I was asked to take a school assembly on the theme ‘I am set apart’.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to belong. It seems important, to feel that we belong.

Do you ever feel you don’t?

Humanity has an endless pursuit, a search for answers to questions: who am I, why am I here, do I have a purpose, do I belong, do I matter? We want to feel that we belong, yet we feel often as if we don’t. We compare ourselves to others, we try and be the same, so we fit. So we belong

We are told to just ‘be yourself’ but in reality, we don’t quite know what that means, and we don’t always know who we are, or like who we think we are.

This can be quite normal for a teenage. The makeover your brain is in means you will naturally not always feel completely like you, you will change what you are into, you won’t always feel you belong. It’s the transition to becoming the person you are meant to be, but it takes time, and it takes struggle.

When I was a teenager, this never ending search to belong mean I squeezed myself into what I thought I should be, what others seemed to be and want out of life.  I became more confused: I didn’t feel like I belonged and I didn’t feel like me.

To try and belong I would say I liked bands I had possibly not even heard of, I would tell people I fancied the popular guys when it wasn’t always true. I lied about the core of me, about my faith. Consequently, I made decisions that were not good for my wellbeing. I was a Christian, New Creation set apart! Yet I was desperate to belong. I wanted both!

What I didn’t realise and do now is who God has said I am, is so much more freeing than I ever thought. Belonging still matters to me but the question is answered, I do belong! This propels me to live differently, to be set apart!

It is weird to look back now and think, the people that mattered to me then, those who still matter now would say they loved the parts that made me different to them. Even the choices I made regarding my faith and what I chose to be involved in or not.

There is a story about four girls. Four girls who didn’t belong. In 2011 these four stood on a stage, waiting to hear their name called, waiting to see their purpose, their dreams fulfilling. Waiting to be told. You belong here. Their names were called, but they were asked to leave, you do not belong here! Their dreams fell to pieces.

Then the music changed key and the cameras zoomed in,

“Jesy Nelson, Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirwell and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, the judges have asked me to fetch you”

They have not been overlooked, they do belong but as a new creation. They were set apart. They were to leave their old life as solo artists and put on the new: a girl band. Be

Little Mix*

Spring Bank Holiday often meant one thing in my family; a camping trip! Which was great until it started to rain. On these rainy days, at some point, a jigsaw be presented to it. It is the idea of a jigsaw that I want to leave you with.

Each piece is uniquely designed, each piece set apart, each is different to the other. However all pieces belong, all are made uniquely to belong to something much larger.

You have been made unique so that you belong.

*well ok Rhythmix first but we’ll leave that to rest!

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