I scrolled through my feed and picture after picture, post after post glared at me like a big ‘ole neon sign that said, “You weren’t invited.” All I saw were my friends, people I had included in my life celebrating their good times, while I sat at home alone. Why did I always feel like I was doing the inviting, only to find myself left out? Over and over in my mind the words repeated themselves, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”(Matthew 7:12, Luke 6:31) Some “Golden Rule” that was! I felt like it was broken in my life. Who really even cares anymore? Truth was, as much as I tried to convince myself I didn’t care, I did, and it hurt.
This was years ago, but sometimes the reality that at some point and time we’ve all felt less than still rears its ugly head. I’m often tormented by the fact that I feel like I don’t always lead very well in this area. I get all pumped up and lead the charge for an event, open the door for friendship or gather people together for community, only to feel like I’m stonewalled, not heard. My attitude becomes, “Fine then, see if I include you next time!” (Is there an emoji for nah, nah na boo boo stick your hands in doo doo?) When our trust is broken and people don’t accept our invitation in, or follow our leadership, we’re often left feeling like we’re wearing a t-shirt that says, “I Suck!” Satan would love to leave it there and have another of his victims succumb to negative thoughts that lead to quitting people altogether! Nope, not this girl! I read this week thoughts about turning 40 and how you care a little less about whether people like you or not. I think there’s some truth to that. Not in a “all you people can just BITE ME” way, but in a way that says, “Yeah, I know people may not respond the way I want them to, but I will keep on loving them anyway”. That’s hard. If you think that comes easy for me, think again. It takes me awhile to be OK with that, but putting myself out there for people again and again is way better than never trying. There’s no reward in excluding people from our lives forever. Staying there leads only to me writing about being lonely, and that’s just a pity party!
So, what do we do when we feel less than? Do we just go on that easily? Probably not. Like every good thing, we have to work at it. We can’t stay in limbo waiting around for others to reciprocate, to follow our leadership, to invite us to hang out. We gotta keep on living, people! As much as it may not make us feel included, or a part of lives, we do it! Why? People matter. While we may just want to matter to someone, there’s another someone who needs to know they matter to us…to GOD! Yesterday I read these words…”Rarely have I witnessed assumptions turn into facts.” This is something to consider when we allow our lives to be defined by what we see on social media, think we hear others saying or perceive that we are being treated like. The enemy would like nothing more than have us “think” these things are our truth. It’s been a long road for me to know my truth and settle into that. I still get so insecure when I am left out, and I believe the lies I’m not wanted, but I no longer live there. It’s taken me shifting my focus to truly making others feel that they are important. Is it always answered in return? Sadly, it’s not, but I’ve got to keep on keeping on. Friend, I pray that today, you find your identity in the One who loves you most! He includes us every, single time. He never leaves us out. Something we’ve probably known all of our lives, but maybe today we needed a good reminder. You are not less than! You are MORE! Live in the MORE of who, and Whose you are today.