yearn to belong and right now I’m not sure where or if I belong anywhere. I am starting out on this journey & I’m so far from understanding anything about God & His grace. I pray that I will truly know that sense of belonging.

    • Ann Marie,
      All you have to do is ask…ask that God would reveal himself to you and that He would give you a growing understanding of His grace. Jesus is the author and perfector of our faith and so if you ask, He will work in you. I’ve been a Christian for 40+ years and He is still revealing new and wonderful things to me. It truly is a journey, but know from the moment you ask Jesus to be the Lord and Savior of your life…YOU BELONG to Him!!!
      With prayers and blessings,
      Bev

    • Ann Marie,
      Ask & you shall receive. God will reveal Himself to you and over time you will come to understand his grace & mercy! Read the Bible, & listen to online or TV preachers and they may help you understand better. It is a constant learning daily of who God is and how he reveals Himself. This life is a journey and slowly step by step He will show himself to you!

      Blessings 🙂

  4. Ann, I love this story of grace, and the timeless reminder that we belong . . . we may never fully belong on earth, but we belong to the Father. Always and forever.

    One thing that the Lord continues to remind me of is that He loves me completely, perfectly and passionately. And, the thing I tell my two precious boys is a huge hope God extends to each of His kids: There’s nothing we can do that will make Him stop loving us. I cling to this on those days when I’ve failed big—in mothering and in life. Comfort comes from knowing we’re loved.

  5. I have been having a challening few weeks. I am getting ready to move to a new city for a new job, my first time really being on my own and I am not sure which housing option to take and it feels a little overwhelming. I feel scared of not belonging, moving to a new city wehre I do not have any family and do not have friends and when I visited an apartment last night to meet potential roommates I thought I would feel at home, would feel something happy, but I just felt like I didn’t belong and so unsure,.Then in the midst of this I find out some devastating life-changing family news and everything just feels a mess right now and it’s a little hard to see God. But, one thing that helps me is knowing God is here and God sees even when it does not feel like it and I know Christ is enough, And the song “Because He lives” is running through my head and hopefully soon my heart.

    • Hi Natasha, I’m so sorry that life is difficult right now. I know how scary it is to move to a new city where you don’t know anyone, but take heart, God goes with you. I have to remind myself of that a lot lately, that I am not alone, even if I feel that way sometimes. Chris Tomlin’s “In the end” has been a salve to my wearied heart. It reminds me that I am not alone, how in the end love will fill the earth once again. Praying for you, Natasha. Xox

      • Thank you Veronica. Thank you for reminding me that God goes with me and for sharing the song. I will have ot listen to it. Thanks for your prayers, praying for joy and peace for you.

    • Natasha, I promise to carry you in earnest, tender prayers today. Jesus holds you.
      No words. Hugging you long and gentle…

  6. Ann reading this makes me even more homesick for my eternal home in heaven. After the loss of my brother this past November who i was very close with, it seems like heaven is closer and the longing to go there is more. Lord thank You for my citizenship to heaven. thank you for this post Ann.

    • Alina, I am with you, heart leaning hard into Him and His incomprehensible love that carries through the hard days, all days. You and me both fighting for joy in Our Jesus, sister!

  7. Encouraging words this morning…so thoughtful. I’ll look at church steeples differently now and be reminded, they are pointing me home. God is so good.

  8. Oh how I love to hear how God so personally and practically shows us His hand all over us. Man, have I been there thinking “How could I drop this?” Thank you for showing again that grace and redemption are here, we just need eyes to see them.

  9. Ann,
    (Happy almost Canada Day. I hope it’s a blessed one for you and your family),
    I was so happy that everything worked out for you that day. Thank-you for sharing the joy, beauty(double rainbow) and Grace of God’s love. I will forever be grateful for God’s Grace.

    Penny

    • Penny, you bless, sister. Love your heart…thank you for your testimony in Jesus…

  10. Hi Ann, There are days I feel that I don’t belong and feel very much alone; God whispers to me, remember Heaven? Sometimes, I forget that I’m “a native of heaven right now.” I don’t have many words, but this was good for my soul. Thank you.

    “All my brokenness is a whisper that I don’t belong, and every time I don’t feel like I belong, the Scarred and Rejected God whispers, “Come here, my beloved.”

  11. we had the same thing with our then 6month old…. missed out flight to Switzerland because of a snowstorm (we live on a farm outside of listowel so you know what I mean), got a plane to Paris, transferred to another plane to get our destination (during our transfer saw our luggage going the opposite direction), got to Zurich, luggage didn’t arrive… next day waiting at the train station to go to Italy, husband checks passports realizes we don’t have our 6 month olds passport… we went anyway. when we return border guards of three countries checking EVERYONE for passports and identification, I start nursing praying they pass us by so don’t have issues about a baby with no ID…. and they do:) That baby is now 6 foot 5′ and Italy right now on a class trip. we all made very sure he had is passport with him….

  12. As always, Ann, a wonderful, inspiring message. It is a good reminder for me, where I am in my life as my children are grown and on their own and my husband has moved on. A very timely reminder; thank you so much.

  13. What a wonderful reminder Ann that the Lord does not remember so to speak about all those “little” things like forgotten birth certificates. HE is constantly showing your children His ways of working things out instead through you. I love it. I know you may not at the time. I know I don’t always like being the example of his workings sometimes, well all the time. And then I breathe and you my friend and HE are teaching me it is a gift. And you and your family saw the prize at the end. The double rainbow. Thanks so much for the teachable trip. Hope you enjoyed your trip.

