Known: Thoughts on Belonging

Fog rolled in over the interstate as my friend and I traveled the highway through Ohio farmland and chatted about life. As the afternoon got later and our conversation ebbed and flowed, I realized that I talk a lot sometimes. There I was with a captive audience in my car who couldn’t escape my chatter for the time being, and so I droned on, covering every topic from my current disorganized self to the fact that life is just plain tough some days. And then I stopped–was I talking too much? Was I just talking to talk? Did my friend even want to hear what I was talking on and on about? Why was I doing this?

“I know that I talk a lot sometimes,” I said to my friend.

She seemed to accept that, so I moved on and then continued thinking about it days later.

It’s true, I talk a lot sometimes. But why? I talk for a one reason and a thousand reasons, both are the same. I talk because I want to share my life-to know that I am known. I want to know that someone out there knows and understand. This is both the gift and curse of our humanness. We crave community and yet we cannot escape it when  the walls close in and we want to be anything but known.

We were made to be known. We were made to share our hearts, our stories, our souls. We were made with the unshakeable craving to feel and know that our life has purpose.

And so we talk. I talk, and we talk to whoever will listen. We are longing to be known.

After reflection, I came to realize that what I want when I share the recent happenings of my life and when I talk about things that are making life a challenge is a sense that I am not alone. I want to know that someone else understands and that my experience is synonymous with theirs. I want to know that both of us are part of the same world even if we lead different lives.

This longing to know that I am part of something bigger than myself and that there is a sense of camaraderie with those who walk along this life with me is a reflection of a deeper need, a soul need so deep that only Someone who knows my very thoughts and being could have planted it.

You, me, and the world are looking for a place where we can share our stories and our lives. So we share and we talk and we hope that maybe we’re just not the only one feeling the walls closing in or the days growing mundane.

It is both a beautiful thing and a terrifying thing to think that we could be longing for something that can only be satisfied outside of ourselves. This is the beauty that I was made for and by Someone for a purpose bigger than myself and more holy than myself.

“You have made us for yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” ~St. Augustine

I was made for God. I was made to want to belong.

Belonging–so where do I find it? The belonging that I find in friendship is only temporary even if it is beautiful and wonderful and meant to be cherished.

I find belonging in the heart of my God. I find belonging when I find Jesus and his grace and his love. He takes my hand, he hears my prayer, he knows life can be hard. And he listens not just to my words but to my soul stirring. And he makes me belong. With him–forever. I am not nor ever will I be alone. I belong both here on earth and someday with God in heaven. God has made you and me belong here now and loves us each day.

We are loved. We are a community. We are known more vastly and more purely than we could ever hope. Great is the Holy One.



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