1. What was the root cause of Annie’s feelings that she didn’t belong? Have you ever felt as though you didn’t fit in? How did you resolve those feelings?
2. Consider Mother Teresa’s quote from the prologue: “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” Why do you think people need to feel as though they belong? What gives you a sense of belonging?
3. Psychologists describe an alienated existence as a joyless one, an existence that will cost the one living it a heavy emotional price. Have you known anyone to whom this would apply? What was the emotional price that person paid? Has this ever applied to you? What was the emotional price you paid?
4. Read Deuteronomy 14:2; Psalm 33; Romans 8:29–31; and Romans 11:16–18. What do these verses tell us about where and to whom we belong? How might these verses make a difference to those who have been wounded by a sense of alienation?
5. What was Jed’s primary internal conflict? What was it about his father (or parents) that turned him away from trusting God?
6. How has your relationship with your earthly father (or parents) impacted the way you see, trust, and relate to your heavenly Father?
7. Read John 10:11–18; Romans 8:26–39; and 1 John 4:7–21. What promises do these verses give us about the kind of Father God is?
8. What motivated Ryan to do the things he did? Have you ever had a “Ryan” in your life who tried to manipulate you? How did you respond? What did God teach you through that situation?
9. Consider the following verses: Exodus 20:23; Joshua 24:14, 23; Psalm 106:35–36; Hosea 14; and Ephesians 2:1–10. Is there anything in your own life—ambition, money, family, a relationship—that could become an idol, thus coming between you and God? If so, what will you do to surrender it to the Master?
10. Many of us long to know God’s will in our lives but aren’t certain we do. How has God shown you His will for your life?
11. Consider the following story. What does it tell you about discerning God’s will? A man prayed, asking God to tell him what His will was for the man’s life. God led the man to a large fallen tree at the bottom of a hill and told him to push the tree. The man did so. He pushed, day after day, and yet the tree never budged an inch. Finally, he cried out to God, “How can this be your will for me? I keep pushing and pushing, and the tree never moves!”
God’s reply was simple: “The tree isn’t supposed to move. I asked you to push, not to move the tree. My will was for you to be obedient, and in that obedience, to grow strong.”
12. Read the following verses: Genesis 6:8–9; Psalm 25:4–5; Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 3:5–6; John 14:23–27; Romans 12: 1–2; 1 Thessalonians 5:12–22; Hebrews 10:16, 23–25; 1 John 2:27. How might they help you as you seek to discern God’s will for your life?