Day 1: Seen And Formed - The Sacred Work of Belonging

Day 1: Seen and Formed

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,

as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

You saw me before I was born.

Every day of my life was recorded in your book.

Every moment was laid out

before a single day had passed.

Psalm 139:15-16

“We often search everywhere else to find the story we’re looking for. But the story we’re born looking for is our own. It’s the one pressed into our broken bodies at birth, strung among our thoughts and brain waves. It’s the one that dances to the beat of our hearts, imprinted with our mother’s and father’s dreams and given to us with power and loving intention. It’s this very story – our own story connected to those of our mothers and fathers, and their mothers and fathers before them – through which Jesus pursues us and is with us.” -Tell Me the Dream Again

Being seen and known go with belonging like butter on hot toast. In my own ache for belonging and search for belonging, I’ve wandered far and wondered long. I remember the first time I met some of my extended family in Korea and spent a few hours playing with my new-to-me second cousins. We ran around their neighborhood making dirt castles in an empty lot down the street, stopping to meet neighbors and visiting places nearby that they wanted to show me. They pointed at shops, and we clumsily used hand gestures like we were in a Pictionary game. They didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Korean. Walking back to their house, a neighbor boy yelled out to them. They looked at me, where he was pointing, then responded. I couldn’t understand the words, but I could see the expressions and hear the tones. He was laughing, and their responses grew louder with each sentence. Back at their house I asked my mom to ask them what happened. The boy wanted to know “what I was,” and laughed when they said I was their “American cousin.” They were my family, but I felt an ache for the reality that I didn’t belong or blend in the way other cousins would’ve. We were family and we couldn’t even use the words we knew to communicate. It didn’t matter and yet it mattered so much.

The sacred work of belonging begins with an honest look at our beginnings. Before we began, we belonged to God. Before anyone knew us or could name us, God saw us wholly, from start to every day after. All that would become our past, present, and future was seen and known.

You and I belong to God’s masterpiece of love and redemption. Despite everything that tries to convince us otherwise, or the incessant message that we have to shape ourselves to fit into belonging, the truth is that belonging is our heritage.

Belonging is woven into our bodies and it cannot be taken from us.

Belonging was your beginning.

Breath prayer:

Breathe in: Jesus, I have always belonged to you.

Breathe out: Show me the ways I’ve always belonged to you.

From the Book: