The Way of Belonging
The Way of Belonging
  • Length: 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.5 in
  • Published: June 11, 2024
  • Item Code: A0853
  • ISBN: 978-1-5140-0853-9

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You are welcome.

No one is a stranger to loneliness. Despite how social we are via text, chat, and notifications, we are far from being truly connected. We all want someone else to really see us and choose us for who we are. We want a place to finally fit in. But what if finding the right people or the right place is not the answer?

From her community-building background, Sarah E. Westfall takes our longing to belong as an invitation to embrace and extend the deep love of God. After years contemplating how she fit in and trying to earn acceptance, she realized "belonging is not something to attain, but someone to become." Through narrative, research, Scripture, and spiritual practice, she teaches how belonging is a way of being–a posture of welcome in the spirit of the Father who extends his arms to those returning and those who don't yet know they've resisted his love.

Whether you understand the perspective of the outsider in need of acceptance well or you're eager to include, the barriers to belonging can come down as Sarah gently guides us toward deep connection—a connection where our humanity draws us closer to people and envelops us in the heart of God. Embark with Sarah on this challenge that will awaken your empathy and affirm you with the truth of these words: "You are welcome."

Includes a two-session group guide.

"Sarah Westfall's words in The Way of Belonging are poetic and pierce the heart. She reminds us that true belonging and connection cannot be manufactured, checked off a list, faked, or forced. True belonging and connection emerge from finding home with God and others. Home transcends walls, roofs, and lines; it's the place where unconditional love, acceptance, and worthiness are found."

Terence Lester, founder of Love Beyond Walls and author of All God's Children

"Maybe you, like me, are homesick for Eden. And maybe your longing to belong is an invitation to a better story, one in which your heartache is honored, your questions are held, and your deepest desires are given space to be spoken. Sarah Westfall's exquisite book reawakened my own heart, opening me to currents streaming within that I'd been ignoring of late. It will thaw your heart too, awakening a hunger and a thirst for the Edenic inheritance of belonging tucked deep within your heart."

Chuck DeGroat, author of When Narcissism Comes to Church and professor of pastoral care at Western Theological Seminary

"In this kind and relatable debut work, Sarah Westfall offers a spiritually formative resource for anyone who questions their place with people, with God, or with themselves. While reading The Way of Belonging, I found myself nodding my head and sighing with relief. I'm grateful for this honest book."

Emily P. Freeman, author of The Next Right Thing and How to Walk into a Room


Part I: Who We Are
1. Out of Place
2. All Things Lost
3. The God Who Finds Us
4. Everything Is Yours
5. A Mobile Home

Part II: How We Relate
6. From Lack to Longing
7. The Art of Naming
8. From Them to Us
9. The Stories Between Us
10. From Certain to Settled
11. Say the Questions
12. From Breadth to Depth
13. Circles of Belonging
14. From Consume to Create
15. Seeds of Confetti

Epilogue: A Liturgy for When Belonging Feels Far Off
Group Guide


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Sarah E. Westfall is a writer, speaker, and host of the Human Together podcast. Her previous work includes serving as director of community for online writing groups and as a student development professional on college campuses. She has been published in RELEVANT, Fathom Mag, and (in)courage. Sarah lives in Indiana with her husband, Ben, and four sons.