Longing to Belong
Discovering the Joy of Acceptance
by Shawna Marie Bryant
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Pub Date 14 Jul 2020 | Archive Date 27 Jan 2021
Abilene Christian University Press & Leafwood Publishers, Leafwood Publishers
Become fully aware that you are unconditionally loved and accepted.
From a young age, we all learn that cruel words can wound, but Longing to Belong will show you how Scripture can heal your heart. Join Shawna as she turns to Psalm 139 and reveals seven life-giving affirmations that everyone needs:
God knows me.
He is always with me.
I am not invisible.
I am wonderfully made.
God’s countless thoughts are for me.
I have enemies, but . . .
I can walk in victory!
Writing with honesty and transparency, Shawna will show you how to handle your hurts and grasp the keys to freedom when others have rejected you. Walk with her through the Bible and see anew that your Creator is not a harsh critic or a taskmaster to be feared. Instead, learn to claim your rightful place as accepted by God and live in joy.
“As one who has longed to belong, I have looked for books that address the ever-present neediness in my heart. Thankfully, Shawna Marie Bryant’s biblical scholarship, encouragement, and empathy offers a Jesus-honoring path toward wholeness. Bryant has taken the journey before us. She loves Jesus. And she loves you, her reader. Whether you study this alone or with a group of friends, I’m convinced you’ll close the book loved, changed, and inspired.”
—Mary DeMuth, author of Healing Every Day
“Longing to Belong comes from such a personal place in Shawna. She is a shining example of someone who decided the pain of rejection was not going to keep her down and defeated. By embracing the truths found in Psalm 139, Shawna gives the reader a transformational guide to freedom.”
—Joni Oquist, Women’s Pastor at Peoples Church, Fresno, California
“Shawna is someone I have come to know as both a gifted communicator and a person who strives to hear and be led by the Holy Spirit. I think highly not only of her talents and gifts but also of her and her family.”
—Dale Oquist, Lead Pastor at Peoples Church, Fresno, California
“Longing to Belong is a beautiful, life-giving stroll through the powerful, nurturing, and life-transforming Psalm 139.”
—Pam Farrel, Codirector of love-wise.com and author of the bestseller Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti
“God has given Shawna Marie Bryant a wonderful gift in teaching, and has called her to the ministry of teaching the Word of God to women. Shawna needs to be doing this. This is what she was created to do!”
—David Jeremiah, Founder and President of Turning Point Ministries, and Senior Pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church
“As pastor to a United States president, my dad, Rev. Michael Wenning, was considered a somebody. Somebodies get to endorse powerful books like this, filled with wisdom for broken hearts. As a nobody-knows-who, my opinion (and a few bucks) can buy you coffee! But maybe you need to hear from ordinary me, because after reading this book you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt how deeply, how widely, God adores you. And the best part? That makes you a pretty big somebody too!”
—Andi Wenning Bull, pastor, Bible teacher, and women’s mentor
“Shawna Marie Bryant guides with grace and fresh insight. Her wisdoms are breaths of fresh air. Her continual direction back to the one who sets us apart and keeps us in his belonging points readers to the source of everything they need. Shawna’s book is a timely and important work. I highly recommend Longing to Belong.”
—Jami Amerine, author of Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors
“In Longing to Belong, Shawna Marie Bryant embraces readers as good friends. She captures the pain of rejection and the certainty of hope. Through relatable, personal experiences and biblical stories, Shawna takes you step-by-step to the truth of acceptance. This is a resource you will refer to time and again.”
—Penelope Childers, coauthor of A Cry of the Heart
“With honesty and vulnerability, Shawna Marie Bryant shares her journey of discovery. You’ll join the ‘I’m Special Sisterhood’ and walk the path of acceptance, unlocking life-changing doors. Shawna’s insightful book includes examples of biblical characters, and helps you see yourself through God’s eyes. A must-read, especially if you are feeling ‘less than,’ because God considers you his masterpiece. Great for individual or group study.”
—Barb Boswell, author of Every Time I Turn Around, God Whispers in My Ear!
