By Karen DeArmond Gardner—

She’s alone, hiding in the corner. Making herself small, trying not to be noticed. Yet there is a longing in her heart for someone, anyone, to see her. Her heart pounds as she watches people gather, shake hands and hug. Laughter, smiles and how do you dos. She longs to be noticed but she’s too afraid to reach out.

Warmth begins to flow throughout her body as she feels a hand on her shoulder. As prayers are spoken over her. I see you. You are mine. You belong to me. How precious you are. The words continue to flow until her countenances changes. Her heart floods with warmness as she is filled with joy and peace. As she is enveloped into a hug she feels the presence. His Presence.

He sees her.

Loves her.

She belongs.

She’s no longer alone.

Family and belonging. It’s what the Church is meant to be. A place where no one feels left out and everyone is accepted as they are. If it were only so.

I wrote this as part of a prophetic writing exercise on Thursday. The following Wednesday as I was chatting with a new friend Donna, she told me a story of an encounter she had in church the previous Saturday with a young woman who was sitting alone. Donna said she looked lonely so she went over to her and asked to pray for her, hugged her and spoke prophetic words over her.

You can imagine my excitement as I tell her what I wrote the week before. She was seen before she was seen. It speaks to the heart of the Father. He sees us all. How precious it is when we step out of our comfort zone to reach out to those who feel so alone.

I am guilty of not looking around to see who is hiding and desperate for a touch from the Father. Over several weeks I’ve gone from lows to highs, from deep hurt to healing. My sense of belonging attacked by the enemy, attempting to drive a wedge between me and those I love. He succeeded. But he did not win.

It still amazes me how the Father tried to prepare me yet I missed it. He swooped in and through several encounters and revealed the tender spots in my life.

The last couple of weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions, lows and highs.



My sense of not belonging rooted in an orphan spirit. We all want to belong, to know we bring value. The gang community grows as more fathers abdicate their role and mothers take on the burden as providers. Leaving the young to fend for themselves and search for a place to belong.

I partnered with the enemy and took it on as my identity. It felt good and comfortable. But God was having none of that. He decided it was time for me to change my lenses. He used circumstances to flip me upside down, to throw me off balance to get to the root of the problem.

I can truly say I’m an orphan no longer.

With that comes a sense of belonging I’ve never experienced. It’s hard to explain how I feel. Now seeing myself through His eyes. I imagine the Father looking at me with a huge smile on His face. Not the least bit disappointed that it took me 61 years to get here.

Over the last week or so the Father has gone out of His way to show me how special I am to Him. What I love…this is how He feels about each one of us. This isn’t just for me, it’s for you too.

According to Romans 8:15 we can call Him Abba Father since we have been adopted into His family. Knowing and actually believing aren’t the same. We can know without knowing at all.

Then it’s believing who you really are and seeing yourself as He sees you. Beautiful. Powerful. Strong. Vibrant. His absolute delight.

Do you want to know how He feels about you? Ask Him – Father how do you see me?

I would love to hear if you want to share.


Karen DeArmond-Gardner: Wife to Tom Gardner. Mother to Amanda and Jonathan. Nana to Tyler, Jared, Noah and Lauryn. Employed in the Health Insurance industry by day, writer by night. Co-founder of My Purpose Now.

After thirty years, four months and two days on December 26, 2004 I found the courage to walk away from an abusive marriage. My hope is in telling my story women discover how to take their life from ugly to beauty, death to life, chaos to castles.

Find me on and on Facebook:

When the pain of shame was unbearable, I had to remember why I started.

I will walk in freedom….I will speak and not be ashamed. Psalm 119:45-46 NLT (Karen’s Version)


  1. 3-16-2015

    Karen – loved this post. So right on target – for me and my life right now, too. When Mom died, I felt like an orphan – thanks for reminding me that my Abba never left or will leave me – that I’m part of His eternal family. Comforting, isn’t it?

    • 3-16-2015

      I am so sorry Deb and it is comforting. He has you wrapped tightly in His arms even when you don’t feel it. Father I speak comfort and rest for Deb.

  2. 3-17-2015

    Karen, this is such a powerful, heartfelt post. I pray that MANY find comfort in our Comforter. He loves us like NO other EVER can. Thank you for sharing your vulnerable places and pointing others to the abiding love of Christ.

    • 3-18-2015

      Thank you Penny, you warm my heart.

  3. 3-19-2015

    Hummm…seems the same Holy Spirit has visited my heart as well the past few weeks regarding belonging. Thanks for putting words to the experience.


  1. Communities, Gangs and Orphanages | Whatcha Thinkin'? - […] notification that I had been tagged in a post by my friend Karen De Armond Gardner who had written…

Leave a Comment