Imagine standing outside a circle. Women are leaning in. Attentive to each other. Laughing. It’s like they all are sharing the same secret.
You want to be in that circle, but can you?
For the ultra-confident woman, this might not even make sense to you, but a long time ago I was that girl/woman standing outside the circle. It wasn’t that people were keeping me out (though that can happen). Instead, my insecurities trapped me on the outside of the circle.
If I had to break through to find my place, well forget that. The prospect of rejection was simply too great.
The need to belong is something most of us experience.
Kristen Strong, author of Backroads to Belonging, says we respond to this need in one of two ways:
- We do everything we can to fit in, or . . .
- We go the other way.
Kristen Strong had to continually break into new circles as a military spouse. Sometimes that was painful, until she discovered that belonging wasn’t really about people. It was discovering who she was to Christ. This helped her to know exactly who she was, regardless of what people did or didn’t do or whether a circle was closed or open.
While I once perched outside the circle, God healed me in this area too.
Now, when I see a circle, I believe there is a place for me.
If a circle is closed, that’s okay too. I keep going because there’s another one around the corner. And sometimes, I’ll simply start a new circle and invite women to join in.
As healed women, let’s be circle breakers, not just for ourselves, but for others
- Notice that woman standing outside the circle
- Include her
- Give her your spot, if necessary.
When we become circle breakers, we open the door for women to discover just how loved they are too.
Q: What might it look like for you to be a “circle breaker?”
Q: In what way does finding our “place of belonging” in the love of God help us break the circle for others?
In today’s More Than Small Talk podcast (Episode #37), Holley, Jennifer, and I take this topic deeper with Kristen Strong, bestselling author of The Backroad to Belonging.
Listen at KLRC, Stitcher, Spotify, iTunes, or your favorite podcast app. While you are at it, I’d love it if you’d subscribe or leave a review!
Read Back Roads to Belonging by Kristen Strong
Thank you Suzie.
Oh, how true for those of us who are introverts! It is so easy to just walk away or find a way to “blend” in—even though we still feel separate. When I attended She Speaks conference this year I felt that feeling when I walked downstairs to have breakfast. I remember sending up an arrow prayer…”I am yours; You brought me here for a reason. Give me strength in this my weakness!” I then approached someone sitting alone, introduced myself, and asked to sit with her for breakfast. What a surge of His power I felt when I took that first step! I still have to practice reaching out in large crowds; but, because of my natural tendency God has helped me see the one outside the circle, too! Thank you, Susie, for reminding me of this!!
This is so powerful! I know that I was always outside circles. Sometimes because of others, and other times due to my own insecurities. It is painful either way. It has been a long journey to be a little more confident but I find being a circle breaker can be as easy as smiling at someone. I don’t like seeing people standing alone or looking lonely. God has really taken that fear away, because the need to love that person has become stronger than that fear. I am grateful for that! Thank you for sharing, Suzie!
I’ve been there – outside the circle, and it doesn’t feel good. I hope to make myself more aware of those who are standing “outside the circle” and invite them in. Thank you so much for this devotion today, I am sharing on Facebook, because I want others to be aware of the choices they make in this regard. Blessings!