  14. “In Christ, you’re a native of heaven right now. You aren’t a citizen of here trying to work into heaven. You’re a citizen of heaven trying to work through here. ”
    I LOVE this!! I’m going to write that in a “note” on my phone so I can remember this when needed. What a beautiful and simple way to phrase that truth. It reminds me of a line in one of my very favorite hymns, “I am but a stranger here, Heaven is my home.”
    Thanks, Ann, for sharing your faith and words with us all.

  15. So good to read this and be reminded again. I feel like the black sheep of the family, on both sides. Always having to make the hard, unpopular decisions, and left out of all the “family events” because of a string of health issues. But this isn’t home, is it, and though my earthly father may have failed me in the biggest way ever, my Father is waiting with big arms to welcome me home some day. I cannot wait.

  16. love it that the vehicle ahead with the LOOK2HIM license plate was the Pilot model. He always does pilot us when we keep His taillights in sight.

  17. Finally I find some one that’s talking about my situation. I’ve always been the no nonsense one in the family and this got me alienated. Then I get married to my husband who is an only boy out 6 ladies and I have always been reminded to love their brother. My siblings don’t relate with me and neither do my husband’s sisters. This has caused me lots of grief and self examination but as I read this now I know that my Father in heaven created me and loved me the way I am. I just have to learn to speak my mother tongue now. Thanks Ann.

  18. Here’s my issues at present, i’m now 60, which shocks me every time I realize it, our main struggles have been and are financial. My husband was unable to find steady employment for almost 8 years, so we are trying to play catch up and just can’t. That said, we have a roof over our heads and food on the table, the Lord has been incredible, I could tell such stories of provision. Now it is our beloved little doxie, Sadie and she needs some vet care and we just cannot afford it. This breaks my heart and I pray and search and fall hard into Him, just wanting relief. It has been money for years that is an issue, in spite of doing our best. After all the figuring, crying, pleading, I just fall at the foot of the cross and stay there. I am increasingly wanting an escape from here and eager to get home….but my people, how I would miss my people.♥ Thanks, as always Ann, you are a gift.

    • Because of some hospital emergencies, we had to claim bankrupt we lost everything My husband had quadruple bypass surgery,so with him trying to recuperate &no money coming in. We wondered how we going to eat, pay our bill, God is so good!He is so good,he had it all planned ahead of time. After my Husbands surgery, friends family, co-workers people we hadn’t seen for ages were calling to bring food,some with cash inside, cards with cash in them,Anonymous
      deposits into our bank account.We never miss a payment on our bills. Then we got the hospital bills, the money quit coming. Ok Lord,what happened next? Bankruptcy-If we don’t humble ourselves he will do it for us. After 6 months recovery, and 2 months of going back to work slowly,God provided a job,200 miles away.(major Move)-An office and a nice rental all in one weekend.He took care of us!!

      • We have similar stories. 🙂 The Lord gave my husband a job 4 hours north, so major move for us too, it’s a whole story arranged totally by the Lord. But the main theme, the only really important one, God’s love and faithfulness to us, is exactly the same.♥ Blessings!

  19. My family and I just moved to New Zealand from Canada and it has been a struggle for sure. We gave up a lot of material comfort and luxury by moving here but we sensed God wanted to offer us a fresh start. One of the hardest parts has been not working and waiting on God to see what he reveals because my husband and I felt He wants to take me in a different direction in my career path but when bills are piling up and you are thousands of miles away from family it is hard not to act independently and go back to my previous career as a nurse. We are also in that phase where everyone we have met is still just an acquaintance and not a close friend yet and we don’t really “belong” anywhere at the moment. For all that being said, we are fortunate that none of us miss home or wish we were back in Canada we just want to feel like we fit in and belong here in NZ.

    • Leah, I am praying right now that God would give you friends where you are. Not acquaintances or fair-weather friends but friends with whom you can be yourself and be real and be fully accepted, friends you can laugh silly with over cups of coffee until your tummies hurt 🙂

      • Thank you for your prayers. I am living with expectation that it will be true 🙂

        • Dear Leah, I am joining Aoife in praying that you will find friends that God had placed for you where you are. Friends that you can rejoice in the fact that they are also already citizens of Heaven. ~In Jesus name I pray, Deb

        • Leah, where are you in New Zealand? I’m from there, but living in the Netherlands. Maybe I could put you in touch with some keen Christians depending on where you are. Feel free to email me: seatter_anna@yahoo.com

  20. With all that has happened in the US over the past few weeks, I know a lot of people are feeling the weight and worry, but I realized a few months ago that God has already won this battle. Whatever happens, God wins because the devil was beat the moment Jesus rose from the dead. That being said, I have also spent much more time in prayer since finishing reading your book, Ann. I’ve ordered the devotional journal and look forward to starting it!

  21. Jesus already knew you were going to have a problem at the border so He made sure the right man was there to let you into the United States. Jesus takes care of everything even before it confronts us. We just need to BELIEVE and TRUST.

  22. Sitting here hiding in the bathroom with tears dripping down my face. Grew up as the only girl in a family of boys, homeschooled, crazy in love with Jesus. Spent a few years on the mission field, then adopted 3 kids (2 with [invisible] special needs) as a single woman. I’ve never truly felt like I fit in anywhere in this whole wide world, except in the arms of Jesus. And most days, that’s ok. Lonely, but ok. The last couple of weeks, the loneliness has been accentuated as we’ve felt a bit isolated. I understand…my kids are sometimes hard to be around and I get why we’re not often invited over. But right now, my heart just aches for belonging. For best friendship. For a chance to breathe. The reminder to run back to and rest in Him is precious and needed.

