Uninvited

The party sounded amazing. The people I’d heard were going are easy to be with, incredibly fun, and all have mad skills in the kitchen. And when I saw the invitation posted on a friend’s refrigerator I smiled at the creative brilliance.

The only problem was I didn’t get one.

I’d been checking my mailbox for days.

Every time I walked back down the driveway empty handed, I kept assuring my sinking heart that because we live in the country my mail is always a day or two or even seven days behind everyone else’s. No big deal.

But three days before the party when the invite still hadn’t arrived I ran out of assurance. I lost the pep in my rally. And I realized I was, in fact, not on the guest list.

When I ran into one of the hostesses later that day I lobbed out the equivalent of a Hail Mary throw in the final seconds of a game, “What do y’all have going on this weekend?” And then I felt as pitiful as the quarterback who watches the opposing team take what would have been his shining star moment and turn it into an interception.

She replied, “We’ve got plans with friends most of the weekend but would love to catch up with y’all on Sunday after church.”

And that’s when the hardest of all the realizations hit me.

We weren’t invited because they simply hadn’t thought to invite us. We weren’t in the circle of “weekend plans with friends.” Immediately the thought that hopped on me and stuck with super glue tenacity was “I’m not good enough.”

I smiled and told her I’d check with Art to see if that might work. I mean checking with my husband was crucial because we were pretty slammed with plans that weekend as well.

Indeed, our schedule was jam-packed full of all kinds of urgent plans with Netflix. And, hey, for a cheap thrill we could always get a little jump on our paperwork for our tax returns not due for 4 more months.

I didn’t want to feel pathetic but I did.

Middle school had come for an unwelcome visit bringing with it all the wonky feelings wrapped up in: “I’m not good enough.”

Confetti

I seriously thought by my 46th year of life these feelings would be but a vague memory in my way distant past. Like running while wearing a bathing suit. Or eating pizza at midnight. Or wearing your bangs teased so high people wonder if there’s a nest in the front of your head. I mean you reach a certain age where you realize that’s no longer a good option for your life.

So, why is it still an option for a grown woman like me to feel like the lonely middle school girl that never got asked to this weekend’s dance?

Since I had all kinds of thinking time during that weekend, I kept pondering that statement sitting on my heart, “You’re not good enough.” And finally in the late hours of Saturday night I had a slight break through.

“Good enough” is a terrible statement. Nobody ever wants their friends to say, “Well, I mean, you’re good enough.” I would never want my boss or my husband or my kids to just say “you are good enough.” No child would ever want their parent to say, “You’re good enough.”

Absolutely not.

We’re better than good enough. God made us to be amazing people who learn and explore and create and give and delight and love. He made us full of potential and purpose. He tucked inside of us His full wonder so we could help others find our God to be wonderful.

He made us to reach out not pull back.

He made us to believe the best before assuming the worst.

He made us to freely give grace, realizing we so desperately need it ourselves.

He made us to add goodness, see the beautiful, and rest in the assurance of His lavish love for us.

Never ever for one second did God look at us and say, “My goal for this one is to simply be good enough.”

So, I wasn’t invited to the party. I decided to see that gift of time as a special invitation by the Lord to be with Him. Dream with Him. Be loved by Him. Be doted on by Him. To be held by Him.

I would still love to be invited to the next party.

But even if not, having a night with the Lord is good. Very good. Better than good enough.

End note: I’m currently working on a book titled “Uninvited” and I would love to have you share your thoughts with me on this topic. I would treasure reading if you ever deal with this, how you deal with this, and any other whispers you have. You are completely invited in today, and I’m so thankful to get to share the last few hours of 2015 with you.

{Photo by xlibber}

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  • http://www.Trueandfaithful.net Lisa Appelo @True and Faithful

    Oh, yes. I was just thinking through this great exchange this morning on my walk and how it’s not even an even exchange because God’s thoughts of us are so much greater than my self-talk would ever be. His love is so very lavish. Love that.

  • Geri jones

    Perfection kept me from being just not good enough. Until I became born again, I didn’t believe I could be loved. Thank you Lord for finding me, and waiting for me to realize how much I needed you.

  • Kathy Lee

    I have felt this way so many times and it usually takes some time to “work/think it all through”, just like it did for you Lysa. After I get somewhat over the hurt feelings, I too remember that God loves me – just for who I am. His love for me is greater than anything I can imagine, greater than anything I can experience on earth. I also deal with this uninvited, a kind name for not welcome, not good enough with family – sons/daughter-in-laws when they are so close/involved with “her” family – I think it all falls under “rejection” feelings, the “not good enough”. It takes some time to wrap our mind back around truth – truth that God the Father/Jesus has unending love for me, created me to be who I am, even with sin, unkind thoughts and poor attitudes. What a comfort and uplifting truth to bring comfort and peace to a disappointed heart….

  • Marcy

    Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!! I needed this at this very moment!!!!! GOD IS GREAT!!!!

  • http://www.myhouseonmoss.blogspot.com Kay Burnett

    OMGoodness! When I saw You’re (Un)Invited by YOU, Lysa, I almost cried! I had that “Oh no!” feeling in my heart and soul – no doubt! I thought “What have I done?” Because so many things are happening within my entire family with this same issue and it’s so terrible with such a struggle for family members to be this way much less who you think are your friends! I just couldn’t imagine that You were letting me go! I couldn’t get my email opened fast enough to find out what I had done wrong – but why would I think that automatically? Life is just so hard now. Although we are blessed that my husband has a job, we’re older parents to a 10yo little boy who I refer to as my little Jesus kid, and we have a home, a car, and food. We’re blessed to be safe at night when we go to bed. But beyond those basic life necessities I struggle with being accepted by my family. I’m adopted but I’m adopted in the way that the man who married my mom adopted me when I was a baby. And now, so many years later after they divorced when I was maybe 6 years old, I ended up living with my adopted father’s parents and they finished raising me. Today I’m 54, soon to be 55, my husband and I are older parents to just our one little boy and there are no “in groups” for that age range! But now that all of my cousins and I have grown and married, had children, etc., they’ve begun to push me out of their lives. We were invited to a “couples baby shower” for one of my cousins but no one would tell me where the kids would be so our son could be with them! I’m the oldest of the whole bunch. We attended the shower but afterwards when I realized my child was shunned on purpose for absolutely no reason I couldn’t deal with it. And now my world seems so shattered because not long after that we were given news that a precious family member has stage 4 cancer. That person was my grandparents’ last child and she was like my big sister when I was growing up; she was still at home attending college. My dad’s baby sister! The aunt who helped me learn how to put on makeup! And now her grown children have pushed me and my family away. Why does an almost 55yo mother of a 19yo have to deal with such nonsense? I love this family dearly because had I not been adopted there is no telling where I would be today. I’m sure there are worse feelings but right now I just can’t think of one…

    • bebeachdreamer

      I know exactly where you are, except that I’ve been dealing with this same thing for a good many more years – I am 80 now, and altho still active and in reasonably good health, there are a few in my family of three children, ten grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren that seem at times to forget I’m still around. The old pity party still invites me from time to time. I just don’t fit anywhere, there are huge generation gaps that just seem to swallow me. I HAVE to keep going back to God, hearing His Truth, remembering I AM good enough. He has blessed me with some amazing friends, some as far back as high school. They too have some of the same issues. It’s not just me or you, it’s being in this world, having to walk with man, yet continually looking toward the Lord for our value and purpose.
      Take heart, my friend. There are much worse situations to be in – God has you where you are, and your son, for a reason. You may not be on top of the list for the next party, but let your light shine for your family, whether on Netflix, working on taxes or simply sitting down at the table sharing leftovers, being thankful for the small blessings. I speak these words for myself as well as for you. Each day is a gift, a new learning experience – we shan’t pass this way again ❤️

      • http://www.myhouseonmoss.blogspot.com Kay Burnett

        How amazing God can be! When I left this page open in the wee hours last night (after 4am) I felt like a boulder was sitting within my heart. Thank you for your kind words – such wisdom to be had! I can’t help but smile seeing your profile picture with your username. I adore the beach but not my husband. Thankfully, he’s kind and gentle. It’s New Year’s Eve and he has taken our son to spend the night with his best friend. This will be their last year in elementary school together and my heart aches for the time coming that they will be in different schools. There are no children in our neighborhood we will allow our son to be with for so many reasons – mostly because they are abusive, older, or the families have a bad track record. I have a great fear of being out on New Year’s Eve – such tragic things happen – but thankfully the family he will be with are always home too. And while my husband and I sit at home with Netflix our little boy will be God’s witness to an unchurched family that we fully trust. They are non believers but we allow ourselves to be among them and our son to be with them for that one reason. Although unchurched, their family values are so amazing and we raise our children with discipline, being respectful of others, showing kindness, with the importance of showing love and caring for others feelings. The unbelievable part is I would rather my son be with them than my own cousins that I grew up with playing with their children who are his age (I started over in life so the kids are all about the same age). My husband and I decided to let our son be a witness to his best friend and their family and we explained this to our son – our Jesus kid. And you are so right! We could be in a worse situation – I do know very well we could. I know that God moves within my family as a whole and he uses Max to move within his best friend’s life. We are so blessed to know it is possible to do that and miracles do still happen. Although my heart aches for my extended family it nearly bursts with happiness to see my son walk among the unchurched and share his God given light with others.

      • Barb

        Thanks for your insight.

    • michelle

      Oh Sweet Sister in Christ. Sorry to hear you are going through this. May Psalm 27 bring you comfort and joy during this season of your life. May I encourage you that although your own family may not be able to be there for what ever the reasons. May God raise up in the body of Christ ones that would love on you that you could nurture and encourage and vise versa. Just recently was sharing something very similar with a sweet friend. Who was wanting her parents to be the provider and they just couldn’t but how God had brought another family into her life who were able to help her and meet the need. As she shared but I really want my parents to be the one. I feel unworthy of having them help me. IT’s too much. But, we are worthy and the good news is that if for what ever the reason a need is not being met by our family God will send us someone in the body of Christ to supply our needs. Praying for comfort for you.

      • http://www.myhouseonmoss.blogspot.com Kay Burnett

        Thank you! I read Psalm 27 and it came back to me – having read it many times. How true it is that God will protect me. And still, so often I do feel unworthy or not enough. As I get older my eyes are opened wider. But my heart still feels that old familiar ache that reminds me of too many things that hurt. The family I speak of I share no blood. But should those I refer to as my parents walk away from me surely I feel I will crumble. However, knowing we attend church together, celebrate together, and they are so involved in our son’s life as he grows up I take heart in that. They, too, are aware of how I’m being treated. We are all walking a fine line and it is made more treacherous now that we want to raise up our loved one who is dealing with cancer. The only way I can be with her is if I am with my parents; my father being her big brother. I move within their protection to let her know I am praying for her and I am here if she needs me. But, it’s during these times having friends who really don’t know my family other than what I tell them I can’t find comfort as hard as they might try. I’m careful with friendship and seek those who can accept me as I am. Otherwise I feel I have thrown myself into a pack of wolves. Life is so short. The pettiness needs to be pushed aside in times such as these. But I will remember Psalm 27 and keep it close to my lips to know I am protected.

  • Shannon

    I get this way but Jesus has reminded me that friends will come and go but Jesus will never leave you. He’s always there in your heart and He will never drift apart.

  • Lorraine Schultz

    After I have read your post on (un)invited, I feel so much better and know that I am not the only one who could feel like that. We are on the brink to go on pension and lately it seems as if our children are keeping their distance and do not visit us so often as before as if they are scared that we are going to become a burden to them, even phone calls are few, and it hurts so much. But I know now that no matter what, God is there, He has always been looking after us and promised to never leave us or forsake us and that He is our source of anything we will need, no one else. His love and His grace is sufficient for us. Would really love to read your book when finished. Bless you

  • Vicki Prosser

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts. As an only child, I have felt out of place in society many different times. My parents were alcoholics and my mother also had another mental illness; I did not want many people to really know me. I did not allow people to get too close. Over the years, God has put people in my path that had similar backgrounds. Being left out of groups never feels good, but God had put other opportunities in my life to interact and share with others. I teach Sunday School, sing in the choir, raise my grandchildren, work as a psychologist with men and women in recovery from substance use, and have also taught college courses from undergraduates to graduate students. God has directed me as an adopted child to rise up to life’s adversities to make a difference in the lives where he plants me. For these many experiences, I am thankful. I know God made my path rocky to give back to others in His name.

