253. How to Build Belonging in a World of Loneliness (with Chris and Julie Bennett)

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There were tears and there was laughter on this episode of the podcast, because we talked about the vulnerable (and sometimes difficult!) topic of belonging. And my guests were  Chris and Julie Bennett, the authors of Fighting for Family: The Relentless Pursuit of Building Belonging.

As the title of their book would suggest, Chris and Julie are passionate about relationships and community. In the conversation, they share about how family isn’t just the people who you are related to, it can also be people who become like family because of your deep friendship. 

The Bennetts share their story of a very crazy and chaotic season in their lives — uprooting their lives to move to Los Angeles without a clear plan, not being able to find housing, moving again and again, while facing the completely unexpected diagnosis of stage three breast cancer for Julie.

They share how hard it was, but also how good it was. How God used this space where they felt like they had nothing to offer and were so needy to teach them powerful lessons about belonging.

In this episode, they share some of what they have learned and provide encouragement for anyone who is feeling lonely or like they are an outsider.

If you’re craving deeper connections, longing for a sense of belonging, or simply seeking inspiration to navigate life’s challenges with grace and resilience, this episode is for you. I think you will be so blessed by this heartfelt conversation!

In This Episode

[0:35] – I am interviewing Chris and Julie Bennett, authors of the book Fighting for Family.
[1:50] – Chris reveals how the book came to be.
[3:21] – Julie points out how life’s challenges turned her adventurous family into brave survivors, battling homelessness and cancer together.
[5:49] – Their faith was deepened amidst chaos, reshaping their understanding of belonging.
[8:49] – How did Julie and Chris navigate the immense risk and uncertainty, especially with children involved?
[15:43] – Julie, despite hesitations, joined a diverse group of fourteen women and these women ended up serving as a lifeline for her.
[19:35] – Belonging involves both giving and taking risks.
[24:05] – Fostering genuine connections requires vulnerability without hidden agendas, creating space for authentic sharing.
[27:00] – Chris reasons that Jesus exemplified love and belonging, prioritizing the marginalized and modeling inclusiveness.
[29:39] – It’s okay to feel lonely, even with loved ones. Keep fighting; there’s hope ahead.
[31:51] – And stay tuned at the end for an exciting announcement of a project I’ve been working on for a number of months that I’m finally launching this week! I announce that I am launching “10 Weeks to a More Organized Home,” with daily tasks for decluttering.

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