    • Rae–Oh, the bathroom. Sitting on the edge of the tub sobbing into a towel. I get it. I’ve been there so many hundreds of times.
      We all need to belong. This is why He gave us the body of believers, but the problem with that is we’re all so deeply flawed! And we forget, when we are happy and have friends–we forget to keep welcoming people in.
      Rae, I encourage you to do the incredibly hard thing and keep looking and praying for friends. Being a single mom is TOUGH and you need the solace and support of some great women. Can you tuck into your family? Can you join a small group of people with children?
      I’m doing it. I feel quite alone and I’m making the effort–introverted me!–to find a small group. I just want you to know you’re not alone. Last year a dear woman opened my eyes to the fact that Jesus has been with me every step of the way. He has cried with me and has comforted me. It lightened my load a lot.
      I think there are probably LOTS of us single moms, making the effort to get to church, smiling at everyone and singing and worshiping with tears running down our faces, but then going home alone and facing the day with sometimes difficult children. Rae, you are not alone.

    • Hi Rae, bless you for taking in those kids! My toddler also has mostly-invisible special needs, and it’s led to a long season of isolation, especially (I’m sorry to say) at church. Although I’m not a single mom, I work full-time and my one close friend just moved away. I’m feeling the loneliness too! My prayers are with you, sister, for the friends and support that you need, and for God-given strength. And an extra hug for you!

  23. My daughter is scheduled to leave this Thursday for Uganda on a mission trip with several of her best friends. As we were getting some things ready last evening, we discovered her passport (her very first passport ever, just delivered a few weeks ago) is missing. We have been frantically trying to get another one since last evening with no one able to turn one around before she is to leave. This afternoon we have resigned ourselves to the fact that it is hidden in this house for a reason, but we still hold out hope that it may appear before Thursday. If not, we know God has a purpose behind her not going this time. She is still a little down and discouraged, but no tears at the moment. And then I read your blog! Grace amazing! Thank you for your words of hope, filled with the Father’s loving details for His children to just rest in Him.

  24. I am an Emergency physician. I love my job and it is truly God’s will I be doing this. Of those two things I have no doubt. However, every night I am abused in some way by patients. Called names, spit on, kicked, bitten, I’ve even been slammed up against walls. I’ve actually been able to deal with that. Now though um being told I have to make these crazy people happy. I have to satisfy their neediness while still caring for the infected, the strokes and the heart attacks. Btw 99% of these abusive people have NOTHING wrong with them. In addition, I’m told by the public, including family and friends I make too much money despite working over 80 hours a week for 16 years with little to no pay. This blog helps me. The upper room helps me. The Lord’s prayer and psalms.

  25. I wish I could pinpoint what’s been stealing my joy. I’ve struggled with that for quite a while now. My head knows all that you’ve written, but lately my heart doesn’t “feel” it. I so long to have that peace, comfort and joy with My Father.

    • Dear Amy, when it’s there in the head but not in the heart it can feel so dry – like Ezekiel’s valley of dry bones, and your longing makes so much sense. Right now a song is in my head and heart for you: ‘Wait for The Lord, whose day is near, wait for The Lord, be strong, take heart.’ God will breathe new life into your heart, maybe when you least expect it. Journey through the valley in faith, dear heart.

    • Amy,
      Prayers that God will restore your joy! Be still and know really know that God loves you! This world will do anything to steal your joy of God, but take heart God is working hard on your behalf! Sing some wonderful praise songs to yourself and that might bring some joy into your life!
      Blessings 🙂

  26. I have been gripped by fear non-stop over past mistakes. It robs me of letting anyone new into my life due to shame and my mistakes. I was married 20 years and my husband left me for someone else. I waited until my children were grown before I dated. The person I chose to date was a bad choice. I’m letting that ruin any chance that I could have a chance with a wonderful person I have known for a long time. I’m too ashamed of myself to try again

    • Shame cuts deeply into our very being, undermining our confidence and our sense of self-worth. Submitting to shame drags us away from recognising how deeply God loves us, whatever mistakes we’ve made. But God’s love for you is so much bigger and stronger than your mistakes, whatever they have been. I am praying for you, Patti, for God’s love to guide you out of shame and into courage. Take heart – God sees you in a kinder light.

  27. This post brought out my “ugly cry”. This morning I prayed and asked God to help me see the gifts in this lonely season I’m in. Deep down I know that He has been in control of it all along and that it comes from his great love for me. He won’t let me be satisfied by lesser things. If only my emotions would line up with what I know!

  28. Thinking of you today Suzie, *right now* (Tuesday 6/30 3:30pm in a thunderstorm in TX, and heading up to my studio to sew prayers into my work. May what you are seeking find you with such a wonder that you may know it is sure. with love and hugs from the USA – Lynn
    (my mom’s maiden name was Doyle and her granddad from Ireland)

  29. I do this sound when I read something that punches me right in the feels…kind of a closed mouth grunt. Mm. This one got me! I bury this feeling of ‘not belonging’ so deep, that I don’t even realize it’s there most of the time. But if I’m honest, even in my Christian circles I feel just a little too “all in”. Just a bit too sold-out to the gospel for some tastes. Perhaps dropping one too many J-bombs when its not even Sunday. Anyone else feel that way? Like maybe folks just aren’t really understanding how AMAZING God’s mercy is? It’s a hard thing to admit, that even in places I should feel comfortable, some people appear to just put on their faith like a cute new top. It makes me feel so different than my peers. And is this a huge example of my own pride, my own judgmental nature, my own elevated sense of self? How comforting to know for certain that it’s ok that this world feels unnatural to me. Jesus promises all of his beloveds that one day we will know him even as we are known. There won’t be any guessing what people think of us, no comparisons. Just inclusion. And love. And praise! So grateful for beautiful reminders along the way to keep looking up, keep seeking HIS face. Especially love the mention of “steeples pointing the way home”. We’re never really lost! Blessings to you, Ann. Thank you.

