Where Do I ‘Belong’ When I Live With Chronic Illness?

“My beloved is mine, and I am his;” Song of (Solomon 2:16, New American Standard Bible)

Have you ever put a jigsaw puzzle together and upon picking up one piece – wondered where in the world it fit? It may not even look as if it belongs to the puzzle you are making. It simply doesn’t seem to belong.

Sometimes, that is how facing chronic challenges can feel. It is as if we are that puzzle piece that just doesn’t seem to belong. We may have felt we belonged somewhere else before our illness, or if we are one of the many who have grown up challenged, we may never have felt we belonged anywhere.

It’s not a good feeling.

I belong to a chat group for folks with chronic illnesses and somehow “belonging” became our topic: Just where do we “belong” now?

According to one of the lesser-known psychologists, Alfred Adler, belonging is one of the most important needs we have. We need to know where we fit in.

I’ve spent the last few years searching out where I belong now. All the places I formerly ‘fit,’ have been left behind me. It’s been a huge loss. Yet, even as I struggle, God opens new doors. I am making new friends, finding things I can do even while homebound, and ever-so-slowly, feeling I belong somewhere.

And in my searching for a place to fit in, I began to realize there is one place I have belonged all along. You see, God doesn’t mind that I can’t go out to eat and visit anymore. He doesn’t mind that I tire easily. He doesn’t turn away and leave me because I have bad days. He even puts up with my ill temper and cries of loneliness. He listens. And shows me He is still there – caring.

I think it is vital for us to have a sense of belonging. I think it is vital for us to fit in. While it is good to find those places in the earthly realm, I think we will never find a true sense of belonging until we realize that we belong to Him.

Scripture tells us that We are His Beloved. He is ours.

Today, I pray you make Him yours.

About the Author:
deni believes that the only true way to deal with chronic pain and chronic illness is to bring them to the feet of her Lord and Savior. Her multiple challenges (Ankylosing Spondylitis, Porphyria, Celiac Sprue, and Atrial Fibrillation to name a few) have taught her many things about herself and her Christian walk. It is her fondest desire that her lessons may be helpful to others as they walk the path of chronic challenges. She may be reached at EncouragingWords@me.com. Her website is

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