Have you ever felt out of place? I have. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always felt different, and that the world was against me. Loneliness was a familiar feeling I was comfortable with. Often, I felt humiliated & neglected within my own family. I was raised in a traditional Hmong family with 5 brothers and 5 sisters and of course, I was that 3rd child. That middle child syndrome may have added some stress to my neglect as well. You see, even at such a young age, the devil has his ways of squeezing these lies into my head and eventually the lies grew with me as I matured into adulthood.
In the next season of my life, just six months after turning 18, I got married and I was immediately forced to grow up overnight. Another point in my life feeling out of place. While I was still young, I would often find myself surrounded by young couples and older women who had children. Here I am childless and drawing no connections with the young and seasoned ladies at family and community gatherings. As a young wife in a traditional Hmong household, I was mainly alone learning to adapt into a new family. In the process, I would crave to feel welcomed, but time over time the impression of belonging was still far from reach.
After thirteen long and dry years of loneliness, my husband and I encounter Jesus and accepted Jesus Christ into our life. Shortly after the transition, our lives were completely changed. A beautiful change. The new families we gained through Christ was incredibly fulfilling, but most of all God’s love was exceedingly comforting. This beautiful feeling was precisely what I had been longing for and my heart finally received it. The feeling of belonging was only through the completeness in Christ. As a new believer my faith thrived from my supportive church community, leaders, and small group that God had blessed me with. I was welcomed into God’s family with open arms and with no judgement. I was able to be myself and be vulnerable without being condemned. The invitation was clearly “Come as you are” and I finally felt the comfort of unity. In Colossians 2:10, “So you also are complete through your union with Christ…” The unity and transparency from the church poured their hearts into loving me and my family. It was beyond any love I had ever encountered. I now know that only that kind of love comes from our Lord Jesus who loves us dearly and whom we belong to, God’s family. John 1:12 says, “yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” Thank you, Jesus!
God’s timing is perfect, and His words speak life in Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” There are so many individuals who are crushed in spirit and desire to find acceptance through pleasing people, however, it will never be enough. Truth is, pleasing people will only bring heartaches and our hearts will never be full. Loneliness will dwell in us if we don’t seek to recognize that we were created in God’s image and to belong to Christ Jesus. Romans 14:8 tells us “If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” This verse has been so encouraging and comforting to my soul.
If anyone is going through a season of emptiness or feeling lonely, I encourage you to reach out to someone in your local church community to pray over you and for you. You belong to Jesus Christ, and I promise that your heart will receive the most precious gift you have been longing for. That gift is Jesus whom you belong to.
Ma Xiong (N. Xf. Richy Xyooj)
Ma (N. Xh. Richy Xiong) serves alongside her husband who is Senior Pastor for Grace Alliance Church in Gentry, Arkansas. Ma and Richy have been blessed with four beautiful children. Outside of ministry and family, she enjoys her full-time job as a Broker for JB Hunt. Ma completed her Bachelor of Theology from Ambassador Christian College and loves serving the ladies in her church community. When there is any down time, Ma loves to clean her home and makes time to capture God’s beautiful creation with her Canon lens.