  30. So I guess you can say I am new at this whole believing or better yet relying/trusting God. I am just so full of fear that God really don’t want anything good for my life or extraordinary. That I am always going to be just like I am today. I realize that if I can just trust God being exactly where I am at would be okay but I just really want more out of life. I want a career and a husband and to be able to afford my bills and food and be a good mom to my girls. And I try Lord knows I try, but every time I get in a place where I start to believe that God’s will is better than anything I could ever imagine the fear creeps back in and says wait a minute Dessie this is how life is always going to be your just supposed to struggle. I really enjoyed what you wrote about “In Christ, you’re a native of heaven right now. You aren’t a citizen of here trying to work into heaven. You’re a citizen of heaven trying to work through here.” I know my experience is going to help others I just get extremely lost in doubt. Lord, I believe help my unbelief.

  31. This is exactly what I needed to read today. I have been feeling out of place and always the odd one out. The enemy keeps throwing such painful thorns my way, my feet are bleeding and it hurts, but by His grace I am saved and I live in hope everyday. God bless you Ann!

  32. Thank you for this gently reminder that we need not worry about where we do belong, even if we may feel like a misfit on this earth sometimes. Love this Grace story. I have seen a double rainbow just a few times in my life too; it is breathtaking . Your words of wisdom give me reassuring strength.

  33. I felt like I didn’t belong . . . and felt lost, lonely and insignificant . . . till I read this commentary. Now I feel like I do belong . . . I feel like I’ve been found . . . I feel inclusive and I feel significant. The reason is that what you wrote made sense: “In Christ, you’re a native of heaven right now. You aren’t a
    citizen of here trying to work into heaven. You’re a citizen of heaven
    trying to work through here.” And . . . “When your ethnicity is heaven, then all adversity offers the gift of intimacy, driving you into the home of His heart.”

    After reading and meditating, and truly believing this, I feel accepted and feel like I am a true citizen of Heaven, in the here and now. No wonder I didn’t feel like I belonged or fit into this world. It helps to see that I’m not the only one who felt this way. I can see that there are others who courageously and graciously expressed the heartfelt thoughts.

    Thank you Ann, and than you all for expressing your thoughts that drives in the reality that the adversity we face here on earth is a way to intimacy with God, which drives us into the arms of His heart.

  34. What do you do when you make a mistake and it’s like you opened up a Flood on your family and your husband says good bye? When this spring has brought so much rain here in Texas that the “exceptional” drought conditions are completely wiped out after 8 years of dry skies? And there are rainbows nearly every week, my camera full of pictures of rainbows and double rainbows, and I wonder if I will ever get a second chance? Or will it be a broken home… again? Apologies and repentance have not been enough and I’m being exiled from my family, and I just want Grace to be my passport back in. Ann, thank you for this timely and needed reminder that the “failed” are welcome with God. With God, I’m always Home. And I’m always family.

  35. WOW! I love how I can read something you write, Ann, and it totally makes my day at I reflect on how awesome God is and reminds you with not one but two rainbows. Thank you for sharing with us and always pointing us to Our Father Who Art in Heaven.

  36. Oh my heart… Thank you, Ann, once again for such a timely reminder that has the ability to slip past my defences, straight through to my heart and speak exactly what it needs to hear.
    “There isn’t a loss on earth that can ever rob us of the riches our Lord has saved us for in Him.”
    At the moment I’m raising support to share the Good News and make disciples in my beautiful country. Today it feels like people would rather spend thousands on stuff that will rust and rot instead of spend 20 on advancing a Kingdom that will last forever.
    Thank you for reminding me that we will never fully fit in but what a loving Father we have and what a future we have in store!
    Hope wins.

  37. “In Chris . . . You’re a citizen of Heaven trying to work through here!” Very powerful message, Ann. No matter how we feel or fail, Christ is unchanging in His love for us. So, we go back to the cross, again and again; and He is there waiting.

  38. Oh sweet Ann your grace words comfort my heart today. For the last few days I’ve been simmering underneath that I couldn’t take a trip home to be with my father. What’s been confirmed in your post is that where I am IS home and there is work to be done at THIS time in THIS place for MY FATHER.

  39. The Bible verse: “You have only to be still. Your God will fight for you.” 🙂

  40. I have always longed to belong somewhere. …even more so now as I’m at a new church with a nonexistent peer group so I often find myself at a loss with how to connect. I know God called me to this church, to a staff position which is beyond my comprehension most of the time but I dont think I’ve ever struggled with loneliness as much as I do now so this resonated with me as it reminds me I do belong somewhere and I’ll never be lonely on heaven.

  41. I love your story…I love New York…I love rainbows…
    these things happen by the grace of God…
    He knew to let you pass thru…and come back.

  42. When you give a child up early to God…. You see the picture of the storing of treasure in heaven. Where your treasure is there your heart will be also. Our GREATEST TREASURE is Jesus Christ!! As we looooong to see our son ….we look even closer to see the face of our Savior one day. EARTH HAS NO SORROW that HEAVEN CAN’T HEAL!!!

