I'm a bit of an on the edge outsider. That sounds like a choice, and there are some things I do which may propagate the feeling but generally speaking it's as if I simply find myself on the edge. Or something happens and I am once again the 12 year old little girl new to an area, school, church and neighborhood who is looking for a nod of approval from anyone.
But recently I have noticed something new. I have noticed me noticing when I feel like that, and why. Now, you may think there's nothing new in this, but the newness is that I'm noticing. Most often in the past I had the feelings and acted on them as if they were truth. Now, I'm observing again. It's a little calmer.
I also decided that just because I feel a certain way doesn't make it the whole truth. Yes, there will be groups I in fact do not fit into, that's a given in this life, but it doesn't mean I take the idea to the extreme and say I don't fit in anywhere.
And I stopped and thought and knew in the moment the one place I always and forever and each moment know I belong: with my God.
Psalm 100 is a beautifully short Psalm. It's simply praising God, confessing our belonging to Him, being grateful for who He is, and acknowledging He doesn't change. What jumped out to me when I was reading it, aside from knowing that's where I belong, was that we are the sheep of His pasture.
Now, I know David referenced sheep a lot because he was a shepherd, so it makes sense that the idea would be in his writing. But one thing I think about sheep is that they know the voice of their shepherd and trust him. Jesus said it in John 10:27, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." The entire chapter speaks to it, actually, with an emphasis of what was going on in my head in verses 3-5. We know His voice.
The question is, are we stopping to hear it? I wasn't. I was allowing the fear, ideas, thoughts, and truths to swallow me up whole and I would act out of that. But now I'm stopping, I'm reassessing, I'm noticing, and I'm listening to the right voices. Not the voices of this world who say I have to do certain things to belong. Not the voices in my head which say I will never truly belong. And not the exaggeration voices which say if I don't belong with "x" I wont belong with "a". No, I'm listening to the voice of the One who truly loves me.
And He goes before us, calling us by name, leading us. What other reason do we need to praise and shout thanksgiving?
I am in my Father's care and have a place there that is all my own.