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That’s the word I’ve been praying for months now. This blog came about as an act of surrender. So today I am addressing the need to surrender my desire to belong.

I know that I do belong…where it matters. Even though I may feel like I don’t often fit in well in this world.

And we all know that feelings are not truth.

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Over and over I’ve had to battle through fear to just pick this laptop up and write. In surrender, I choose to lay down my fear and insecurities and just bare my soul to those who join me here. I do this because I believe that it matters. I believe it’s what I am suppose to do.

Since disingenuous living is so rampant in our culture nowadays, I believe we desperately need real…authentic…honest…people who are willing to take off their mask of perfection and share the truth. That’s my heart…to be real and invite you in, with a smile and a hug.

One of the sweetest gifts of this season of my life has come from suffering and pruning…the removal of things from my life. I have grieved the losses, the changes, but I know pruning is necessary for growth. Pruning gives way to an abundance of life.

I am going to keep surrendering. Everyday. Everything. There is no resurrection without a death. And that death has to be ME. Just like a grain of wheat has to die to reproduce, so must we die to live.

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My life has been an interesting, imperfect story. And I see the grace of God in allowing a lot of pain and circumstances I would not have chosen. God’s way is always the way of suffering. Oswald Chambers calls it, “The long way home.” We want instant fixes. But that is not God’s way. It is through learning endurance we build faith muscles that enable us to keep believing. Perseverance teaches us to hope without giving up. These things are essential if we are going to stand firm until the end. And I know we all want to be found faithful. Standing firm. Until the end.

Idols take root in my heart and reveal my lack of trust in God. The “need to belong” in this world can become an idol when it matters more than knowing God is enough. That hurts when I stop to think of all that God has done so that I can belong to His family. Jesus gave His life on a cross so that I could belong and be called His daughter.

My desire to belong and be included causes me to take my eyes off Jesus. It reveals again how I have not trusted in HIM ALONE. He gives me what I need and I have been ungrateful. That pains me. He only ask that I trust Him.

I have prayed for a long time that God would reveal the sin issues in my heart. Our hearts are so easily deceived. And I don’t want to live a lie. If we think we’re good and it’s everyone else with issues…then that is a big indication we are probably not okay and have hidden sin in our hearts. Let’s be brave enough and humble enough to ask that what is hidden be brought to light – in our lives and those around us.

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This season has blessed me with the gift of knowing fellow sufferers. Those who have suffered and endured. When you pass through deep waters, God uses those who have been there themselves…those who know the way of suffering and have found that it is good. They know it is life giving. They have discovered it produces the fruit of the Spirit. Through it all, they offer battle weary souls a place to belong.

So if you are reading this and you need a place to belong, I invite you in with open arms. There are so many beautiful gifts God gives us through our difficulties. And we all have them.

For those of you reading this who have reached out to me offering encouragement…you are why I am writing this. You are the ones God uses to help me do what He has called me to do.

My heart overflows with thanksgiving for all that God is doing in and around me. You have shown such compassion, love and grace to my family and me. You hope givers are the ones who love like Jesus. And I really do want to be more like YOU.

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Today is Thanksgiving. Remember that praise to The Lord is a powerful weapon in warfare…and we are in a battle to stand firm in our faith. When we lift our songs of praise, the darkness fades and the light comes in! So even with a heavy heart, full of grief, we can choose to give thanks in all things.

My heart is grieving this season. I sometimes find myself wishing things were different, but I know God is answering my prayers. It just looks differently than I thought it would. But that’s okay. Grief is part of life and at certain times it can feel like more than we can bear, but what I have realized is that it makes me more aware of those around me who are hurting. And that is good, because a lot of people are hurting these days. They are all around us and I want to see them.

I must surrender my expectations…my agenda…my plans…my desires…my way.

Remember, He is able to do anything. Exceedingly, abundantly, beyond what we can ask or imagine. Look up and remember that The Lord is a shield around you. He is the one who lifts our heads high.

Psalm 5:11…”But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let then ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them that those who love your name may rejoice in you.”


Monica and Chuck

9 thoughts

  1. Monica, you truly have a heart for God and your blog is an encouragement to many. Thank you for being obedient to our Father in the midst of your heart ache and pain. You and your family are in my prayers and it is with love that I follow your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Monica, thank you for your blog. I too have spent the last few months crying out, where do I belong. So many xhsnges, but the knowledge that when Gid moves us, he goes ahead of us. Just knowing there is purpose, his purpose in all this is what brings peace to my heart. Only when I choose to look up and not at the circumstances that surround me can God bring his direction. Covid times, are isolation times for so many. We all so desperately need to know, we are not alone in this journey home. You are right, those who Gid brings into our lives, that know this place can bring encouragement and comfort. Thank you , for your hinesty and openess. Miss you and Chuck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Valerie, you are so special and I appreciate your honest response. You are so missed here on woodberry! You guys left a mark on our hearts. I know God will use you greatly where you are. Love you and miss you.


  3. I truly can relate to dying to self daily, struggles of the question do I belong. So many things my mind gets lost in the negative choas this world dishes out. We are to be a light in a dark world. Without our armour our body, and mind become cloudy like fog. I just love your post they hit like a nail on the head. We are all different but share a lot of similiar pain. Please keep this post coming. They are a breath of fresh air to my soul. I’m part of the body, I know I belong.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a blessing you are Monica. Dying to self, hard! But God calls us to that. I like you have asked the Lord to reveal things that need to go in my life. I tend to be a people pleaser. I want to be a God pleaser. That pruning is hurtful, but needful. Thanks for sharing your heart. It helps to know other sisters are struggling in this spiritual battle!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And thank you Carol for sharing and encouraging, as well, in this battle to surrender ourselves. I’m thankful for your honesty as well. 🥰


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