    • DW, I am also a bereaved parent. When our son died, I did not know how I would survive, but my Lord never left me. Sometimes He carried me, and still does. Twenty-four years later, I am now a facilitator in our local chapter of The Compassionate Friends, a support group for bereaved parents. I love and encourage others on this path with the love that Jesus sustains me with. I would never have chosen this ministry, who would, right? However, I feel truly blessed to light the way for others with the hope I have. YES! You are so right! (((Hugs)))

  43. I would just like to say, reading this is another affirmation of God’s love for me, especially today. I am working in France as a missionary and WOW, do I feel like I don’t fit it. I am so challenged by what I find my identity in. This subject of being out of place or feeling useless and like a failure is my battle. But it is also the fight that God has already won. I do not fully comprehend this yet, but God is gently reminding me that it’s because my citizenship is already in heaven and I am his, thoroughly and wholly his.

  44. I’m sharing this awesomeness of truths with you, brothers and sisters, but I KNOW this was for me to read right now….
    This earth becomes more foreign every day, but our Savior tells me not to give up on it, because He hasn’t. And my disappointments and pain, yes, even in the brethren, are teaching me, growing me, blessing me….to be a blessing. God’s crazy, backwards ways of teaching us perfectly.

  45. Thank you Ann. I am 4 months back from 5 years on the mission field. Not one of us in my family feels like we belong…we left the “blue” country for the “red” country and came back “purple”. Its hard and I’m trying to navigate through what is so “normal” for everyone and it feels like I should have it together already, BUT I DON’T. I loved your reminder that here isn’t “it”. Here isn’t always peace and comfort. Here is messy and lonely at time and I am especially longing for “home” tonight.

  46. Home, is where the heart is. All around me says you belong here, husbands desire and love, grown children still needed to touch base and see what I think. Friends wanting an encouraging word or prayer all here; all almost feels like home. It was once all I knew of home. Than I saw God catching my tears of brokenness, and placing them in a crystal jar. They were like pearls, precious to Him. I knew than, He was home and Jesus was the road there. As I walk this road I began to see more and more of what was familiar and the distance between Heaven and earth got smaller and smaller. Now it is but a last breath or a rapture away. Home is with the one who holds dear all my tears! Home is where my first love is and has always been waiting for my return. Dearest Ann I hope one day we meet to share as sister in Christ, mothers, wives, writers, worshipers, givers of Glory and gratitude, crafters and lovers of Gods children. If not in this Life I will praise His glory with you in eternity.

  47. Today my prayer to “the one who loves me” was just this , “Jesus why don’t ever feel like I belong ?” . “I know I belong to you and to my husband, but why is fellowship or closeness with others so far from me ? Is it to teach me ? Is it the devil? Is it my walls and self reliance, pride , disobedience , lack of trust? Is it my path or your will ? You talk , I will listen “.

  48. Oh this message is so precious and timely <3 I just want to read it again and again, until it seeps into my soul. 21 and yet I already feel so incredibly deeply that I don't belong here. And how I long to go home- I wish He'd call me to His side today!

  49. I’ve been feeling exactly as described lately, out of place, a stranger, like I don’t belong. But then reading this article and then these words jump out at me : the Scarred and Rejected God whispers, “Come here, my beloved.”

    Reassuring.

    Thank you. I have a maybe not so long road ahead of me if I keep focused on Him. Appreciate any prayers for this downess to go away…not sure if it may be the beginning of PPD….

  50. Perfect timing as – at 45 – I am just finally really understanding that there’s somewhere I belong. I was present when a young woman jumped in front of a train in November – and I knew that I was supposed to be there. The resulting peace (that I was right where I was supposed to be) was profound. But even bigger than that, He has been showing me that I BELONG to Him – that in Him I am right where I’m supposed to be and it’s not a mistake. It’s an ironic realization for someone who’s been a Christian for 32 years (!) but there it is. “….you can’t be denied entry…..” It’s powerful, knowing I’m chosen. It’s powerful, reading a reminder that my citizenship is real. Secure. #JesuslovesmethisIknow

  51. I’ve never felt like I belong anywhere. I needed the reminder that there is a place I belong and as each day passes I long more for that place.

  52. My current status; not belonging because I do belong. How broken and poured out I feel sometimes in light of those who seemingly skip and giggle through life. I feel everything so deeply and as I minister healing to others, I find people distancing themselves from me. I feel such peace and recharging in God’s grace, yet so wildly misunderstood. My conversion was stark, quite suddenly I dropped my life and found myself at the foot of a cross I’d been killing myself to find. I’d literally been self destructing, so aggressively, so violently that when I face planted into grace, there was no going back. And now I am just the woman who people go to for wisdom and healing, a bleeding heart and open ears because I can look someone in the heart and say, “me too”. But I long for friendship and having a soul to bleed my heart to. Fellowship has been difficult to say the least. Thank you for reminding me of where I always belong.

  53. Ann
    Even in small South Africa the heartbeat of God’s children beat to the same rhythm! In 3 days time we are crossing the South African border for a camping trip. A week ago we realized we need specific paperwork for our youngest. This, they inform us can take up to 8 weeks. I wait 3 days, on Monday, I phone them for an update, only to receive confirmation of the ‘up to 8 weeks’. Family and friends pray….Tuesday I phone again, all ready for collection!!!! We are going camping! Ooo how I love our God!!! His grace has no borders!!!

  54. My heart so needed this right now, as discouragement and disappointment have been stirring in my soul. Ministry-related disappointments this week left me feeling overlooked, confused and like I don’t know where I belong. And a growing desperation to do something about the overwhelming need of our world to experience the true grace and love of our Savior, instead of the man-made rules and walls put up by church people. It’s unsettling to feel so unsettled. But this is not my home. I can listen for His voice calling me to Himself, handing over my broken pieces and letting Him heal.

