The First Step to Finding Belonging – Encouragement for Today – November 3, 2023

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Katy McCownNovember 3, 2023

The First Step to Finding Belonging

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"The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18 (ESV) 

He burst through the door with her in his arms. The look on his face alerted me that something was very wrong.

Moments before, my daughter had been riding her bike alongside her older brothers on a beautiful spring day. She hit a bump and lost control, sending her face-first over the handlebars. Her jaw hit the pavement, and her cry followed the impact - a cry that initiated her daddy's response.

My husband, Luke, rushed to our little girl's side and without hesitation scooped her up in his arms. He carried her into the house and started tending to her wounds. Later, X-rays and CT scans revealed she had broken her jaw in three places.

As we attempted to sleep that night, my husband and I made a bed of blankets and pillows in our room so our daughter could be near us as she slept. One small whimper from our sleeping girl moved her daddy out of the bed so he could once again scoop her up in his arms.

I'm not sure how much Luke slept that night, but our daughter slept soundly in her father's arms. She didn't wriggle out of his embrace or run to her own room. She was where she belonged - close to her daddy, resting in the security and peace of his arms.

One definition of "belonging" is "the feeling of security and support when there is a sense of acceptance, inclusion, and identity for a member of a certain group." When we belong, we're right where we're supposed to be.

Today's key verse shows us the ultimate source of belonging in the midst of our brokenness: "The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:18).

In our pain, our loving heavenly Father runs to us, is near to us, and comforts us with His presence and the peace only He can provide. In our pain, we belong close to our Savior. It's the best place for us to be.

My daughter's response to her father's care didn’t surprise me and probably doesn't surprise you either: We recognize the blessing of a loving father who ran to his child and comforted her. We would expect her to receive that gift gladly and rest in it.

But when circumstances shatter our lives, instead of allowing God to come close and put our broken pieces back together, I think we sometimes pull away. Instead of allowing God to care for our wounds, we cover them and recoil. After all, wounds hurt, and we fear that exposing them will only hurt more.

But as with an untreated physical wound, untreated heart wounds grow more and more tender. Though covered up, the wounds get worse, and if they're not treated, infection will spread and create even more hurt.

The first step to belonging is to bring our brokenness to Jesus. Instead of tirelessly trying to fix things ourselves, we can let Jesus put the broken pieces of our hearts back together.

God doesn't want us to spend our lives endlessly trying to keep it together. He wants to heal us, fill us, and lead us to the rest found in His arms when we belong to Him.

Dear God, I know You see the wounds in my heart. Today, I bring You my broken pieces. I desire Your healing and the rest found in Your arms. Give me the courage to trust You. Lead me to the belonging You created for me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


In her newest Bible study, She Belongs: Finding Your Place in the Body of Christ, Katy McCown leads us to shift our identity from our scars to our Savior and find the peace, security and purpose Jesus promises when we belong to Him. Click here to order your copy today!

If God said it, He meant it. The story of Jesus proves our God is faithful. Spend six weeks looking at how every promise God has made to you today is fulfilled in the life of Jesus with our next Online Bible Study ... Pointing to the Promise: An Advent Study, starting November 6. Click here to sign up now!



Belonging in the body of Christ helps us move from a life that's just "fine" to one that flourishes. Click here for a free download of "7 Prayers to Help You Move From Fine to Flourishing."


Psalm 147:3, "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds" (ESV).

1 Peter 2:24, "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed" (ESV).

What do you need to bring to Jesus today so He can heal you and lead you to the rest found in His arms? Share your thoughts in the comments.

© 2023 by Katy McCown. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106