Title: Back Roads to Belonging: Unexpected Paths to Finding Your Place and Your People
Author: Kristen Strong
Genre: Christian Living
Publishing Date: Aug 6, 2019
Length: 208 Pages
About the Book:
At one time or another, shifting seasons in family, friendships, employment, and communities will bring each of us face-to-face with the feeling of being on the outside looking in. Because we are made for connection, this will often lead us down one of two roads. Either we will hop on the popular but crowded highway that asks us to do whatever it takes to get noticed, or we’ll stand still, paralyzed by the fear that we’re not important, loveable, or worth other people’s time and attention.
But what if there is another way? With an understanding voice that will speak into your own circumstances, Kristen Strong walks beside you along the less traveled but more satisfying third way–the back road way–to belonging: remaining in Christ and relaxing into the unique role God has for you. Along the way, you will learn simple, doable actions that not only will help you feel and know that you belong but will welcome others in as well.
This book was absolutely amazing. I don’t think the cover of this book does it justice even though I wouldn’t know what to replace it with. The author goes deep down into the roots of the things that leave us feeling unwanted, unworthy, and/or alone. Even when life experiences are different, the roots are often the same.
As a kid in elementary school I was bullied. I wish that all of the emotions I experienced could have stayed in the past but the truth is even over 20 years later I still struggle with feelings like I don’t belong and I’m not wanted. I’ve developed a bubbly enough personality that I can hide behind those feelings, but I think people would be shocked to discover the thoughts racing through my mind underneath the big smile across my face. Reading this book I discovered I’m really not alone in this thinking. Yes, it’s still something I need to make sure I am giving to God, but I am not the only who wrestles with these thoughts.
One thing that really stuck out to me was when the author talked about Jesus and his status of being on the outside. It says on page 18:
From his birth outside the inn, Jesus experienced what it was like to be on the outside. Yet he still lived as one very much accepted, because he was accepted by his Father. He didn’t worry about being on the outside looking in. He was on the outside looking up.
On the next page it also says “Because Jesus came for you, you’re already in, in every way that counts.” This section completely spoke to my heart and reminded me of the right perspective I need to have.
This book is about more than just fitting in. It’s about having the right perspective in continually looking up and finding your hope and worth in Christ. It’s about how to maneuver this this world without feeling like you’re being swallowed up. It’s about placing so much value on your relationship with your Heavenly Father, that no earthly drama can steal your joy.
I absolutely recommend this book as a must-read. I think there’s something for everyone found within the pages for them to walk away with. I will certainly be looking out for more by this author in the future.
*I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishers. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.