  55. Thank you Lord for using Ann to share her life and inspiring us with her writings
    I too look forward to our reuniting with you and our loved ones as my soul mate (only 5 yrs) is now free from his earthly home
    I had the privilege of attending a ladies get a way that you spoke at for Grace Fellowship a few yrs ago

  56. “…that when you can’t swallow down any grace, you turn yourself back from the land of the free.” This. This is me time after time. I deny myself a path toward “the land of the free” because I can’t comprehend grace. There’s my flaw: I insist that grace must somehow be comprehensible.
    I know with all my head that I have great and precious promises. I know I’m going to heaven. Somehow I still find a need to demonstrate my gratitude by rejecting grace. It’s as if denying a path to freedom makes me remember what I’ve been rescued from, and what I still need to see redeemed. My heart aches. It’s suffocating because I don’t allow it to breathe the life-giving fragrance of Heaven: amazing grace.
    Ann, so often your words help me break down a few walls within my heart, to let Light back in, and that is the case once again. I was told by my birth father that his life would have been better if I hadn’t been born. Since the time that I understood his words I’ve been looking for a place to belong. Like most of us I’ve looked in all the wrong places, often more than once. I’ve even tried to belong to “the church club” because that’s what Christians do, right? Through a few amazing women and circumstances Jesus has invited me to live like I belong to Him, like I’m His brave and precious daughter- and I try but I can only get so far. When I reach the border (of the next destination He has for me) I turn around and go back to try and get more things in order. I go back looking for my credentials. I go back because I must know if/where I belong before I can move forward. I have quite the habit of sabotaging proffered grace.
    Just the other night I confided in a friend and shared anguish over the darkness that seems to have presently engulfed my heart. I admitted that I’m weary, fighting off darkness has me exhausted. But I’ve sensed this day coming; a day like today when the right words for the moment are like a salve to my wounded heart, a day when I hear that “all adversity offers the gift of intimacy” and the gift of His extravagant love is my home. You said “you can’t help but yearn to speak in the language of your Father,” and I realize the wounds of my earthly father still haunt me. This shadow keeps me from intimacy with my true forever Father, the One responsible for my existence and my belonging. I long to journey through the rest of my life know where I belong, whose I am, and learning my Father’s language. Maybe there really is more beyond the here-and-now and all of His promises are just as true as they’ve always been. Because of Jesus. Because of grace- grace that maybe I can learn to receive even though I can’t comprehend it. Extravagant love. Amazing grace. Keep preaching the Gospel, Ann. We all need it.

  57. I offer the simple hope that the light shines again after the dark tunnel where you’re caught somewhere between angry and sad and you aren’t sure what you believe any more because that boy you raised is hurting bad, and he isn’t sure, either–and that is worse (way worse!) because your own pain you can bear but his? His hurt churns in a much deeper place in your gut where he grew nearly thirty years ago. But hope comes peeking through, dim at first but growing like a little dawning even as Jupiter and Venus align with Bethlehem’s light to point you both back home.

  58. He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it (Phil. 1:6)

    If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself (2 Timothy 2:13)

    “Great Is Thy Faithfulness!”

  59. Dear Ann, I must admit that at 2 in the morning, trying desperately to get my 3 month old to sleep, knowing that I’ll have to be awake and ready to take care of both him and my daughter in just 3 hours…I’ve been struggling to find the joy in that moment. I say a few thankful prayers, but the moment is frustrating and the tired is still real! So thank you for the reminder that “when your ethnicity is heaven, then all adversity offers the gift of intimacy, driving you into the home of His heart.” That is a lasting joy I can grab hold of! Thank you for being a real mom and a real follower of Jesus 🙂

  60. I am fat 240 pounds! I have been struggling with my weight forever. Just cannot seem to get it right. I need a rainbow that tells me this is important to God.

  61. Thank you Ann for your post. I have been feeling like I don’t fit in lately…at work, with family, even friends sometimes. I have been longing for a place to fit in for a long time, a place where I can be myself and be loved. The world is so tough and I feel exhausted, trying to “fit in”, please others and constantly try to be someone who is loveable. I know in my “head” that Jesus loves me for who I am and that I am a citizen of heaven. But I am a tangible person and long for that reality to be true in my heart too. Please pray for me as I am very discouraged lately.

  62. Ann…I so related to this post. It’s strange and wonderful at the same time how God leads us even in such small matters…is affirming that He cares about every part of our lives. Over the past few months I have felt a sense of being ‘in exile’, like I am becoming less and less a part of the world around me. I look at life around me and the world is getting so far out of control, people….the things they do, the way they talk, their entertainment, the things that consume them. It is a struggle to live in this world and yet remain outside of it….I thank-you Ann for shedding some light into these feelings I have been walking around with and now some understanding that I am not alone.

  63. Ann, have just got on board with you and am so grateful!!! The double rainbow is extremely significant this week for me. I am in the States, and this past week has ushered in a federal law opposing what is so very precious to many believers here. This law brings with it far reaching challenges for the Body of Christ-and my hope is that we will only mature more deeply, becoming more humble and courageous and closer to our Papa…back to the rainbow. The day after the court decision, here in drought-filled CA, we had rain-in late June-unheard of even in wet years! So many of us were feeling the weight of what is coming after the federal ruling…but the rain! So uplifting!!! And right before dusk, over our little farm was this HUGE double rainbow!!! A rainbow, in late June, in this part of CA…when those opposing God and His church are waving “rainbow” flags as their emblem…God gave us His true rainbow of promise. Thank-you for your story. Such encouragement!!!