“Longing to Belong is a fascinating account of how deeply God loves and cares for us. As you read this book, you will see yourself the way God sees you. Shawna Marie Bryant masterfully conveys the heart of our heavenly father while walking you through one of the most powerful Psalms ever written. I personally realized that when I embrace God’s acceptance of me, self-acceptance becomes easier.”
—Ercell B. Charles, President of Mentor Performance Systems, and Vice President of Customer Transformation at Dale Carnegie & Associates
“Life is difficult and sometimes overwhelming, but a practical, sincere, powerful book like this one by Shawna Marie Bryant brings hope. Shawna invites you to join her in a sisterhood of learning and leaning into the Word of God together, using one of my favorite Psalms. Her guide to journaling through life’s ups and downs is something I will treasure, use in my own life, and share with others.”
—Penny Murray, Director of Women’s Ministry at NorthPark Community Church, Fresno, California
Average rating from 10 members
Can I just say, wow! I picked up a review copy of Shawna Marie Bryant's Longing to Belong: Discovering the Joy of Acceptance and found that God met with me through her book as he gently reminded me once again who I am in Christ. I think I'm probably not the only one that struggles with the need for acceptance and all too often falling into the trap of feeling I have to earn acceptance and approval. But Bryant lovingly and gently helped steer me back to truth --that I am accepted in Christ and that's all that matters!
Bryant begins with a Manifest built on the outline of Psalm 139, on which she bases the entire book: God knows me. He is always with me. I am not invisible. I am wonderfully made. God's countless throughts are for me. I have enemies, but I can walk in victory!
As Bryant walks readers through Psalm 139 and that Manifesto, she helps them discover anew the joy of meeting God in scripture and the joy that comes from walking fully in acceptance--in one's identity in Christ. As she examines the lives of key biblical characters like the woman at the well, Rahab, Joseph, the woman with constant bleeding, and David, she helps readers identify right thinking, right standing, and keys to freedom so that they can walk in victory in who they are in Christ--so it's not just head knowledge, but heart knowledge.
Not only that, but Bryant gives readers practical tools for making personal Bible study more meaningful and alive. And, she shows readers how to counter lies with truth and learning how to walk in freedom and victory because of all we've been given in Christ. The tips really help readers meditate on who God is and who they are in Christ, helping readers learn to renew their minds. I've already reoriented my journaling to include these helpful tools, and I'm excited to see how God uses it to renew my mind. And you better bet I'll be recommending this amazing book, Longing to Belong, to friends so they too, can experience freedom and joy of acceptance.
Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for this honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.
Shawna Marie Bryant has written a book "for such a time as this."
When we're inundated with messages of what we should look like, how we should decorate our homes, feed our families, and which causes to support, she helps us see that it's not the world and social media that give us value and meaning, it's God.
Based on Psalm 139, Shawna shares a Manifesto of acceptance and solid Bible-based teaching that will help any reader who has struggled to feel like they're enough, that they're accepted, and that they belong.
God created us, He knows us, He is always with us. These are just a few of the points Shawna expands on in this excellent book. She balances her teaching with real-life examples and encouragement.
I highly recommend this book and plan to buy more copies for my daughters and friends.
This is one book that you should read if you are struggling to find yourself. Not only is there wonderful scripture, but there are also journal prompts to help you learn even more about yourself. This is a book that you can read through quickly, get so much out of it, or take your time within each chapter to help you connect with yourself. I would recommend this book to anyone struggling to see who they really are.
We all struggle with feeling left out, less than or just out of place. We battle emotions, negative thoughts and the enemy. Longing To Belong is a book to remind you of finding your God given purpose, who you are in Christ, and letting go of the hurt and negativity. Author Shawna Marie Bryant takes us step by step through Psalm 139, showing how we can remind ourselves the amazing benefits of being God’s children. Her worksheets and journaling tips make it easy to study along, while also showing you what you are struggling with and finding out what God says about you. Each chapter compares the verses of the psalm to a character from the Bible, and how God helped them. This is definitely a book you’ll want to take your time on and soak in what God is showing you.
(I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.) #netgalley
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