A Prayer: Belong


Feb_SarahFor those of us who have been told that we are too much—too loud, too opinionated, too smart, too bold, too quiet, too curvy, too skinny, too sexual, too intense, too feeling, too soft, too tough, too bossy, too tender, too young, too old, too liberal, too conservative—may we say: you belong here with us.

May we be the women who make room for the too-much among us.

For those of us who have been told that we are not enough—not smart enough, not ambitious enough, not good enough, not spiritual enough, not rich enough, not enough wife, not enough mother, not enough friend, not enough woman, not strong enough, not educated enough, not experienced enough—may we say: you belong here with us.

May we be the women who make room for the not-enough among us.

As we rise from a world, a culture, a past that is shouting lies about our very created and called selves, Almighty One, sweep the entanglements of our sin and those lies from our souls. Show us that our fetter is but a spider-web compared to the force of your freedom sweeping in, the wonder of your wide open door and fresh air, the sisterhood we have now.

The battle is yours, and it is won, as Jesus said: we can put our swords back where they belong. We belong to you, we belong to the family of God. We are named, we are loved. May we lift up our heads from the despair and find the family we have always yearned to find.

That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home. – Ephesians 2:19-22 (MSG)

May we be the ones who don’t give up on radical inclusion. May we remember to whisper to one another, every now and then, on purpose, at the right time: you belong here. There’s room for you. There’s room for all of us. We are part of the temple in which God is quite at home.

May we be the ones who hold the doors open for others, who hold hands, who hold faces, who hold secrets for one another, who hold space for the pain and the brilliance, who hold the light and the salt, who hold our opinions loosely, and love ferociously.

For those of us who always feel like we don’t belong, may we be the women who remember to say, who remember to live the truth: we all belong to each other because we belong to the One who is Love.

May we be the women of the Gospel, the women of heaven breaking through.

May we be those disciples who, as N.T. Wright says, are parables of hope.

May we remember that the truth we are prophesying isn’t even our own most precious truth just for our own selves—it is the truth of the Gospel: love wins.

Draw near to us, Sending One, Gathering One. Show us how to gather, show us how to send, show us how to love like you have loved us.



Image credit: Kierste

Sarah Bessey

Sarah Bessey

Sarah Bessey is the author of Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith and Jesus Feminist. She is an award-winning blogger and writer who lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia with her husband and their four tinies. You can find her online at SarahBessey.com or on Twitter at @sarahbessey.
Sarah Bessey

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  1. Taija Young says:

    I read this last week when it was posted and really appreciated it. But then the past couple days I found myself wrestling with thoughts of being “too much” and “not enough” and a growing tiredness of feeling different all the time… and I thought, “I’ve heard these words recently, but with hope pouring out all around them,” and it brought me back here. This will be a post I return to often… thank you for whispering His love of belonging into the wounds of my heart and sending me out in the current of His love!

  2. “May we be the ones who hold the doors open for others, who hold hands, who hold faces, who hold secrets for one another, who hold space for the pain and the brilliance, who hold the light and the salt, who hold our opinions loosely, and love ferociously.”

    The pain and the brilliance…the light and the salt..
    It is life, distilled, bright shining with glory, despite it all, and I want to be a part of this.
    Thank you.

  3. In belonging, there’s such acceptance and linkage and breathability. I can come in my hoodie and yoga pants, no make-up at all. That’s liberating and exciting. As a mom, “mom guilt” can sit heavy on me- worried I’m not good enough, not doing enough, I’m going to mess up my kids by my own inabilities! I’m in the midst of a week long blog series called “How to OFFload the MoM GUiLT.” http://www.amyruthwriter.com So many of us share in this struggle that we really don’t need to! Glad we find a place of belonging together.

  4. I love it when you ROAR, Sarah.

  5. Erin Wilson says:

    “Show us how to gather…” Woop woop! YES!

  6. so, so much truth, that our fetter is but a spider web in the gale-force wind of Him. it is intense permission to BE our calling instead of trying to fit into the cage of supposed-to’s.

    i love you so much, dear friend.

  7. Amen.

  8. I needed this prayer! I am working on screening Girl Rising at my university and I have just been feeling overwhelmed due to late responses so everything has had to be postponed. Girl Rising is a documentary that tells the story of 9 different girls and how education has provided them an opportunity to improve their life. The overall message is that we need to empower girls to change the world. We need to empower girls through education if we want to eradicate poverty. This is a beautiful message but somehow I seem to be way more excited than others and I too feel too passionate, too obsessed, too sensitive, and too willing to this issue. I am thankful for God who has given me all of these feelings for the purpose of his kingdom.

  9. Taylor Rauschkolb says:

    Was just talking about the Beatitudes with a women’s study group yesterday, and I hear them echo in your words– we belong! All of us! Every part of all of us–We are all invited!
    As one who feels she is “too much” and “not enough” all at the same time, thank you for this beautiful prayer.

  10. a hearty amen from this corner – thank you!

  11. Sherry Naron says:

    Ahhh, Sarah…yes! The written embodiment of how I feel about SheLoves! So beautiful!!

    • That’s actually where I started with this one, Sherry! I was thinking about the prompt “belong” and how that word really embodies so much of what we love about this space/movement and I began to really long for that to grow organically even beyond our space here.

  12. Yes…yes…amen…I love that your generation is getting this…and are encouraging one another to walk in this reality…I am much older and I am just coming into this freedom and I think your generation is spurring us on…let’s ride this wave of love together because love does win !!!!

  13. Sharyn Sowell says:

    As one who has never “fit in” (or even wanted to) I really appreciate your words today. Bearers of the light, we are, and sometimes that very fact makes us feel like misfits. Good to have community even if it’s an online one that we don’t know personally.

  14. Gorgeous poetic words, but more than that. Truth speaking to hearts and minds. And a healing balm for bodies broken by the untruth that we don’t fit.

    Printing, remembering and holding close.

  15. I needed this today. Thank you.

  16. Bev Murrill says:

    Strong women, may we know them, may we raise them, may we be them. You are one of those, Sarah… and long may you live to love and raise up new generations of women who know they belong.

  17. Amen, Sarah.
    I really needed this today, and I’m so thankful for all of the ways that you’ve modeled this to me. Love to you, dear one. xo


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