  64. Ann, this couldn’t have been more timely! Single, in the midst of ongoing financial troubles (though I’ve done all I know to do), and reeling from a shocking betrayal from someone in Christian leadership a couple of weeks ago, I’ve felt that shame has shot his fiery arrows in volley after volley. If there are any fellow nerdy Tolkien fans out there, you’ll get it when I say it’s been like the battle at Helms Deep, and I’ve finally fallen under the weight of the beam. But this is also the place where grace rises, unfettered and unstoppable. Ann, your post was one more blow of our Heavenly Father’s hammer breaking shame’s chains and freeing me back to grace. Thank you!!!

    Run, John, run
    The law demands
    But gives us neither
    Feet nor hands.

    But grace will cause our
    Hearts to sing…
    It bids us fly
    And gives us wings!

    (Don’t remember the exact words, but poem by John Bunyan)

    Love,
    Nina Ruth 🙂

  65. Thanks for this, Ann! I came back to work Monday after taking a few days off last week feeling like I didn’t belong. Nobody welcomed me back to work. Hardly anyone inquired about my time off. I’ve felt like God is nudging me out the door. I’m so “uncomfortable” at work and I think that’s on purpose. It’s HIS purpose. Praying He shows me the way to other employment. I’m so glad that heaven is my home and I’m not of this world.

  66. “In Christ — no matter the road, the storm, the story — we always know the outcome.” I needed this reminder today! My son was born still in April and I feel like I’m just in a waiting period until we meet again in heaven. I am making His extravagant love my home. When I feel like there is no hope, I know I have an eternal hope in Him.

  67. Ann, I lay in my bed this morning neck stiff and weary before the day had begun. My body and mind are marking time, remembering the seasons and tomorrow calendars twenty years since my children lost their daddy and brother to the sea, since I lost my husband and first born. There is a goodness to our lives now and God has blended our family and made beauty, but still my children’s hearts have wandered in heartbreak and questioning and some still cannot find the foot-bridge to return home. I read my devotion this morning and still my heart felt cold and grumbly and God whispered to come find you and I read “There isn’t a loss on earth that can ever rob us of the riches our Lord has saved us for in Him.”

    Twenty years and I can hear those words and let the tears brim and know, KNOW, they are truth. Last year at IF, at the gathering afterward behind the little coffee house I stood inches from you, and you were deep in a conversation I knew I was not to break the rhythm of, but today, I want to say thank you for being faithful to put pen to paper. Thank you for the days when you call us to charge on in Him, and the days you help our tears to find the freedom of our cheeks.

  68. In the last number of months, as God weeds out more of my story, Beautiful by MercyMe and Reind Me Who I am by Jason Gray have played a lot at my house! The lie that I am a disappointment has been revealed, layering onto what He has already revealed about my brokenness. Those two songs reminded me that I am NOT a disappointment. I disappoint people, like everyone else, but I am NOT concdemnsed AS a disappointment!! HALLELUIAH!!!!!! Free of a huge, hindering lie!!! And when we can be free of those lies??? We are FREE INDEED to run this race we are given IN victory and with GRACE AND LOVE for all the broken ones around us!
    Thank you for this post, Ann! You have been a huge part of God’s growing me in the past couple of years!

  69. Oh how I needed to heat this! I was born in the southern US, which is currently embroiled in so much conflict following the murders of nine souls by one hate-filled, lost and angry young man. I have had to remove myself from social media because I can no longer look at the tirade of those who believe that a controversial flag represents their “heritage.” At first I tried posting rebuttals in the form of what Jesus taught us, but it falls on deaf ears as those who claim this is their “God-given right.” So, here i sit, reading this soul nurturing post of who I really am… not a Southerner, not a U.S. citizen, but the daughter of a King, and my home is Heaven. Thank you Ann, for sharing your heart.

  70. I loved this….encouraging everyone (myself included) to be reminded of those new mercies every morning! Thanks for the good report….a double rainbow was lagniappe!

  71. In Hawaii for our son’s wedding and literally moments before we are to leave for the ceremony another son and his girlfriend announce they’ve just minutes before discovered they are pregnant. On the way to the ceremony, double rainbows appear: one for the bride and groom, one for the new baby to come. Just after the ceremony, buckets of rain fall and we all scurry for cover. Then the clouds part and a beautiful sunset displays off over the waters and the crashing waves. Sometimes God whispers His love, other times He shouts.

  72. Yeah, feeling like I don’t belong. Only child
    trying to make sure narcissistic dad (love him to pieces) is getting settled into the nursing home. He expects me to be with him all the time. I have one friend who visits him sometimes. The relationship with my “best friend” is not good at the time. I may have to let it go and we were
    very close. I retired and during school months work part time but not working during the summer. I am between churches. I am already burned out dealing with my dad, physically and mentally. I don’t make friends easily. I feel abandoned and lost. I have lost my joy and purpose and have a lot of fear. I am alone a lot even though I have tried to get together with my fellow workers at my old job. I can only take so much. Sorry for the lengthy note. The bad thing is I could write so much more.

  73. As always, beautifully said! And upstate NY? the best and yes with lots of thunder & rain lately 😉 where did you visit?

