Back Roads to Belonging (Unexpected Paths to Finding Your Place and Your People) by Kristen Strong is a unique look at building friendships. Kristen knows from the experience of moving that finding friends takes lots of time and energy. But this book focuses on how to step back and embrace the role that God has designed for you and how to invite others to join you in that journey. There are three sections to the book: Wandering, Finding and Inviting. Kristen weaves stories from her life and others as she shares the many ways she has struggled with uncertainty, loneliness, frustration and disappointment. But she also shares the positive way God brought her to new way of thinking, feeling and behaving. Each chapter starts with a quote and leads into a personal story. Then Kristen offers practical ideas for using God's Word to draw yourself closer to Him in this belonging journey. And she ends each chapter with a traveling companion story and a belonging blessing.
I must say that I chose to read this book because I just moved for the umpteenth time in my life, but since my last move was over 20 years ago, I feel like I'm starting over. This book caught my eye because I desperately want to belong. I have always felt like I have been an outsider. And because my personality can be introverted, I have just thought I could feel OK, but not really. Kristen's book really showed me my place is with God first. When I have my priorities in order, He will help me to navigate friendships and learning to belong, but also having grace for myself and others. I have to say, this book messed up my brain a bit. I couldn't see how to take a back road to belonging, but by the end of the book, I felt Kristen was a sweet friend guiding me along a well worn path to a Place where I truly belong!
*I was a given a complimentary copy of this book for review from Revell Reads. All opinions are my own.*