The Confidence To Believe You Belong

by Brenda Bradford Ottinger February 17, 2023
“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!” Psalm 139:16-17 (NLT)

It was my first day at a new school — midyear, in a place where everyone knew each other and no one knew me.

Naive and 9 years old, I had yet to understand the insecurity that clothed my spirit.

From my first timid step off the school bus that day till the final bell rang after class, I wore a long red coat … totally extra for the wink of winter a southern U.S. season contains.

Walking unfamiliar halls as the new girl wearing a bulky red coat, indoors and out, can set you apart in a way that doesn’t serve your social life well; I don’t recommend it. Yet my antsy insecurity found comfort in my cocoon of a coat that day.

Despite the awkward start, eventually I lost my timidity in that new school, but never would I lose the insecurity that gripped my spirit. Long have I lacked an innate confidence to believe I belong.

As the years grew, I sensed God working in my life and trusted He had plans for me. Yet I still struggled to confidently enter any space believing I was enough to belong.

This mistaken mindset began to shed its grip on me, however, when God met me in the center of my insecurity one day and traded new life for old lies.

That day, as I attempted to skim over a familiar Bible passage, the Lord prompted me to linger with the words rather than rush past them, and I read these truths afresh:

“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!” (Psalm 139:16-17).

And in the quiet of that moment, I felt a freedom I hadn’t known before, as the truth of God’s eternal heart for me covered my spirit with a comfort like no other.

In this passage, David declared to God, “You saw me before I was born,” recognizing that before he’d ever spied a ray of light or cried a breath of life, his very person was intimately known by God.

This is our confidence: Before we had an earthly identity, God regarded us!

Before oxygen filled our lungs, the Lord laid out every moment of our lives according to His purpose. God hasn’t simply recorded the hours we’ve already spent; rather, from the second He sketched our identities to the futures we’ve yet to reach, He has borne witness to it all.

We can confidently believe we belong anywhere He places us because the Ancient of Days, our eternal God, has made it His business to know and adore us and to tenderly record His trustworthy plans for us.

May we reject the enemy’s lie that we’re not enough to belong, for our confidence is grounded in God’s authority as we walk together with Him into every space He’s already prepared for us.

No earthly brand of belonging can compare to the belonging we have in God.

Dear friend, the God who saw you ahead of your birth — whose precious thoughts about you are greater than numbers can contain — recorded purpose for you long before your life existed in time!

You can shed every lie of insecurity that drapes your spirit today and walk confidently in the truth that your story is already sealed in God’s book. You are a woman precious to your Maker, and you belong where He places you, for you enter with the authority of His divine script.

Dear God, thank You for clothing me in the comfort of Your belonging and for recording trustworthy plans for my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


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Psalm 32:8, “The LORD says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.’” (NLT)

What insecurities can you shed today and confidently step into the spaces God’s set apart for you? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

© 2023 by Brenda Bradford Ottinger. All rights reserved.

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