Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Back Roads to Belonging by Kristen Strong

You've probably been in a setting where you felt you just didn't belong. I know I have. Perhaps it was church or a small group or some other gathering. You feel on the outside. Maybe you are unsure of where and how you belong at all.

Strong wants us to be attentive to the back roads God uses, those wandering journeys where God is bringing us to an environment of connection. Often there are detours, uncomfortable places, dark places and lonely places. God's ways are often mysterious and, as Strong writes, often just plain odd. (571/3128) She reminds us that God moves “in a way that maximizes the consequences for good.” (2164/3128)

I appreciate the many insights Strong shares. Writing about the dark times, she encourages us to be available to bless others. Don't berate yourself for not belonging where God never intended you to belong, she says. (929/3128) Perhaps the most surprising insight for me was that God may be keeping us from belonging because of the people involved. He may be guarding our heart, protecting us from hurt. (2164/3128) I like Strong's encouragement: “I will be where Christ wants me to be in this moment.” (341/3128) We can rest in that and not force our way into some place God doesn't want us to be.

This is a good book for women who struggle with feelings of being an outsider. You'll find good wisdom and some serious encouragement in this book. You'll read many of Strong's own stories as well as those of others and some from the Bible. You'll be encouraged to be the one to reach out and be one who brings others to belonging. But most of all, you'll be encouraged to trust that God is taking you on the back roads to His best for you.

Food for thought: “Remember, there is always room at the table God picks out for you.” (2173/3128)

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Kristen Strong is the author of Girl Meets Change. She and her US Air Force veteran husband have three children. After several moves across the country and one ocean, they settled in Colorado Springs, Colorado. You can find out more at .

Revell, 208 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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