At one time or another, shifting seasons in family, friendships, employment, and communities will bring each of us face-to-face with the feeling of being on the outside looking in. Because we are made for connection, this will often lead us down one of two roads. Either we will hop on the popular but crowded highway that asks us to do whatever it takes to get noticed, or we’ll stand still, paralyzed by the fear that we’re not important, loveable, or worth other people’s time and attention.
But what if there is another way? With an understanding voice that will speak into your own circumstances, Kristen Strong walks beside you along the less traveled but more satisfying third way–the back road way–to belonging: remaining in Christ and relaxing into the unique role God has for you. Along the way, you will learn simple, doable actions that not only will help you feel and know that you belong but will welcome others in as well. Enjoy the slower, scenic route with Kristen and learn how to create an environment of connection within our culture of disconnection.
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“It doesn’t matter where we live, how long we’ve been there, or how long we plan to stay. We will all face a crisis of belonging, eventually. Offering the backup we need, Back Roads to Belonging is a kind-hearted field guide through the low-lands of longing. Kristen, our generous companion, is someone you’ll want to keep near even after you’ve found your way.”
– from the foreword written by Shannan Martin, bestselling author of The Ministry of Ordinary Places
What People Are Saying about the Book
“This book is your instant invitation to belonging. All you have to do is accept it.”– Lisa-Jo Baker, bestselling author of Never Unfriended and Surprised by Motherhood
“This is no strident, finger-wagging book. This isn’t a book of instant solutions. It is a loving message from a friend who has been there and back again and speaks to us in a voice that is folksy and friendly, wise and warm.”– Christie Purifoy, author of Roots and Sky and Placemaker
“This book is an invitation to sit on a front porch swing with Kristen Strong—a woman who truly knows how to encourage, who understands what it’s like to feel alone and finally find your heart’s real home. I’ve considered Kristen a dear friend for years and now I’ll also think of her as my wise and helpful ‘Belonging Mentor.’ Take a seat, turn to the first page, and you will too.”– Holley Gerth, bestselling author of You’re Already Amazing
“Kristen’s book is a wonderful testimony to the power of belonging. In a time when so many are held back by uncertainty, wrestling with insecurity, and confused about their identity and calling, this book provides a needed—and deeply practical—path forward: rest and contentment in Jesus. Kristen’s words are deep; brimming with honesty, humor, and a realness that you’ll love and relate to. I found myself refreshed, challenged. and inspired.”– Dominic Done, author of When Faith Fails: Finding God in the Shadow of Doubt
“Our hearts ache for a place to belong, yet so often our fears and insecurities keep us from the journey God intends. With biblical insight and practical encouragement, Kristen’s grace filled and powerful storytelling compels us to take the slow route to our own place of genuine belonging.”– Jen Schmidt, speaker, host of The Becoming Conference, author of Just Open the Door and founder of the Balancing Beauty and Bedlam blog
“Who hasn’t wondered: Do I belong here? And who hasn’t staked her entire identity on the answer to that question? In Back Roads to Belonging, Kristen vulnerably tells her own stories of feeling out and finding her way in … but maybe not in the exact ways you’d think … Finding our seat at the table is fulfilling, to be sure, and Kristen beautifully reminds us that our chair was there all along.”– Leeana Tankersley, author of Begin Again
“This book contains unforgettable lessons on belonging, as well as specific action steps to help you find peace on days when it seems like you’re all alone. Don’t miss this book!”– Jennifer Dukes Lee, author of It’s All Under Control and The Happiness Dare
“In Kristen’s generous voice, using storytelling that is both hilarious and poignant, she offers us the comfy cushion on the couch and the best throw pillow to hug against our fluffy spots as she skooches over to make room for our fears, our insecurities, our ‘we don’t belong’ feelings, and then she leans in close and whispers in the pages, ‘belonging is woven into our being.’ It is a gift for us all, nothing asked, nothing earned.”– Alia Joy, author of Glorious Weakness
“This book for the days when you feel all alone, and for the times when you want to write your own invitation to a place where others feel invited in!”– Renee Swope, bestselling author of A Confident Heart and former radio cohost, Proverbs 31 Ministries
Kristen Strong, author of Back Roads to Belonging and Girl Meets Change, writes as a friend offering meaningful encouragement for each season of life so you can see it with more hope and less worry. She and her US Air Force veteran husband, David, have three children. Together this military family zigzagged across the country (and one ocean) several times before settling in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In addition to this space here, you can find Kristen’s writing at DaySpring’s (in)courage and on Instagram @kristenstrong.