  74. At times I envy, yearn and wish for material things here on earth – the cottage, the swimming pool, the house on the beautiful property in another country. I know there is a very good possibility I will never have those things and then I am reminded, THIS, here on earth is not the end. It’s the beginning because the best is saved for the last – when we join Christ and others who have gone before us to heaven. That is what keeps me going and knowing there is so much more in Christ. The license plate was a blessing to you – for me it’s when I see the ‘fish’ symbol on the back of a vehicle or our local Christian radio station logo that seems to reach out and say “I’m here, your on the right track.”
    Thanks for sharing your world with us Ann.
    Laurie

  75. Dearest Sister Ann,
    Your tale of border crossing is so close to my heart it made me laugh and cry together! I am a US citizen, born and raised, married to a Canadian and we have two girls. A few years ago I headed NORTH for a trip to the cottage with Nana and Papa and WE forgot OUR passports!!! The girls and I stopped south of Detroit at an IHOP and we PRAYED and PRAYED and called Steve to let him know and asked HIM to pray. Well, he LIT UP the prayer chain and when we got to the Canadian border they pulled us over and sent us inside.
    There we were, standing at the desk looking all humble and muttering “Please Jesus!” under our breaths. The border guard on duty typed my driver’s license number into the computer and pulled up the record from the day Steve and I crossed the border after our wedding in Akron, Ohio!!! That was over 14 years earlier! They had a copy of our marriage certificate on record, our automobile license record, Steve’s Greencard records and EVERYTHING right there! After being told we were very, very VERY lucky and replying “Thank you SO much. And we aren’t lucky, we’re God’s lambs and we’re thankful!”, they let us in!!! 😀
    I am SO glad your family had a Godsmacked trip!
    Love and blessings,
    Stacey Lane
    Cincinnati, OH

  76. I just told a friend that I just don’t feel like I belong anywhere since my husband died this past year. I am either too much or not enough. Honestly, I can’t seem to find my place in this world after 42 years of being Richard’s wife and helpmate. The song, “I Must Tell Jesus” has become my anthem. Talking to Christ is my comfort.

  77. I just want to chime in and say:

    My future should be the last thing on my mind. Daily, we are dying to ourselves and giving up our selfish ways to be more and more like Jesus.

    Goals are great, but what if you don’t get married before 30? What if you don’t have kids- ever? These expectations (which aren’t bad) can take our focus off Jesus (even for a moment) because we are so concerned with the end goal.

    In the process, are we daily giving up of our goals to the Father? Instead of stressing and worrying, we must say, “Jesus, you know my heart and I’ll share it with you daily, but You know what’s best. Your ways are higher than my ways. I will choose LIFE. I won’t choose the anxiety that brings DEATH. Thank you Papa for concurring death through your Son, Jesus. May Your will be done and Kingdom come!”

    Whew, the pressure is off.

    – Tayler 🙂

  78. Ann.
    Loved the analogy that we don’t belong here, but we do belong to God!! For the past few years I have been feeling like I’m ready to go Home–my real home. I’m ready to leave this sin stained earth & be with Jesus permanently!
    Loved the fact that Grace was extended to you and your family! Everyone needs grace and to feel as though they belong!
    Blessings 🙂

  79. I too have regular intervals of that feeling of not fitting in. Im older, 56, and in failing physical health. Ive recently had to take a different position in my work place, due to the inability to lift patients any longer. The co workers are becoming younger and younger. My husband is 65 and has become disabled in the past year so I must work to make ends meet. I just want to drop off of the face of the Earth some days because it is just getting harder and harder, and it brings with it that awful feeling of not belonging. Not belonging in a world of youth, when I am struggling to keep going. But then, His grace surrounds me and He speaks to me in His still voice of love and reminds me that soon I will be home with Him. This is just what I needed to read today! Thank you. You are not alone. Its a harder world for women, and aging women. Im so glad that this is not our eternal home.

    • I’m here with you & prayers are going up for you Charlotte! I have experienced the same problems as you with a husband whose health is not the best. Trying to keep him encouraged & in a positive mind is hard! I keep in mind that God will bring me through this also. My pray for you is to know that you are always on God’s mind & He will direct you along the way! As the scripture says, Be still & know that I am God! Your in Christ! Janice

      • Thank you, Janice…. I really need those prayers now. We have been at the hospital all day doing more tests. Now we have found out , just today that he has a mass on his lung that is pressing on his spine, which is giving him horrible pain. Im very down right now. More tests tomorrow. Please continue praying. His name is Michael. Thank you, dear sister.

        • I’m sorry to hear this news but will continue to have you & Michael in my thoughts & prayers. I have lived by the following: If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.” This has always given me comfort in my time of distress & dispair. Sister in Christ! Janice

  80. thanks Ann for the section as below
    In Christ — no matter the road, the storm, the story — we always know the outcome.

    Our Savior: surrounds.
    Our future: secure.
    Our joy: certain.

    having a tough time at work recently, co-workers rather than the public. Timely reminder of the importance of an eternal perspective through our struggles.

  81. I just found your posts today, It seems like there is a lot of not feeling apart of something. I feel that way too. Trying to find my place in this world. I have never moved very far from home and I think that is wonderful that people can do that. Good for you! Trying to find and experience God.

  82. You stumbled across my FB page the other day. God I am sure had something to do with it. I have been reading and watching your blog and videos daily. Sometimes more than once a day I admit. I am just Dawn! Mother of three beautiful children, divorced, heavy equipment operator, owner of 2 dogs, 1 bunny, 4 chicks. Just Dawn. Struggling with the failure of a marriage, work, raising my children in a Godly way, more times than not feeling like I don’t belong. But looking around your website and blog I find it brings me back to what is most important. I must give the things I cannot control to God. Trusting, holy, completely. Lord knows sometimes breathing in is the only prayer I have for the day. There are signs of healing. I have remarried and my husband now is truly an answer to prayer. He loves me and all my crazy! LOL Thank you for opening yourself up. I think it is truly the only way to heal. God Blessing to you and yours.