  • Starr Haigler

    This post just hit me in the face. No, it slapped me. I’ve struggled with the “I’m not good enough” feelings all week long and couldn’t pin point what was wrong. This is it. I’ve struggled with my role in my job – feelings that I never measure up for anyone on the team. I’m in a support role and I constantly find myself placing blame for others on the team – their failures or lack of success – all on my shoulders. I should have done more. I should have followed up again. I should have put in more hours at the office…this emotional roller coaster that I’ve had myself on has left me drained. And then, someone on the team gives a big end of the year shout out on social media to all of the people that have impacted their life in 2015. Only to mention all of the other people on our team and leave me out. Not good enough. That’s exactly how I felt today after reading the very public thank you with tears falling down my face. I felt unworthy and uninvited to celebrate the success. I’m struggling with this record that is playing in my mind. I’m ready to replace those thoughts of being uninvited with the love that my Heavenly Father has for me. I want to be like the Wemmicks in the children’s book You Are Special. I want the dots to fall off because I only care about what my Maker thinks. Thank you for helping me remember that it’s ok to be uninvited. I can’t wait to read the book.

    • Sherri Yager

      Your post resonated with me today so thank you for sharing. I love that book and it makes me cry every time I read it!

    • http://charcats7.blogspot.com/ Charlene Ricketts

      Starr- I’ve been in your shoes- more than once. Sometimes we feel that we poor our hearts & souls out to help everyone else until there is nothing left. Then the thanks we get is zero. They only call when they “need” you – it’s not that they want you- but you do have something they need. So they use you. It’s hard. I have found that when I get up earlier and spend time reading my Bible every day (it’s a priority in my agenda) that all that demand from others- their real feelings and lack of appreciation all become fainter. I am working for God’s glory. Satan tries to push the lies. But the more you remind yourself of God’s promises – the joy Jesus left with us- the gift He gave us- focus on HIM – then everything will eventually fall into place. They will be coming to you wanting to know what you know & what you have that they are missing. Sometimes it’s hard to remember- but they are not your source. Hold on to Joy and Jesus as your source and all will look different.
      Praying for you.

    • Beth Williams

      Starr,
      Your post is me exactly! I was working in the medical field in a support role. I enjoyed my job for most of the time. There were a number of days, especially near the end, when they didn’t need me or use me. I felt unwanted and uninvited. Prayers going out for you now! May God show you how valuable you are!!
      Have a blessed 2016

  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Lysa,
    It’s kind of ironic that so many of us struggle with the notion that we are not good enough. We think that we are alone in our struggle, yet as I read the comments thus far it’s obvious we are not alone in our thinking. One of the deadliest tools in the enemy’s arsenal is the ability to isolate. If he can convince us that we are alone in our thinking…that we’re the only one…then we are distanced from God. When we are distanced from God, we are more susceptible to the lies and begin to believe that we are somehow not enough. The TRUTH is we are loved, cherished, delighted in. When I begin to feel that alone feeling in being (un)invited, it’s my red flag to run back to the arms of my loving Lord and Savior. Thank you for boldly sharing.
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • BelieverinGod

      Yes! Amen!

    • Tura

      Hi Bev! Thank you for speaking the Truth in love. Satan and his pals whisper lies that can only be discerned as we invite the Lord of the Heavenly Armies into the battle. He is the Light dispelling the darkness. He is the Lover of our souls and our Deliverer! It is not flesh and blood (people) we battle against, but the deceiver, Satan. He knows are weaknesses and uses them to sideline us. As we grow in our knowing Jesus,we will become more discerning and the lying whisperer will be recognized for who and what he is. Rejoicing in Hope! Tura

  • Rhonda

    This is wonderfully God timing…but it crosses women in workplaces and with friends who are not Christians. I have a friend in her 40’s who is beautiful inside and out, on her way visiting today for New Years; her fiancé brought her to a new city, she obtained a wonderful job (blessing) but he broke it off in October-so no wedding for her now. She has great job, bought a new house (wonderful) but she feels completely alone and no family and women at work don’t reach out to her they are either married or too young. She is not a Christian so she does not know the comfort of that kind of family. My being alone in a big East Coast city (great job opportunities-but doesn’t seem to be important anymore) hunger for friendships I used to have the past 4 years, God used my struggles to now empathize the hurts of being “alone” and “lonely”. It has taught me to reach out more to extend love and invites to other women of all ages, walks of life and faith….and bring them in. Maybe just maybe God will use the love to draw them to love Christ but in the end, they usually bless me instead and broaden my culture experiences.
    Thank you Lysa!

    • Ingrid

      What an absolutely beautiful thought Rhonda. Thank you so much for sharing your heart.

    • Julie

      I had a very similar situation just happen to me for New Years Eve and I spent all of yesterday trying to figure out why I wasn’t good enough and felt so angry at myself for letting these middle school emotions consume my day. I spent a lot of last night praying about it and I randomly looked at your web page just now and saw this ridiculously relevant blog. Wow, thank you, thank you and the lord absolutely has his arm around us for comfort and guidance. I rarely listen and often feel alone and that is just not the case.

      Julie

  • Nicole Dyson

    The spirit of God ministered to me the other day that for 2016, my theme is ENOUGH!

    HE IS ENOUGH
    STOP FINDING MY VALUE IN OTHERS
    STOP USING FOOD AND SHOPPING TO FILL VOIDS
    HE IS ENOUGH

    So, I don’t have to be good enough.

    • Cyndi

      I have the feelings of “I am not enough”, especially as a special ed. teacher in an elementary school. About a month ago, just before my 56th birthday the word “enough” popped in my thoughts and kept floating in my mind. I finally realize that God is telling me, “enough”. You are right, while I might think I am not smart enough, fast enough, pretty enough.
      God is enough. I do not need to be validated by others or feed my unworthiness. God is enough, Praise the Lord!

    • Ingrid

      Amen to everything you wrote. He is enough!!!!!!!!!!

  • Connie B

    This topic is another variation on the whole “made to crave” topic. We can so easily start looking for people to give us what we should be getting from God, and Him only. We must learn to silence the sly whispers of the enemy that constantly bombard our hearts and minds with all that we’re not with shouts of what God’s Word tells us that we are. It is also likely that Jesus allows us to go through hurtful times to remind us to be tender and compassionate and kind with each other because we know the pain of being made to feel “less than” by others.

  • Nita Tucker

    This….I’m very isolated..a Jesus follower..I love the Lord..not good enough (worthless) is the root lie I hear in my head..my kids watch me get older and more alone and distance themselves even more..even make fun of the situation as if I can’t hear. It’s hard to press into God when most of your life has been this way. still struggling at 64 to manage major depression. I’m always shocked that others feel this way..but helps knowing I’m not totally alone. Praying for God’s wisdom and guidance.

  • Liz

    Yes!! All the time–social media has made it exponentially worse! So I got rid of Facebook :)–the most interesting thing about me is in middle school and highschool I DIDNT feel this way–I didn’t even care really. It wasn’t until I started going to church I had this massive insecurity, felt lonely and jealous watching others connect and have friends.

  • Cheryl M.

    Totally relatable. It hurts to feel left out, less important or wanted than others. And it’s so hard to reach out to God instead of other people for reassurance. And when your chosen people don’t pick up the phone to lift your heart when you feel you need it, perceived new rejection is heaped on top of old, adding to the heartbreak. It is so comforting to read your stories and feel connected. Thank you for your writing and ministry!

  • Becky

    Not good enough. This has been hard for me my entire life. I was never popular on school, not skinny, not pretty….just not. It was made even eyes by knowing I was adopted.y birth parents were given a chance to get me back, but they wouldn’t change their ways. Again, I felt the label of “not good enough”. When I finally meet my birth mom, the first time in 32 yrs, since I was 3 days old, f she had COPD. She died 3 yrs sgo. Funding me, which she lived, want enough to keep her here. That hit me bc I was essentially doing the same thing; I became a smoker after my best friend died bc I no longer cared abt myself. But I was also hurting the people who did care about me. I wouldn’t quit smoking tho; same as saying they weren’t good enough to me for me to stop hurting myself for them. My ex husband cheated alot. To add insult to injury, he had me committed to a mental hospital to get me out of the way so he could chest. I wasn’t for enough. My fitness Pastor’s wife was a sweet person, but….I always felt like she put on Aires. Our friendship was up and sheen alot. I looked at others she was friend with and rt were all alone. Back to high school. They ask dressed a certain way, looked a certain way, had nice home, etc. I always felt like I had to measure up. But I never could. That’s when I wondered why a Christian would act like that, bc God never required that of us. My life verse is Jeremiah 29:11; “I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a good and future.”. I was good enough for Christ. Our new Pastor, his wife is my best friend. After 9 yrs in my church, and many good friend, they come in and in 4 mo, Sharon has become my best friend. But she has always made me feel loved, accepted, good enough.

  • Julie

    I so get this. It’s a need to be needed. In leadership people put expectations on you to be included not left out. This can be so hard when there are logistics, time, space and money to worry about. It makes it hard to have intimate friends. I know we are not supposed to live our lives to please other’s but we do love others and don’t want to cause pain. Such an additional burden when taking on the responsibility of leadership. I have been the one left out just as much as had to not include someone. Neither are fun positions to be in. But if we walk in God’s grace he gives us fulfillment where the hole of rejection tries to burrow. Hoping to walk in more Grace in 2016!

  • Karen

    The invitation never came. I have been there more than once. The aching feeling of not being enough. Shame, guilt and other emotions use to haunt me. Now though there maybe a tinge of ache but the Lord has been speaking to me ,”I chose you.” Is that enough? When I am reminded of His love and grace towards me it is easier to extend to others.

  • April Noel

    So many times I look at people (like you!) and think that they never have experiences like this. The poison of comparison stops me in my tracks but I’m learning-and it’s getting easier now that I’m over 40-that everyone has those moments. God is so faithful though and loves us so well.

  • http://thecalmofhispresence.blogspot.com/ Mary@The Calm of His Presence

    As I read your post Lysa I felt this lonely place deep inside me raise my hand and whisper “me too…I’ve felt it too”. And at nearly 42 I was embarrassed at my middle school self too. My kids are at the age where I should be helping them with those feelings. I shouldn’t be struggling with them but I do…I have all too recently. But like you, I had to boss my feelings around. I had to tell myself I’m a CHOSEN daughter of Christ and He invites me into His Presence everyday. Did it help immediately nope… but as I focused on the fact that God loves me so much that He sent His son to die on the Cross for me and that I’m invited into His Presence everyday, The pain of being left out was replaced by the joy of reconnecting with God, which is what needed to happen anyway.

    I can’t wait to read your next book!!

  • toni

    It’s an awful way to feel and then we relive it thru our children painful experiences as well. We currently have been excluded from our family and as painful as it has been . I am finding healing to christ who has walked me thru this painful experience. It’s painful because we are walking the path of Jesus and knowingly that this isn’t how we are taught to treat others our sensitive side reminds us our painful and unkind this is so we must take a stand for what we believe in Christ and pour grace into the ppl that hurt us Jesus walked that same path of ppl hurting his feelings shamed him and he poured grace into them as that’s my constant reminder I choose to do the same. Thank you Lysa for Proverbs 31 bringing women together sharing the truths of life and loving on each other with compassion. Bless you all

  • Dawn Balduf

    I have often uninvited myself due to being self conscious over weight issues. I was a fat kid with red hair and very pale skin. I didn’t want to try anything as I thought people were always looking at me and making fun. While that lessened as I grew up, it is still part of who I am today. I have struggled with weight and body image my whole life. It has held me back from doing things. My self worth has increased as my personal relationship with Jesus Christ has grown. I know I am the beloved daughter of a King, but those fat kid insecurities still sneak in.j

  • slw0856

    I was never invited to much as an ackward child. Now as an adult I feel I get the 98th invite. So now you are there but don’t feel like it’s where you should be. Just like when God shows you where to go but you srent sure it’s the right place for you.

    • slw0856

      That was supposed to say pity invite not 98th

  • Samantha

    I’ve only dealt with this feeling of “not good enough,” for… well, my whole life? It’s definitely tied to a spirit of rejection. It’s a battle I’ve yet to overcome. So, this was a good read for me, and a step in the right direction. I’m going to share it with others. Thank you for this!❤️

  • Tristi Carlson

    Deal with that feeling all the time. Excited that you are writing a book on this topic. I wrestle with always wanting to include everyone (which is impossible) and never fully feeling included myself. New Year’s Eve always highlights the mess of feelings with this. So thankful God always extends an invitation.

  • lstosto

    I hate that feeling, almost begging to be part of something, wanting people to notice you and take notice that I am a great person. Yet time and time again after we had joined our new church, we left without anyone saying hello. Our sunday school group would gather and make plans for lunch or talk about what they had done last night, Like an outsider looking in, my heart would ache. Then my husband told me that they were the ones missing out if they could not see that there were new people, who were just as interesting as the people they already knew. I asked god to fill this void of looking for new friends to give me comfort and to fill that place. it has come slowly, and we now have great friends in our sunday school group. I always try to acknowledge and include the new people to our class, I recall that ugly feeling to well.

  • http://sunnyand80.org/ Meg Bucher

    Oh, my goodness, Lysa, I experience the “not good enough” so much that it has to be woven into my prayer life every morning just to counter the assured onslaught. Friendship, in particular, eludes me …I’ve had a book swimming around in my brain for years on that topic. What am I to do with the “left out” feelings? How am I supposed to trust someone that I can’t trust anymore? When is it OK to let a friendship waft away in the wind? Is it better to be honest, even if I know it will hurt feelings? And whoa… What in the great wide world do I tell my daughters, as their experience with friendship begins to mirror my own. I feel like shouting, “Wait!!!! Where’s the pause button! Stop! I’m not ready!”

    …and I’m not good enough.

    All of these questions seem easy to answer, and Biblically there are many truths to comfort the heart pangs of friendship when it’s all mushed up. But for this gal, it’s a constant struggle with self to figure out what I can do to be a better friend. And even in times when I could easily stand trial absent of fault, I’m left picking up broken friendship pieces wondering why I wasn’t good enough.

    My New Year’s Resolution is to to be “obedient” (that’s my one word for 2016), and start picking all of this life experience stuff out of my brain and to let Him weave it into chapters of lessons that I can hopefully refer to and keep learning from as life rolls on and my granddaughter’s (God bless that very thought) start to make friends.

    I cannot wait to read your new book, as it sounds like it will be super inspirational on a topic I’ve struggled with for years. I’m the girl who “can’t wait to be friends with everybody,” and it’s lent me plenty of experience with hurt, confusion, and the “not good enough.”

    Thanks for sharing your inspirations!
    Happy New Year’s Eve!
    Megs

  • Susan J.

    I live in the country about 25 mins from our church and my MOPS group which is in the suburbs. Most of the women and families are only 5 minutes away from the church and therefore have so many more opportunities to interact spontaneously. Whether it is to take them a meal, watch their kids, exercise together or just have a quick playdate and coffee it is so much easier for them. But, even though I realize this, it has still been hard sometimes to get over when I hear about a get together I wasn’t invited to even if it was purely spontaneous. I have learned that I need to be more diligent in inviting people to me and setting up things as the above just won’t happen to me where I live.

  • Wendy M

    The Lord has been waking me up really early (3:30, 4:00 AM) for several weeks now. I don’t understand why, but as I wrote about it in my journal several days ago, this is what I discovered: “I don’t get this, don’t understand why I can’t sleep and You want me up for hours with You, but I don’t have to understand. I just need to obey. And I AM thankful for this time–this morning as I was praying I just felt like this is such a secret, intimate, sacred, privileged space that You invite me to join You in every morning. And that if I slept, or stayed in bed trying to sleep, I would miss it. And I don’t want to miss it. I feel so honored and special and loved and INCLUDED that You invite ME here! I see on facebook other people’s get togethers and so forth and get envious sometimes that I’m not included. But Lord, YOU include me! You invite me to your table that You’ve prepared for me. You give me your undivided attention and pour out your love, your Spirit, Your peace, Your joy–all over me, filling me up, so that I might pour out. Thank You, Jesus, that You love me this much. I’m amazed, and so thankful that I get to be in this privileged space with You.”

    • Ingrid

      Wendy your words are so encouraging and uplifting. Thank you.

  • auburnchick

    This is my life. All. The. Time. I’m already a bit socially awkward. I’m also shy and introverted. Still, it hurts…especially when I see a person who I used to be good friends with exchange me for someone else. I feel like there’s something in-likeable and not cool about me. High school mentality (where I also teach)? Yes. Human reality? Absolutely. I struggle with hurt feelings every day but have learned that my place isn’t out socializing. It’s in my home with my husband and son (my son is about to leave home tie the military). Being left out is helping me be more balanced after spending twenty one years running from one activity to another with my children. Silver linings, I’d like to think.

    I’d love to review your new book when it comes out, by the way, should the opportunity arise.

  • followinghislight

    Lysa, I feel this type of insecurity more than I would like. This past Sunday we went out for dinner after church. As we were leaving the restaurant three other families from church (and friends of ours) were waiting for a table. My immediate thought was that we had not been invited! We stopped and spoke with them. Then we hugged and left. In the car it occurred to me that my husband was in such a hurry to get a table at the restaurant that we didn’t speak to anyone after church! Oh how Satan took something that was completely benign and drove my insecurity to feed on it! Funny thing is, my husband’s thoughts were so different. It never occurred to him that we were “uninvited”. He only thought about that we had eaten and were going home while they were going to have to wait for a table. Your message is right on target with how I felt then and how I have felt so many times in the past.

  • Jenny Humphrey

    Wow Lysa…..you hit the nail on the head! I’ve lost count of the number of times I have convinced myself I am not good enough. Your summary at the end was like a pure salve to my soul….scriptural truths that I knew but didn’t believe applied to me…head knowledge not heart knowledge. Oh what a difference it makes in our daily attitude when we walk out the door believing that we are loved and cherished by our Heavenly Father and that He has created us just for His purposes. Sure…there will always be times when we are ‘not good enough’ in the eyes of the world…….but it shouldn’t matter to us if we truly hold fast to the one who created us. Thankyou Jesus for this revelation.

  • Cindy Dullum

    I have been the Queen of “not good enough”! Having learned that at an early age, it has been one of my biggest hurdles. It is one thing to feel as if you’re not good enough for other people but I took it a step further, and felt that I wasn’t good enough for God! Why would He waste time on me?!! There are so many others more worthy of His attention. I mean, I could say beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God loves YOU! Yet, believing this for myself has been a process that I have been in for more than 10 years! Even though I KNOW that His love and grace are for me, when there is a miracle to be had, or a word of encouragement given, I feel as if I’m the woman grabbing in desperation at His cloak, silently screaming; I’m here, Lord, do you see me?”

    This devotion blesses me this morning! Think I’ll go and spend some time with our Lord. After all, He’s been inviting me all morning!

    • LaToya Brown

      Cindy, I feel like you’ve torn a page from my journal, or maybe we’re spiritual twins (smile). I too, struggle with feeling like I’m not enough for God to love. I can pray for others and have the faith to move thier mountains as I wait with expectancy to hear how God has answered prayers. As for myself, I stop short of making requests for myself because I imagine God has more pressing issues to deal with, plus I haven’t spent much time reading my Bible or praying as I should…why bother? Lies, all lies. But we know that already, right? Of course, yet here we are confessing our hearts one to another. But I find these forums are sacred and we get to be each other’s priests, so to speak. Thank you for sharing because there’s comfort in knowing we are all part of this human experience.

  • Karen

    This is so relevant for me today, right now in this moment. It is New Year’s Eve, and I thought I had plans with another single friend, who just messaged me to say she didn’t feel up to doing anything tonight. Although she and 5 other mutual friends went to a fancy dinner last night (I was not invited). I am a single mom, my son is with his dad this week, and this is my first NYE in our new town. UGH – me too – I thought by now (age 41) so many things would be different! So I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes trying to decide what to do. Not good enough has been echoing in my head since last night (well really much more frequently than that). So THANK YOU for your post, for your vulnerability in sharing this. <3

  • Claire

    I could have written this post. I’m very much looking forward to reading your book.

  • Cindy

    56 years old…..still waiting to believe I’m “good enough”. It’s a work in progress.

  • Jennifer

    Such interesting timing, really struggling with this and assessing true friendships. I think in the best yes you wrote “stop pandering” and those words stick in my mind constantly. Powerful to stop pandering to certain people to try to gain closeness. If I catch myself doing that a little alarm goes off and I think yuck look what I am doing to try to be part of this?

    Facebook has also been difficult. The blatant pictures and postings of friends that are dear with other friends in our circle and the invite was never given. I might have liked to join but then really I think would I want to be there if I wasn’t enough to have received the invite? Not sure how those posting are so unaware that this is hurtful. So yes fb is off my phone now, but then you have to stay in the dark about friends news, birthdays, etc.

    I told my husband God must be preparing our family for a move, some doors have closed and there is a reality saying leaving won’t be so difficult.

  • Nannette Norton

    It is always so hard when the (un-invited) not good enough feelings wash over us, and age seems to make no difference at all. I have been that person more times than I can count and have found myself crying to my Heavenly Father or my husband asking that age old question;” What is wrong with me? ” At 52 you would think that these thoughts and emotions would have disappeared over time, but they do not. I think as long as we have a heart beat we will feel this emotion from time to time. I am so very thankful to God that He always understand s my hurt, my heart, and when I come to him not know what to say or how to explain, I can just sit in his presence and the healing begins. I have a little clothe towed to my bathroom mirror and in red it says one word ( mine ) ; it was given to the church body by our pastor to remind us that we belong to someone, a wonderful , awesome, perfect, loving someone God himself! So, when those hurt feelings come, when I do not have the words to express my hurt and disappointment, when I feel rejected I gaze at that one word and remember this truth: ” I am the daughter of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords , The very creator of the universe…and it does not get any better than that!

  • Becky Willyard

    I’ve been there so many times. I know social media doesn’t help in this when you not only don’t get invited, but then you see the pictures and comments posted that night and next day. I see it as also an opportunity to ensure God knows the friends I need and the reminder that I only need him. We are never alone. Sure, our flesh nature will be hurt, our spiritual nature is fully focused on what God has for us.

  • Karen

    I feel uninvited most of the time within my husband’s family. I have struggled with these feelings for years , constantly giving it to God. With my pleaser personality , it’s hard but have come to the conclusion that God is the only one I really need to be invited by. And He is the only one to please. By His grace is the only way I can love no matter what. I am so in love with my God!

  • Angela Parlin

    Lysa, I am so glad you are writing on this. I KNOW…at 39, sometimes I am shocked by how I can feel the same kind of rejection and all the awful feelings that come with being left out or just overlooked–as if I’m a little grade school girl and not a Mom of 4 also coaching her own kids through these situations with friends. I could relate to SO MUCH in this post and cannot wait to explore this topic more when your book comes out. For me, it seemed like for a number of years I didn’t experience this. Maybe because I was so busy having babies (and trying to survive 4 in 7 years) :) that I didn’t notice what else people were doing? Maybe because that decade we were leading a ministry and surrounded by people and the calendar was already so packed. But then we felt God leading us to another church, and we started out as the new people again, and even 7 years in, after a number of our closer friends we’ve developed there have moved to other states and countries, I feel it all over again. I thought I had moved past these feelings! My husband is often the one to bring me back around to what is the truth in each situation, but I love that you saw it as a special invitation to be with the Lord.

  • Shondra

    Loved this post! I lead a class at my church full of women (15-20), and there is a specific group of ladies that always sit together and rarely share or talk with the “others”. They even go as far as to leave the table and move over with a new “better” group when it starts. It always makes me feel like I’m in middle school all over again (which my daughters are currently maneuvering their way through)!

  • DL

    “Not good enough”, you might have well just described my life. I long for being good enough for my family. To be acceptable. Even in an event that they chose to invite the reaction that I even came was a disappointment to them.

  • Sherri

    oh man, talk about perfect timing!!! feeling the “left-outs” somthin’ terrible this morning…. even ran to the computer to get some of HIS word from Prov. 31 :) …. thank you for writing a book on this topic…. I’m trying to discover the balance between knowing HE is in control and resting there…but also listening to HIS voice if I need to be more involved, be more active in searching out friends, instead of always wanting everyone to seek me out… I’m way to good with the later ….

  • Brandy

    This message was so perfect. There have been so many times in my life where I felt left out and not good enough. The feeling of being unpopular has followed me from youth all the way into my adulthood. I’m so thankful to be reminded that God created me to be oh so much better than”good enough”. Thank you Lisa for your words!

  • Faith

    This couldn’t have come at a better time. I feel uninvited a lot. Most recently now, as we often have new year eve plans with friends and feel left out. We don’t get asked to do things with other couples or families and it does make me feel like I am in middle school again. I wish I could tell you how I deal with it but it wouldn’t be a good example. I admit I don’t see it as time I could spend with God. I have tried to look at it as special time for just my family or also that there is prob someone else out there I know feeling the same and maybe I should try to reach out to them. Maybe they would love to have someone invite them to lunch or to hang out. I have also tried to stay away from social media some – it seems like there are pictures of everyone doing all these fun things with others. I can’t wait for the book to come out!

  • Stephanie

    “God tucked inside of us His full wonder so we could help others find our God to be wonderful.”

    Thank you for this truth and may God bless you with a healthy, happy, and beautiful New year! Xoxo

  • Tara

    Oh my goodness…..have I not felt those same, “I’m not good enough” feelings. They come creeping back upon me with many of my close friends who have joined a local sorority within our community…..one in which you have to be “invited” to join! Why have I not been asked??? Am I not good enough? Aren’t they all my close friends? Why have my “close friends” chosen to be a part of a group in which I’ve not been asked to be a part of?? All of those questions invade my thoughts every time I hear them talk about an upcoming event.
    What a blessing it was when I read your email this morning. It put things in perspective for me. I have always had the need to be needed, wanted, included…..but in the big scheme of things, all I really need is to serve my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ…..he will provide all my needs!!

  • Jeni Walton Pelletier

    I believe (and have experienced) God will put us in situations that distance us from our worldly comforts to call us to spend time with Him to develop a better relationship. That feeling of being left out, unsettled, out of sorts, big decisions, is God calling us to Him. We can choose to listen or find other ways to make that uncomfortable feeling go away. Personally, I’ve done both. When I choose to invest in something else besides God, it’s always unfulfilling. When I choose to invest in my relationship with my Creator, He always exceeds my expectations and heals the deepest wounds I didn’t even know I had.

    • Tara

      Thank you….. I believe you are so right!!!!

  • Caroline Lee

    I have spent most of my life feeling like I wasn’t “good enough”. Abuse at the hands of multiple people before I was 14 and then running around with a group of mean girls who tore me down rather than build me up led to an identity rooted in “not good enough”. I worked through this with a wonderful therapist, through scripture, a doting aunt, and lots of prayer. Now, after having spent a week with family that I don’t see very often, I realized that my mother and her siblings are plagued worse than I was with the “not good enough”. I see this thought process play out repeatedly in so many people’s lives. While I have overcome it, the thought still pops into my head; and if I allow it, it can derail my entire day. But I lay down at my Father’s feet and give Him this. I rest in the knowledge that he made me to be amazing and that is what I am.

  • Jessie

    I truly needed this message today. I’ve struggled all my life with the feeling of not being good enough and have always felt like I’m constantly on the outside looking in. I have few friends and it seems every time I begin what appears to be a lasting friendship they relocate to another city or state. The fact that I don’t have any female companionship has been magnified over the last four years as I’ve watched my husband bond with the ladies he works with. They include him in everything they do and it has incited feelings of jealousy in me. I feel like the middle school girl that’s not good enough but (aghast) my husband is! Tonight we (not just him) have been invited at a New Year’s Eve dinner with them and I am feeling anxious and inadequate. I’m seriously thinking about finding a reason not to go because it’s not fun always sitting on the sidelines.

  • Leslie

    Thank you for sharing this. I have often struggled with this…which leads me to question who I am and how others see me. I used to think I was a good friend…but wonder about that to! The “nobody likes me everybody hates me” mantra starts playing in my head….But God…
    So now when this starts I remind myself who I am…I am a daughter of the King…fully loved and accepted…its really all that matters. I too dig into the Word and find peace knowing that God is working in my life…and I am to share that with others.

  • Carmen Flores

    Oh my goodness yes..I so resonated with this today Lisa..always felt growing up…not good enough..thank you ….thank you…for putting a new take on it..Hey…you can teach an “old dog” new tricks…Blessings to you and yours in 2016!

  • Tina Juliano Ortega

    I feel this way all the time. So lonely and rejected and worthless. Even in the church because Im not godly enough, joyful enough or whatever enough. And oddly, I feel that way when I read your instagram or facebook or books. Always feeling not good enough.

  • Cindy

    I have struggled with this my whole life. It started young because I was suppose to be my dad’s boy. I’m now 61 and still have the thoughts of “not good enough” when I feel the pangs of rejection from family, friends, co works or people in general. God’s love for me has made me feel good enough when I make sure I take the time to hear Him. Thank you so much for this devotion as I start the new year with the assurance of being good enough and choosing to have faith in whatever God gives me.

  • Penny

    Lysa,

    I’m sorry this happened to you and to anyone else. I know how much it can sting. I have found the best way I deal with it is when planning an event (including children’s parties) think of those who might be left out and include them.

    I wish everyone a very Happy New Year thats truly blessed,

    Penny

  • Terri Armen

    Frankly, when feeling excluded, not wanted, rejected, I seriously dwell on eternity where there won’t be any exclusion, cliques or catty women, yes, even Christian catty women. We will all love and be loved by Him and each other. It’s closer than we know, and that gets me through these dark times.

  • Lisa Chesser

    Great word! God has shown me that most times when I was not included or not invited, He had better for me. It was His protection that kept me from a bad experience or exposure to a situation that I wasn’t prepared to handle at the time. Of course, I was only able to understand that in hindsight. The testimony is to God’s faithfulness and what may have broken my heart for a little while allowed God to put it back together and make my faith a little sturdier. Thank you for allowing God to speak through you! Happy New Year!

    • Cindy

      So true! God has shown me many times how he has protected me & to desire only His perfect will for me

    • Ingrid

      I so agree.

  • Candyce

    I feel I have gone throughout my entire life with this. When I was in elementary school I got invited to a handful of parties, but they were only with the kids in my class of course since they would have to pass one out to everyone or it would be unfair. When I got to middle school it was a whole different story. I was NEVER invited to a birthday party or any kind of party. I never got invited to a dance. I constantly felt rejected by everyone except for my one best friend I had and even then when she had other plans when I wanted to hang out with her my thoughts would immediately go towards the negative instead of the positive. I was also heavier than everyone in my class basically so that did not help my situation. Kids in middle school are mean. High school got better, but I still wasn’t invited to many parties, but at that point parties began to include alcohol and I’m sure some drugs so I didn’t mind not going at all. When I got into theater my junior year that’s when I felt I was included more. We were like a family.

    I’ve grown out of this over the years, but sometimes it still happens to me. If I’m not invited somewhere but my friend is my mind tries to lean towards the negative and I have to stop, breathe and correct my train of thought. A problem I have is assuming the worst before seeing the best. I need to work on that. I cannot wait for this book to come out!

  • Edie

    Yes, Lysa, I can so relate. It wasn’t until this very week, in my 46th year of life, that I felt “included,” “part of a group”. I Have always had friends, general friends. But Not part of a group. I kind of fit in with everyone. The good, the bad & the ugly. I always felt good enough but not good enough to be “in”. Growing up in a big family, I never had to develop long relationships with friends. Then, as adults, my siblings were, together, a group. They were an unhealthy group, who got together to do drugs. Although I am the only one who did not and does not use drugs, I so desperately wanted to be part of their group too. They had each other, secrets, conversations, mutual friends. I felt left out. NO! I did not ever take up the common activity. I lived my responsible life & took the time to develop a relationship with God…… Back to this week. I am now part of a group. Through church. A wonderful group of mothers who are dealing with children struggling with drug use. We pray together, study the Bible, laugh, cry, encourage, celebrate birthdays and holidays and support each other like no one else can. This week we went to dinner just because we missed each over the Christmas break. These women are my friends and for the first time in my life I am included, invited and part of a group. God brought us together for such a time as this. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t known them for 25 years and we don’t have a history. We are true friends. Great friends. Awesome friends. We are God friends. The broken road is bittersweet. The invitation to God’s party is worth the wait. He has the biggest and best party planned for us!! And we are all invited!

  • Beth Biskup

    Lysa, Thank you for this. I have spent the better part of 43 years trying to find my place. I heard at a very young age “I was a mistake” my parents divorced when I was 7, as per my mom “your dad only wanted 3 kids”…I was #5 and per my mom ” dad never talked to her again after I was born”. We moved to a rival town, I gave up all my friends because of a stupid rivel..I never fit in. I would share with you more but this was the first 43 years spent in a 7 year olds insecurities, never married, never loved. Fourteen months ago, literally in a dark closet crying for the first time in my life I asked God to help me. I had never felt he wanted me because “only the good died young” and I had lost many young friends and family. But I cried out and he answered! The next day I found a Christian counselor and he asked me to try church again. As a child I went alone because I wanted to be confirmed, I sat alone through church and confirmation, but I was confirmed. My family didn’t even come. So alone I walked into a church a year ago, I sat up front to be close, I cried through most of the service, and I knew for the first time in my life…I was Home! Still battle a lot of insecurities but I am shining a light I never knew I could shine! I am Loved, I am wanted, and God does not make mistakes!!

  • Kristen

    So, long before it was a “thing”, I’ve been given (I can only assume from God, Himself) for each New Year. Last year, my word: ENOUGH. I have spent 365 days wrestling with my middle school self. (I LOVE that analogy of yours!) The year began rough–I was very sick, recently unemployed, and my marriage was in trouble (and it was all my fault). By all appearances, I was REALLY not ‘good enough’. God is good. (Always!) To read your post on December 31st filled my heart with hope. I so wanted to end this year victorious. I so wanted to end this year being able to declare that I am more than enough and in my heart of hearts believe it. I’m not, though. I’m still wrestling with my feelings of inadequacy. I’m still wrestling to accept God’s lavish love for me. Your words today have really blessed me. You helped me change the lens angle I’ve been looking at my life from. In truth, I’m ending the year in a much better place. My marriage is solid and beautiful. I’ve returned to teaching. My chronic illness is in remission. I know that God really is for me. Thanks for sharing your heart. Best of luck with “Uninvited”!

  • http://www.jenniferwaddleonline.com Jennifer Waddle

    Hi Lysa,
    Being “included” is so interwoven into the fabric of our beings! To be accepted, approved of, and desired, sometimes trumps our full dependence on God. But when we stop to think about God including us in His plan of salvation, it is humbling! He didn’t have to extend his mercy to us, but He did. It gets me every time.

    Thank you for your transparency. I can totally relate. (even at 45!)
    Jennifer

  • http://www.christanperona.com Christan Perona

    Thank you.

  • Christine Marie

    Not getting invited is the WORST feeling. I usually take it a step further than “not good enough”. I start looking at ulterior motives, i.e., they made a point not to invite me and made sure I would know about it to spite me…this was dialogue that I used to play out in my mind. “Used” to being the operative word. The enemy of our souls would like nothing more than to make us believe these lies. I don’t allow myself to fall into this trap anymore. I recognize it for what it is. I still need to pray and ask for God’s help dealing with the hurt. But I refuse to allow myself to dwell on/in it. I also wanted to make another point about social media. I see a lot of ladies commenting on how seeing others posts about events and pictures, etc. makes it difficult for them. If this is a stumbling block for you then I suggest you stay off of social media. People are not considering how you are going to react to seeing these things. Also, these outlets are not designed to make us feel accepted and included.

  • Cindy

    I was divorced from the father of my sons over 29 years ago, and am very blessed to be married to a man that is perfect for me. I have struggled, however, when my youngest son (who lives far away) spends more time during holidays @ my ex-husband’s and with his brothers–I have wrestled with feeling abandoned & left-out, which I can easily turn into guilt,depression, & self-abuse—This struggle has brought me so much closer to God-only His mercy, grace, and words of truth can turn my feelings of jealousy, sorrow, regret, and loneliness into gratitude, hope, and joy! I am truly so very blessed!

  • Marquita

    I often feel univited. My husband will tell you that I am constantly complaining about not being a part of the cool kid crew….even though I’m in my mid 30s. He didn’t understand why I say I feel left out or not good enough. It is then that I’m reminded that God has set me apart. There are some things that I simply cannot be included in because of God’s call and plan for my life. I may not completely understand it but I know God is always at work in my life and that’s just fine with me.

  • http://www.janellekeith.com Janelle Keith

    Love this, yesterday I had a old memory from high school pop up, reminding me of how unpopular I was. The memory hurt but, then I realized I had stood on a pure standard of God’s character in not dating versus dating around. Therefore not giving into the popular crowd. I would like to say it stuck through college but didn’t. But even so, God still held me and drew me back unto His holiness. We have such a good, good Father. He isn’t a mad principal sitting in the Heavens keeping tally of our wrong actions. He is just waiting for us to fully surrender to His character of love and grace.

  • Shelley

    Thank you. This spoke to my heart today. “Uninvited” is a theme in my life as a pastor’s wife. Each church we’ve served, there have been times where I thought the friendship was close and intimate, yet I would be left out of the “fun” events of these “friends.” The feelings of middle school (which you so eloquently presented) creep up and my feelings of loneliness and isolation can cause me to believe that I am NOT enough, NOT worthy of authentic friendships, NOT, NOT, NOT. But then I remember and I praise God for those God-filled friendships, though rare, in each church. Those friendships where accountability and growth in Christ, TOGETHER, occur. And with each “un”, I’ve found peace and fulfillment in God’s presence. Encouragement from God’s Word, which tells me that I am UNWORTHY, but JESUS loves me and makes me WORTHY, WHOLE, INVITED into relationship with HIM! Praise GOD!

  • Becky

    Thank you for sharing. I dealt with a major uninvite this year that made me take a fresh look at my friendships and myself. It was and continues to be hard to go through, but I am thankful that God is bringing me through it and that I’ve made new friends and grown closer to Him because of it! I continue to be friends with those who didn’t invite me, but it isn’t the same and that is alright. My friendship with them didn’t allow me to branch out and make other friends.

    • Ingrid

      I think its neat that you also took a look at the friendships that didn’t invite you. I can relate to how you were able to be open to other friendships because of your change in the friendships.

  • Cynthia

    Oh, the timing! We moved about six years ago and it seems many of our friends have fallen off the face of the earth. We live “to far out” for people to visit, etc. I have quit trying to invite as we are never invited to any of their gatherings anymore. It hurts, but I try to enjoy spending time with my parents and my immediate family. My oldest child goes through this a lot. She comes home from college and finds that her “friends” from home leave her out, don’t invite her places but love to send messages via snapchat, facebook, twitter to her when they are together. Boy, does it sting to know that you aren’t welcomed. It hurts deep in your soul. I try to encourage her, to share my love and remind her of the love from Jesus. It’s a hard place to feel “uninvited”. I pray that the sting lessens as we remember who loves us the most, our heavenly Father.

  • shelly

    Dear Lysa,
    I have been a faithful “morning girl” with the Proverbs 31 website for years. I don’t comment all that often, but this morning’s post struck me.
    After 17 years of marriage, this is my first New Year’s Eve divorced. The people I have spent the last (almost) 2 decades of my life with are all still married. And their plans are probably looking much the same for tonight.
    But now that I’m “single” no one thought to extend an invitation to me. Just me. Not me and my family, or me and my spouse.
    It’s sad, because I’m the same girl I was last year. I’m the same mom. I’m the same friend. But once the “Big D” happens, people don’t tend to think so.
    I’m feeling all right today. Taking my 2 children out to dinner and to a friend’s country house to watch the ball drop on TV. It will be beautiful and peaceful. I just wanted to respond to your inquiry about how being Uninvited looks for different women.
    Happy New Year to you, and thank you for your mission work with women like me.

  • Shelley Giguere

    Love this, Lysa! Like a lot of the women who’ve commented below, I too have experienced “you’re not good enough” moments. It’s crazy that women our age can still deal with these feelings of inadequacy. Here is something I’m learning about “feelings.” They aren’t always FACT. We may have had some terrible things happen to us, and we have no control over that. But what we can control is how much real estate we allow people to have in our head. I’ve decided that I’m not going to allow people to make me feel a certain way, because I know the truth of what God says about me. Sisters, if we are rooted in God’s word, we will see clearly that any feelings of insecurity come straight from the pit. The Creator of the universe, the Lord Almighty, made us for His pleasure, and we are ALWAYS welcome at His table!

  • Julee

    I read this through tears streaming down my face. This is exactly how I feel, like the girl in junior high who wanted to belong. When the “fun” holidays roll around, the ones where you get to choose who you want to hang with, we are never chosen. It seems I always need to be the “inviter,” but am never the “invited.” God reminded me the other day that the only affirmation I need is from him, and I know that, I really do. Just deep down, it’s hard because we’re human. I’m ready to read your book, Lysa, and it’s not even published yet! I’m encouraged to know I’m not alone!

  • The hopeful

    I feel this often and social media makes it worst. Seeing an endless list of tags for the party and your name missing in plain sight of everyone. It cuts me to the bone as I then questions why? My anxiety and depression, personality, lack of affluence, or appearance. It makes me feel lonely and alone. I am coming to terms with this and trusting in a different purpose.

  • Julie Garmon

    LOVED This!! And I love your new book title and idea. I understand~~and I have a feeling, so will a lot more of us.

    Blessings~

  • Joyce

    Oh how I can relate! I hurt deeply inside whenever my Christian friends post pics on Facebook of their get together, smiling faces all around while I sit at home dejected, rejected and unloved. Reinforcing once again that I am not part of their inner circle, not ” important enough” to be invited. Don’t they like me??? My feelings of inferiority and insecurity hurt no one but myself, my friends don’t have a clue that I have been hurt by their omission.

    But I have started to choose to give my emotions of jealousy, envy and yes even bitterness to my Abba Father, and He responds by quieting my spirit and bringing rest and peace to my jealous hurting heart. Since choosing to immediately turn my hurt feelings to God, I haven’t dwelled upon the hurt & jealousy, and have even been able to actually be happy for them and their time together. He has taken my eyes off of myself, and put them upon Him. We do have a choice of “choosing” where our mind and thoughts dwell, but it’s only possible with Gods strength in our weakness.

  • Jennifer

    I can completely understand. In church I have felt there are certain clique groups that try their best to not include us. I see pictures of them at their gathering with all but us and it just hurts knowing we weren’t asked. Are we not good enough? Do they not like us? Why weren’t we asked? Well, I will just have a party and not invite them. Why does that thought come to my mind? That is Satan talking. Maybe they just relate to the other people better than us. But what can I do to make them like me more?

    All that goes through my head and I get sad, upset, mad, etc. In truth, God loves me, my husband loves me, my son loves me and that’s all that should matter so why should I be concerned with not being invited to join them?

  • Diane Wilser

    The very worst “uninvited” happened in November of this year. My middle daughter, who claimed I was her best friend this time last year, got married in November and I was not invited. She moved in with my ex husband last spring and suddenly cut off all communication with me. I have no clue as to why. Then in November she had a “quick” wedding to someone whom I don’t know and chose to not invite me or share the news with me.

    I am still struggling daily. What I can say is that God has been walking with me and talking to me. He has told me to lay our relationship down on His alter as a sacrifice. To sacrifice the natural relationship which wants to claim I have a “right” to have a relationship to her; I’m her mom…..into the Spiritual. The spiritual says…I’ve poured her out to you God. In your timeline and I’m your way…you will restore our relationship. For as you tell us in Isaiah…”We all are like sheep which have gone astray, each to his own way.” Therefore, I patiently wait for the Master Shepherd to bring her back into the fold. To God be the Glory!

  • Katie Landers

    I love that you turned the situation around and saw it as a special invitation to spend time with the Lord. So many times we miss the special time with the Lord because we are still feeling the sting of not feeling invited. I would love to see in the new book how you or others spend time with the Lord when you heart is heavy with hurt–what verses uplift and what words may be exchanged in whispered prayer. Blessing to you in the new year!

  • JennK

    As a child, I attended a private Christian grade school. I remember a poster hanging on the wall of my first grade classroom. It was a cartoon of a little boy with a less than happy look on his face and his hands crossed in front of him. Below the little boy was the caption, “I know I’m somebody ’cause God don’t make no junk!” That image and saying stuck with me all the way through high school and into adulthood. Through all the struggles growing up with kids being mean and excluding me along with having an extremely verbally abusive father, I knew that I was not stupid or worthless in God’s eyes. I know that having this truth permanently in my heart is why I haven’t let those who don’t find me “good enough” get to me to much. I’ve now been married almost 17 years and have 3 beautiful kids. Each day I remind them that God loves them and that they belong to Him. I pray that this truth is as permanently inscribed in their hearts as it is in mine.

  • Carolyn

    I can relate to being “uninvited”. The feeling of not being included has hit me off and on, over the years. Having an unsaved husband, (who is a wonderful man), translates to not being included. I fight through it, reminding myself God is enough and I return my focus to him. My life is in him, not in who I have fellowship with. Knowing he loves me unconditionally, sees my weaknesses and grants me grace each day, that is lavish love.

  • Angie Lewis Sims

    I feel this way way too often. And I’m too old to feel this way. At 58, I’m still wondering why I’m not included in the little get together with my running friends, why I’m not asked out to just go run around, and now, even worse, why won’t anyone hire me. I have a lot to offer–I think. So the doubts and fears set it and when they set in, they are determined to take up permanent residence. I want to ask why. I want answers, but I don’t have the courage to ask why. I tried asking a company why they didn’t hire me, but when the person in charge is younger than your youngest child, they just don’t understand what the rejection is all about. Hey, they’ve got the job, they’ve probably got the friends asking them to do things with them. They don’t get it. I want to “fix” whatever it is that my friends and prospective employers see as not good enough to include. So naturally, I make up all sorts of scenarios in my head that beat me down even further. Make me more unwanted. Why do I do this to myself? I am a child of the King! But there are times, unfortunately many times in my life, that that doesn’t make it better for me. I have lived my life this way. I was made fun of in junior high and high school by my older brother and his friends, to the point I wanted to just run away from home. I’ve even confronted them now that we are older, and apparently, they don’t remember. So why do I? You can see that this is something that still bothers me. But I’m a child of the King!! It shouldn’t bother me. But it still does. How do we get past it? I would love your input Lysa.

  • Kelley

    Another component of this I think is not so much feeling like you’re not good enough but not wanted there. I’ve had situations in my life where I think I have been pushed away or uninvited at times because of my walking in faith, even from family and other believers! When your walk with God is close, and you are truly seeking Him, even when you are humble, there are people who will sometimes surprise you by leaving you out because your life somehow makes them feel convicted about something, so it can be easier to leave you out than to deal with their own feelings or convictions. Hope I’m making sense.

    • Chip Phipps

      Kelley, thank you for this! It totally makes sense to me! What a blessing your comment has been for me!

  • Gail Stafford Carter

    I always feel left out or uninvited so I welcome this book because I want to stop feeling like a loser. I know it’s the enemy that puts this in my head, but it’s still hard to deal with.

  • Kim Sullivan

    Oh Lysa, how timely this article is! I have still been perseverating on the stinging words that were said over Christmas. My husband comes from a family of beautiful home decorators, amazing cooks, and women who seem to never have a speck of dust or item out of place in their homes. I am not a decorator. I have improved greatly in my culinary skills, but will not be receiving my own cooking show any time soon. And as for the dust, I will gladly give names to any dust bunnies I run across because I know that the time that I did not spend dusting was spent pouring into my two boys’ hearts. For years I would stress and have panic attacks when I knew his family members would be coming over. Any family holiday that we hosted I already knew I would be kicked out of my own kitchen so they could “do things right.” This year, I was determined to rest in God’s truth, no matter what happened or what cutting remarks were made, until my children were attacked for the condition of their rooms. Now,I don’t know about you, but I can deal with stinging words from others when they are directed towards me, but the mama bear in me comes out when my children are attacked. So needless to say, I did not respond kindly (I will be going back to review what I learned in Unglued) :) and now not only am I nursing my boys’ wounded hearts, but I feel as though I have failed as their mother by not giving them better organization skills.

  • Tånya Thiesen Reddin

    Thank you for writing this. I never thought about it (the lack of an invitation) being an invitation to spend time with God. Not being included is very hard for me. But it seems that just as often as I don’t get invited to something as I am not inviting someone and feel guilty. There are groups of friends with which I really want inclusion and there are others that want me to include them.

  • Angela

    Being often homebound due to chronic disease, and also moving frequently make feeling left out a constant for me. At church it is as if our family is invisible. I want to try to connect with other ladies in small groups but can’t attend consistently, and don’t want to start introductions having to explain my illness. I’ve had too many experiences of friends dropping out of my life when dealing with surgeries and being socially limited by pain.

  • MPShattles

    Thanks! I have had this feeling recently and was surprised at how much it still hurts. After reading this, I started thinking and came to a peaceful understanding for me. The parties I am uninvited to are not as important in God’s eyes as the parties and gatherings that I am invited to join. The time with My God, My Family, My True Friends. I am ALWAYS invited and included in their plans. I will Always be Better than Good Enough for them!

  • Suzanne Kendrick

    I had one of those moments just this week. I have always been the person on the outside edge. Always the one to find out later about a gathering I was not invited to. I have struggled with it all my life and sadly a lot of it from church. I have attended church in stretches over my life but always felt left out. They greet you at first and welcome you there but when you try to integrate, you find that everyone already has their circle of friends and you just become a plus one for their goal numbers and then blend in to the woodwork. I just started attending Newspring Church and had started going to a home group with about 12 people. They took a break for the holidays so I haven’t seen some of them for a few weeks. The church had services online only for the weekend after Christmas and a few days after that, I learned through a post on Facebook that a group of people consisting of most of that home group and some others had gotten together and watched it at the home of our group leaders. Guess I wasn’t invited…..again. I have learned over the years that I can’t rely on people. They always disappoint eventually. I remind myself that I am at church to worship God and not to seek the approval of people. He is there no matter what and wants to spend time with me.

  • Angel Andrew

    Whether the phrase is stated “I am not good enough” or “I am too much for anybody to handle” the feelings are the same. The pain is the same. I’m inadequate.

    This hits even harder when your love language is quality time but no one seems to have the time for you. You are the person everybody loves but wonder if anyone would really ever miss you if you were gone.

    “She who wants friends must show herself friendly”, right? But after trying, calling, inviting, pushing your way into group conversations at church but feeling not quite a part you tend to stop asking, inviting, approaching.

    On top of that, your husband of 15 years runs off with another woman, waits four years, then marries her. Abandoned, rejected, forsaken, forgotten. Do I understand your topic? Yes! I understand the feelings that “I am not enough”.

    Psalm 3:2 says “Many are they who say of me, “there is not help for her in God” but continue reading on in verses 3 & 4 which says,” But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah.” Pause to think about that!

    I have found that in times when I am on the floor in a fetal position, crying so hard as if I was drunk that God comes to me and responds with a simple quite word that brings amazing peace to my bleeding heart. I once again have hope. Once again I have joy. I feel loved and accepted.

    My circumstance have not changed…yet. But I am reminded once again of one of my favorite verses, “This too shall pass…”. Healing will take its time as I allow God to go deeper. But with each prayer for His healing light (Malachi 4:2) the pain associated with each memory is healed.

    I am learning to rest in knowing that God can be trusted. I am learning to trust God. He reminds me that a promise made is a promise kept. I am learning that to Him I am worthy because of Him; that I am beautiful and wanted. Someday I will be back to my fun-loving, full of encouragement, fairy of happiness, joyful self but only better because of Him!

    I guess it’s okay that I don’t have to be enough, however, I’m like you and I would still welcome any invitation! God bless you!

  • April

    I frequently battle this mindset of feeling less than. It seems we do most of the inviting and do not receive many invitations ourselves. I sometimes wonder if our family is that kind of family that people smile and speak kindly to, but others don’t really know how to include us because of our special needs. My oldest child, my 14 year old son, has Asperger Syndrome. Adolescence and Aspergers creates a challenging combination! If you’ve ever watched the show “Parenthood,” we are the family with Max. Watching that show is like watching a replay of my daily life. It hurts when your child struggles with fitting in, and it affects the whole family. How do I deal? God has His hands all over it! He has placed my son in the right place at the right time to give him a special middle school education that I wouldn’t trade for, and He’s doing it again for upcoming high school. I am reminded that I have a special job of raising this child to be the amazing person God plans for him to be, and that just means our family bond is stronger than ever because we rely on each other. We live, we laugh, we love, and yes, we even fuss and make up! We need each other, and we know it. That’s the greatest gift of all :).

  • Pat Hubby

    I can so relate to the “good enough or (not so good enough) in my life. As far back as I can remember, I had those feelings of being left out, or not being smart enough or being inadequate throughout my life, and at 58 years old you would think God & I would have worked through all that. The good news is with all He has brought me through, I now recognize those “old tapes” and can counter them with God’s truth in His word. It is a refining process that if not dealt with early on, will continue the haunt you. He has been changing my thought life, as well as stripping away all that doesn’t matter. It is sometimes painful but so worth it.
    Blessings to you with your new book. -Pat

  • Marlene White

    This fall, my father was facing his last weeks on this earth and I started working more part time and then went on a formal Leave of Absence. During that time, I was “uninvited” to several meetings at work. It felt so rejecting and demoralizing to me. I am now not part of the inner circle at work, even though I have returned to my regular schedule. I was put on a special assignment so that I could work more independently and even remotely to promote health and healing in my life. I want to view this as the gift that it is to me, but I still struggle with the feelings of rejection from colleagues and I sit quietly in my cube with little interaction with my peers – not so healing.

  • Betsy

    I feel this way often. I get it when you say you are not good enough. I am always feeling as if I am not good enough. When people (friends) make plans and don’t include me I feel as if no one loves me I am not good enough. I took this to the extreme and tried to take my own life because I didn’t feel like I mattered to anyone. I then prayed to God to let me live…God is good!

  • Rebecca Jones

    It doesn’t matter how old you are those feelings crop up, even those embarrassing high school dreams. Psychologists call it your inner child, I guess God would too, because we are His, but it’s the real us, our spirit. If you didn’t get invited to their party, their loss. May He lavish us with love in 2016.

  • Anna Lum

    Your post “Uninvited “brought back many feelings like a blast from the past. My husband is the oldest of seven kids, with the youngest being the only other boy. After we got married, I sensed deeply those feelings that come from
    being unvitied. His sisters would all make vacation plans together, share activities together at his parents’ house, and we were hardly ever informed of those events, and only knew about them when we either saw photos or heard the little kids talking about them. When we were included, our kids were deliberately isolated and taunted by theirs.

    When my oldest was in middle school, her friends (yes, church friends) quite deliberately went out of their way to leave her out of social events. I had wiped away many a tear at bedtime while she poured out her hurts to a helpless but sympathetic ear.

    Those experiences, and others too personal and painful to mention,have contributed to my gnawing tendency of feeling not “good enough.” When I talk to God about this matter, He is strangely silent in His approach to fixing my problem. Instead, He tells me that when I’m weak, He is strong.

    But I don’t want to be weak. I wanted God to fix the problem and make me whole again.

    And then I realized that I would not experience His strength unless I am not whole. There’s something about wholesomeness that makes one proud and self-sufficient. The more struggles I have, the more God shows Himself to be sufficient. I just need to adjust my vision a bit.

    When that blurred vision is adjusted, this truth comes into sharper focus: It’s not about me.

  • Andrea Gautschi

    Oh goodness, I’ve had this happen often. A neighbor who has an annual Christmas party with everyone around but us there (my kids wondering somberly why they weren’t invited), a few other friends who will discuss their lunch or other plans with each other (and I am not included) right in front of me! However, I have decided that I could feel hurt and upset by this or let it go and continue on with my relationship with these people just as it is. For some reason I wasn’t invited but I still enjoy my friends and the times I do get to spend with them.
    I think you have to ask yourself “Is this relationship overall a blessing or hurtful?” If it’s still overall a blessing then just move on from there. In the case of my neighbor, I think it’s better to smile and wave/nod Hello as I drive by their house rather than be snarky or rude.
    And you never know, you might be invited to the next party…..

  • Amy

    Oh wow, does this hit home! The holidays seem to act as a magnifier for these wounds, triggers and, candidly, embarrassing reactions for me…I uttered to my mom during a low point when I felt totally excluded by family that I feel like the girl at the lunch table that no one wants to sit next to. NOT one of my prouder moments as the strong, Christian, Proverbs 31 woman I awaken each morning hoping to be! Ugh – it’s an empty pit of rejection that sucks us in like quicksand and can easily engulf me/us UNTIL God comes in through Holy-Spirit-whispered reminders that if ANYone “gets it”, Jesus does — talk about feeling rejection! He comes in through hugs and affirmations from beloved family, friends that “yes, you are loved and wanted”. He comes through words of a wonderful fellow Christian Sister named Lysa. He comes through the words of my pastor reminding all of us that we are not meaningless in the universe, in fact God went to enormous lengths to show us our astounding significance in His heart. Suddenly God coming to me in my moments of awkward, self-loathing pain fills that pit of rejection with His love that lifts me, and all of us to higher ground; to our “princess” thrones right next to Him.

  • It’s Me

    I am very aware of things in our church, there is a group of women, that go plaaces, do things, and I get left out all the time. I am disabled, and have oxygen so it is an issue for me to be able to do things, however, I have NO friends in my church (not real) I have Sunday morning friends. This hurts. Because you see everything that happens when they post on social media and how they bond together, because they have children of the same ages, and my kids in that group are my grandkids. So the older group of women, I am left out of because I am younger, and the younger group because I am older.
    It is a very painful thing to go through, especially when you would like to go and be involved I know God will bring me the friends He needs me to have and I accept that, however, when things rise up and they happen, that middle school emotion comes barrelling out and you facew those ugly words in your head all over again. When the enemy attacks you, he doesn’t care what source he uses. He will also use the source that is the nearest and dearest to your heart and what brings you closest to God. for me that is church.
    I know these feelings/emotions well. I am in tears right now because of how painful this is. I have no real friends at all really because I am so closed off with my health. Depression has always been a very big struggle in my life, so this process and the social media “pain” is so real. However, I know my God is always near my side and with me forever, so even though I’m lonely, I know i am never alone

  • It’s Me

    as I sit here and started reading each and every person’s comments, I see that this is something so many of us struggle with. The enemy is at work so much in each beautiful heart. I cannot comment to each of you ladies however, you all have been prayed for as well as continued prayer that each beautiful reader of this post will remember, that God loves us and in Him, we are always Good Enough, Beautiful Enough, Loved Enough, and Desired Enough.

  • Deena Maga

    Thanks this was really good, sometimes I have felt like that to when it came to likeing a guy or like people that I thought could be my friends who really never thought of me like that, but that’s to show me that I am truly loved and cared my the master which is called Jesus, who loves me in every simple way.

  • Mary Ellen Montgomery

    I have struggled with the feeling of being forgotten at times. I am thankful that I can go to God with those feelings. When I see pics of people hanging out and I wasn’t invited and I feel twinge of “Bummer, I wasn’t invited” I now thank God that those people had a great time & thank Him that my value is found in Him. I hope that these prayers will become automatic, and replace the bummer feelings.

  • Melodies2015

    Great article! Love the topic and title of your next book. Believe we’ve all experienced feelings of being uninvited or left out. We all want to feel included, especially as adults. (Especially women, we just fear admitting it!) My personal experience with “uninvited” was when a close friend wrote her first book. She’s a very gifted speaker and writing a book would be natural for her. We were best friends at the time. Long story short, she wrote the book, but there was no mention of her friend. I remember feeling hurt and confused. I just knew I’d be mention one time for support and encouragement. Instead, I was uninvited – I wasn’t good enough to mention. Here I was, a grown woman (40ish), hurt that I wasn’t mention in a book! Who does this!? I remember feeling embarrassed, wondering did I get our relationship wrong? Am I jealous? What is wrong with me! In the end, Christ taught me a lesson about friendships – Prov. 27:17. There was a reason I wasn’t mention and Christ took this opportunity to teach me. He taught me friendships should be “iron sharpens iron” – one sharpens the other. Being uninvited, help me to see genuine friendships are more than honorable mentions.

  • Mónica R. Rodriguez

    It blows my mind, how many newsletters, devo’s, First5’s, Tweets, IG’s, OBS emails, Vimeo’s I bump (divinely SLAM) into, that are specific to my current season. I must say, Uninvited the book is one I anxiously anticipate. It’s a struggle of mine. “Left Out.” When reading “Unglued” it mentioned the “it’s” in our lives that cause for us to feel certain kinds of ways. And when I couldn’t understand what the “it” was, I asked God to show me. It is the “left out” syndrome. “Not enough.” Because of this feeling, I go over and beyond to include EVERYONE, yet that isn’t necessarily healthy as well. What God has revealed with the help of my husband, is this one powerful word… Sanctification. God is setting me apart. It isn’t always a good feeling but its a necessary one for THIS season in my life. Thank you Lysa, for including us to be a part of this! I can’t say thank you enough for blessing through your obedience to God. The entire Proverbs 31 Ministry & (in)courage team will have many jewels on their crowns when they make it home. I alone with be the big, bright, shiny amethyst. I love you all soooo much! <3

  • Julie Pitts

    The pain in being uninvited at age 47 is real. I, too, was the shunned middle schooler. I had bangs that rivaled most. I was athletic, a decent singer, and did well in school. Those middle school years still haunt me as I faced rejection this year in my hometown, where we returned to live almost a year ago due to job changes. Rejection at work. Rejection with my old and new friends. Rejection from friends with whom I “did life” for the past six years. Leaves one feeling pathetic as she cries herself to sleep one night because she invited. ..and was on the opposite end. I was rejected by people who had said they wanted to spend time with me. With my family. I was told that they could “see us another night”, but not tonight. As my kids slept upstairs and my husband snoozed on the couch, I sat on the family room floor wondering why God allowed us to move home if the loneliness and rejection are going to be so real. Especially during the holidays. Yet–God allowed reconciliation with many of my family members. He allowed a lot of time with said family. He allowed my mom and my brother to follow us in moving home. I am trying to live with more purpose in the coming year–I have no idea what that means yet. Thanks for the article, Lysa. Cut direct to this girl’s heart. I appreciate the reminder that Jesus doesn’t reject me and always invites me to his parties.

  • Penny

    I have certainly had those (un)invited feelings, especially as a young person but also even now as a young senior. Sometimes it IS something I have done and God needs to do a work in me about how to connect with people better. Sometimes it’s about jealousy, and there’s nothing I can do about someone else’s jealous feelings except protect my heart with God’s love and promises. And sometimes it’s about me needing to be somewhere else or with someone else or doing something else more valuable to myself and God’s plan than spending a few hours with some acquaintances. I’m sure there are other reasons, too, but I love that you remind us that spending time with God is ALWAYS a good option to doing almost anything else. Having lost my mother on Christmas Eve this year, that speaks to my heart. Thank you, Lysa!

  • Deb

    This very morning my eyes were full with tears as my son and daughter-in-law left our home to spend New Year’s Eve with her parents. You see my son and his wife will be boarding a plane tomorrow morning to return to the mission field on the other side of the world. Oh, how I wanted to be invited this evening to help with the packing and perhaps share a few more precious moments with them. There was no official invite to come to the airport to see them off as her parents will be taking them to the airport. As we received hugs from both of them, I whispered in son’s ear that we would be at the airport to see them off. I longed to hear, “Mom we would love for you and Dad to be there” or “We’ll stop by later this evening for another hug”. Instead, it was “we have a lot to do and will text you later”. My heart is heavy as I sit here waiting for a text to be invited to spend a few more minutes with them. After reading your post, I know that God will always invite me into his arms and His invitation is the most important “invite” of all.

  • Lovelle

    Love this. We can’t let others determine what “good enough” looks like. I needed this reminder today.

  • https://www.linkedin.com/pub/rachael-chitty/50/b18/238 Rachael Chitty

    I had someone in my life that I really wanted to develop a friendship with. Everytime I would open up to her, she held back and spoke to me as if she was a mentor and not a friend. It hurt me deeply. After several years of allowing my emotions to be on a rollercoaster, G-d led me to realize that I was perpetuating my own feelings about myself onto her. I think it’s called the Mirror Principle from John Maxwell. It was so freeing to deal with my own ideas about myself versus what someone else thinks about me. I’m in control of how I view myself, but not in control of how someone else sees me.

  • Mary Harding Walberg

    I so appreciate this post today Lysa…the vulnerability of everyone posting. I don’t feel so alone now after reading all these posts…as I too have felt left out, alone, rejected, abandoned, etc, etc. And I keep trying to find my fullness in my relationship with God first and foremost. And yet the feelings keep returning (I agree…social media can be terrible – seeing pics of everyone together when you are not included really hurts the heart). Then one day when I was again lamenting this in prayer with God it popped into my head to go back to the beginning, that God saw that it was not good for man to be alone, and He created woman. I guess that gave me deeper understanding that God understood my heart and my loneliness just as He understood Adam’s…even before the fall – before sin – and He made woman for man. I am still pondering this…Did God know He wasn’t “enough” for Adam and thus created a companion for him? That almost feels horrible to say…that God isn’t enough… because God is enough, isn’t He? If God was enough for Adam, why did he create Eve? I don’t have the answer… but I am grateful He made us for each other… I think community like this, where we feel safe enough to confess our deep hurts and not have to have it all together…where we are weak then He is strong …this is God’s desire for mankind, until we are united with Christ at His return.

  • Bj Johnson

    Wow Lysa! If you only knew how many times I have dealt with this. I’ve noticed that when I begin to feel that way, God always reminds me that I am good enough and where I am is where he wants me to be at any given time. My good enough is not tied to relationships, accomplishments or lack there of. Just simply my relationship with him.

  • Mary

    I am so glad I am INVITED to share in this and that I am INVITED by God to share in His work and spend eternity with Him. Just reading this made me hurt, I have had this happen so often. I want to be a part of things, but we are gone so often and people just don’t invite us to be included when we are home. I feel left out and not good enough. Yep, I can relate. I have to remind myself that they did not mean to hurt, they just didn’t think of us, or had too many others on their list, or whatever. Self-talk and time with God. Running to Him is always my best way to deal with it. I look forward to more “snippets” as you work on this book! God Bless you!

  • Karen

    Man, I’m 60 years old….and I live there. Uninvited, unwanted. God has done such a mighty work in me to help me learn to believe (heart knowledge not just head knowledge) that HE loves me….yet the self-loathing has been such a constant for so many years, I don’t know how to be loved…you know? And how awful, that my perspective of so many situations is colored through that belief, that perspective. I am SO tired of feeling this way and being hopeless that it will never change….but the good thing about it now….is it is my call to turn to Him, to lay it all before Him, to CHOOSE to believe His truth and not the lies that have permeated my life for so many years. I have tried so hard to lay down the self-loathing, but even memorization of whole books in the Bible, and verse after verse about Him loving and choosing me, it helped but was still not enough. But someone this past year painted a picture of Him being at my birth, holding me before I was ever handed to my parents, with tears in His eyes, SO excited for this moment….that this moment of my birth, at His chosen time, with the gifts and traits He especially chose just for me, just for a time such as this…..His delight at my presence…and then a picture of Him leaving His throne, to come to earth and rescue me, pushing through the crowd, eyes locked on mine, coming JUST FOR ME has helped replace the self-loathing. When I feel it coming on, the pain of being rejected, of feeling rejectable, of being unloved and feeling unloveable…..I can now replace it with that picture of Him pushing through the crowd for me….it has made a world of difference and is slowing changing me from the inside out…..

  • Loretta

    Oh Lysa, how my heart reached out to yours as I read this. Even when we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are loved it hurts to feel unwanted no matter the reason. I live with my daughter and her family. This year I turned 70. The funny thing is that because I’m an introvert I usually relish time alone. But this year has been particularly difficult for our family. Numerous deaths in our family, job loss, a long distance move, just to name a few. I know we are not alone but yet it has been hard. So enters the left out and all alone pity party of one as it seems everyone has plans to celebrate the coming year but you guessed it – me. Since this is not my first visit to the pitiful side of the street, I know that all the feelings are just that…feelings. Feelings that are not based in and on TRUTH. The truth – we are never alone or forsaken. Another truth – I’ve never really been much of a partyer and feel uncomfortable in large groups. So where does all this come from? The father of lies,Satan. He is trying to steal my joy in knowing who my Redeemer is and relishing all I have learned through this leg of my journey. My prayer for all out there that might be having similar feelings is this, simply ask God to show you how to use these feelings to grow you and allow the light of Christ to shine so that others may see and experience His love.

  • Christine Marie Zgrabik

    YES! YES! YES! I’ve felt this way and feel this way, I struggle with this on a regular basis, sad to say. This season of my life, it has seemed to impact me more as well at 46 years old! I actually think I handled it better when I was younger, it was friends or co workers, people who weren’t in my ‘home’ circle. Now, it’s with my adult children… and their significant others, it seems to “HAUNT” me! I’ve cried out to God daily, I’ve searched for every upside, I’ve read His word, I’ve spent time in devotion, I’ve prayed, I’ve vented to friends, I’ve preached to myself –“they’re adults” it’s life, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve! OH MY — I’VE!
    It’s NOT leaving me… It seems to be not what it looks like, I’m finding. It’s not about being called,talked too, or invited! The basis of the exact insecurity you mentioned, Lisa. It’s not feeling ‘good enough’, fear, insecurity. As soon as I feel I’ve released it, heck, I drive back around the block and throw the junk back in my trunk before leaving the neighborhood!
    WHAT? I’m loading it? YEP! I’m loading it, unloading it, loading it, unloading it… DANG, I need a smaller vehicle so this “garbage” won’t fit in my trunk anymore, I’d say — wouldn’t you? Nah, a smaller car will mean, I’ll find a way to tie it to the top, haul it from the back end, call someone to come pick it up for me!
    Well, maybe it’s abit far fetched, but not… Maybe this is where God is speaking to my heart? Maybe, just maybe he’s doing a work in me to move me to a NEW neighborhood! EH?
    I’d say YES! YES! YES! He is! He has set me on some path that I don’t understand, I feel weak, incapable and uncertain but KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt – HE IS! He does! He has it! HE is working!
    Moving — moving is hard work, there’s LOTS of prep work, lot’s to pack, calls to make, cries to be had, and relationship changes taking place all to “MOVE”! I’m MOVING Lysa! My address is changing! I don’t exactly when, I don’t know exactly where… but I know I’m moving!
    God has brought me through alot, many address changes, from the depths of despair post divorce to this address where I’m currently at. Seems I still have stuff in this neighborhood I can’t seem to leave. But, my pile … It’s getting smaller! When we move, we sell some stuff, unload some stuff, share some stuff and take with us some stuff. Then at our new address, we use some, buy some and unload some more. Guess I’m up for some more unloading?
    He is speaking to me continually, reassuring me thru Himself, church, His word, Proverbs 31, Lysa herself and other devotions. He is at work! He isn’t missing from my current ‘hood’, He’s going with me to my new address.
    I need to stop I’VEing it all and remember HE IS ing it all! I appreciate every and all you speak, you share, you email, you facebook, you instagram, I don’t twitter –so.
    In everything He is speaking, preparing, sharing and teaching!

    As I make this next address change — I will be busy preparing, waiting, listening and learning and best of all — LEANING! Leaning into Him!
    He’s the best post master of ALL!

    Thank you sincerely for everything! May God continue to watch over you, your family, your marriage, and His ministry, the address He has you at currently.

    Happy New Year!
    God Bless,
    Christine :)

  • Sherre Kinard Green

    I have dealt with this for a long time. I have come to find myself with very few friends but a lot of acquaintances. I kept wondering what was wrong with me and why didn’t I have a good friend or a best friend after living in our town for 13 years now. I was listening to some weight loss audio tapes that deal with how our minds control different areas of our lives unconsciously when it hit me! I didn’t have any close friends because I didn’t put myself “out there”. I was so shy and insecure that I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to be friends with me. I’ve pretty much been this way most of my adult life. I finally decided I was going to pick one woman that I really liked and would love to be friends with and I just blurted it all out and now we are good friends. It’s just been about 2 months, but we are getting closer and I couldn’t be happier about it. All of us are worthy and we all have something to offer to others. If we believe in ourselves, others will believe in us too. Thank you Lysa for yet another emotional break-through.

  • Jenny

    I worked for a large company with over 1000 employees for 16 years. I was a divorced single parent with no college. Everyone else had a college degree and most were married or hitting the bars. I didn’t fit into any category. I was also a known believer and Church goer which really made me stand out. I was very friendly and coordinated many food events at work and seemed to get a long with everyone but not once was I ever asked to do anything with anyone on the weekend. We also had a lot of people to get married and I not once got invited. Not to a birthday party or picnics or any social gathering that I would hear about after the fact or hear about the plans being made. It made me feel like a reject and I did wonder why I never got any invitations to anything ever. It did hurt but I knew I served a God that was in control so in between the tears I would just have a good talk with Jesus and get confirmation that I was and am valuable and a treasure and much loved. Still hurts though when you are left out.

  • Chessa Johnston

    I recently had a very hard situation of feeling left-out, un-invited, not good enough, you name it, I felt it. I have a childhood friend that I am still very close to. I have been with her through some of the most wonderful and difficult times of her life. About 7 years ago she was told that she could not have any more children because of cancer and would need a hysterectomy. It was heartbreaking for her. She had a son at the time but dreamed of having more. She started praying that she would one day be able to adopt. God answered her prayer just two years ago and brought her a beautiful 2 year old little girl. The fostering into adoption process was scary, painful and emotionally draining for my friend. For two years I listened to, prayed for, prayed with and as best as I could, felt like I was walking with her through it. I prayed with my friend many times for God’s will to be done, for wisdom, peace, the little girl, etc. I truly felt like, to an extent, I was going through it with her. Finally, the adoption day was scheduled and the little girl would be hers! Everyone was ecstatic. I knew the date of the adoption and even texted her that morning, anticipating the celebration that would take place that night for their new family. Later that day as I was on Facebook I saw pictures of the formal adoption that had taken place at the courthouse earlier that morning. I felt like I had been punched in the gut. Three of her others friends had been there in the room to witness the adoption and I had never even been invited. I was devastated. I was upset and depressed for almost two days straight wondering why I hadn’t been invited but those three friends had. I felt like I wasn’t important enough to my friend. I was miserable. Then, as I prayed about it and told God how much that had hurt me, I felt Him reassuring me that He was more than enough for me. Although I was deeply hurt, I knew that my friend could never love me perfectly and that she would never purposefully hurt me. I also reminded myself that the adoption was not about me but about an answer to my sweet friend’s prayer. It still stings a little if I think about it too long but when I think about God’s love for me, I know that I will always be invited to His presence and never left out.

  • Cathy Elias

    Lysa, It is not rejection, it is for your protection !!! God has a better appointment for you.

  • Chip Phipps

    I am a twin and we were always a package deal. As we became teenagers, she chose to take a promiscuous path. This was very difficult for me as I chose to stay pure and true to myself. I stopped getting invitations because of her behavior. In our high school years, I decided to not feel bothered by not being invited. I made a conscious choice to do this each time I was left out. This attitude helped me greatly in my friendships and still works for me today. The area in my life where I feel uninvited now is in my own family. My husband and two teenage boys do not include me in many of their plans. I love how close they are and that they enjoy each other’s company, but I can’t seem to make the conscious choice to not let this bother me no matter how hard I try. I work hard to fill my alone time with activities that bring me joy, but I can’t seem to shake the hurt.

  • Carrie

    I have a very difficult time. I am often invited to different parties in hopes that I’ll buy something but very rarely am i thought of for getting together because people want to spend time with me. I write my thoughts out. Sometimes in poetic form. And I pray.

  • Tina Miller

    Oh my goodness have I’ve had thoughts like that!! Plenty of times, and it’s a horrible feeling, thinking about it over and over.. Why I’m not good enough. Didn’t I fit in? The devil even plants thoughts like maybe it’s because of your color? And on and on.. But God has whisper you are mine!! I know this truth, but I still felt a bit hurt!!
    Lysa, so looking forward to reading this book!!
    Thank you Tina

  • Donna Boyk

    Wow…I don’t even have the words to describe what a struggle this for me. I am so excited for the new book to help me get over myself! ;-)

  • http://www.redeemedingrace.wordpress.com April

    I really appreciate this post. I think most women have been there, the uninvited one. Or how about this twist.. You invite a group to your house for a get together and no one shows up? People are busy and make plans on top of plans, etc. It happens. That is a different way of feeling uninvited. I think the key is to not let the hurt feelings create a deep groove in your heart for bitterness to fester. Then it leads to an unforgiving spirit and can hinder fellowship with God. I like what you said, “He made us to reach out not pull back.” Often if I am hurt by someone my tendency is to pull away out of self preservation. That isn’t what God wants. Forgiveness and grace are key for the uninvited one.

  • Anna

    I am a single adult woman who has never been married and now have no family. I have brothers and sisters but am ignored by all of them. They don’t invite me to any of their activities or celebration even during holidays. I have limited friends but their to don’t invite me to any of their activities. I am so alone that sometimes,I feel like I have a disease that you can catch and people avoid you. I have always felt so different from other people because I was not married and I wonder why it didn’t happen to me. I will soon be celebrating my 58 th birthday and once again I will be celebrating it by myself just like the rest of the holidays. I am home now and I am alone. Those words of being forgotten years ago are repeating themselves over and over when I was left behind as a child.

    • Jenny

      From one who understands that pain, I am sorry you are dealing with that. Happy early birthday! I just spent my 40th alone earlier this year. I made a trip to my college town and spent the day wandering around campus, so I wouldn’t be at home at least. It was a little less depressing that way. Treat yourself to a day away or a spa day for your birthday. Hope it turns out better than you expect!

  • Janette

    The first thought I had about being (un)invited actually relates to ministry. When I felt the call on my heart to minister to young mothers/young women who were hungry for “more” with God, I had no idea where I could even begin! I saw other women within the church and bloggers and writers who were using their gifts to help others and I wanted in. But God had a work to do in my own heart before he would open the doors and it began with inviting myself to my neighbor next door and ministering to her. God began teaching me about inviting His love into all my relationships and interactions with others. Because ultimately His is the greatest, most exclusive invitation anyone could receive! After a few years, God gave me more opportunities to serve and now I have been invited into leadership with women’s ministry and writing my own blog. All it was about whether I would accept and receive His invitation to the party in His kingdom, not my own.

  • Nichole

    Thank you for sharing! My whole life has been a struggle of not being “good enough” or “set-aside”. It has only been recent, through my walk with Christ and a wonderful group of ladies, that I have been able to replace the lies with Christ’s wonderful truths! i can not wait to read uninvited!

  • Lisa

    I think we all feel like this sometimes. Several months ago I saw cars lined up at a neighbors and realized that several of my friends were over there but I was not. I felt that I had more of a connection than some of the guests. My twelve year old son had also noticed and he made a comment to make me feel better saying that he didn’t think I would like the wine that they were serving. I appreciate this post because I sometimes hear the same thing from my kids. I am saving this post to show them when that are upset about not being invited to something. As a mom it breaks your heart to see your child hurt and feeling left out, a good response is to let them know that it is part of His plan. He may be keeping them from something that He does not want them to take part in, or He may be directing them towards something else.

  • Robin Lee

    I think, sometimes, that you are walking around behind me watching my life. Then telling me what I need to hear. I like to blame my hubby for not making so much money that I can throw the parties everyone wants to come to. I am mature that way…

  • Leslie

    This post really helped as I sit alone tonight because I could tell myself “even Lysa TerKeurst didn’t get invited”. And then the Truths that you spoke, spoke to my heart. I was handicapped by a drunk driver in 2005 and since that time people don’t tend to invite me places. I try to volunteer for as much as I can at church, so that people will see I don’t let my handicaps define me, but nevertheless my husband and I have very few invitations. Even when I initiate and invite others, they seldom reciprocate. It does make you start asking yourself “what is wrong with me?” The enemy is such an accuser! Thanks for reminding me that I can redeem that alone time by spending it with my very best friend, who loves me unconditionally and is always read to spend His time with me! Perhaps God also wants to know why I so often don’t invite Him?

  • Jenny

    As a single woman over age 40, never married, this is a struggle for me every day. I have never known what it is like to be chosen. And my single status keeps me from really fitting in, even in church, where the focus is on marriage and families. It easily feels like I’ll never be ‘enough’ – pretty enough, smart enough, thin enough, ‘whatever’ enough. Add to that also not being ‘good enough’ for the career I dreamed of. So one rejection after another. I know I’m supposed to find the answer in faith and I know I’m supposed to believe that God’s plan is better than mine and His love for me is greater than I can even imagine. And that is where I’m searching to try to find peace. But the daily struggles, wondering what is so wrong with me that nobody is, or ever has been, the least bit interested in me, are very real. So, I’m still searching, trying to fight the negative thoughts, and figuring out how to deal with never being good enough. A work in progress.

  • beth

    I have been wondering for a year and a half how I can be good enough for most people and not for others. how is it most people can see God in me and the one who is supposed to love me more than anyone else cant? how I was good enough for 31 years and then…not. I grew up in a house with 7 kids, and never felt good enough. Then I met my husband and he made me feel like I was awesome. he was my world for 31 years. Then he left…if that isn’t the biggest “your not good enough” statement in the world I don’t know what is? I fight everyday to remember that God thinks I am more than good enough and that that is all I need. but I miss him so much that sometimes I still cry. I fight everyday to remember I am never alone, but its not the same thing as having someone there to hold you, hug you, just be with you. I know God will always be there, will always love me, will always accept me for me, And I need to learn that I deserve that, I am more than good enough because God says so!! and if the creator of the universe says its so than it must be true! I ask you all to add me to your prayers as I am praying for the healing of my heart, my husbands heart and our marriage. Thank you for your inspiration. Happy and Safe New Year!

  • Christina Frailey

    I have felt that way most of my life. First, because I have a perfectionist personality, I never think I’m good enough. Then when I was in Junior High ai went to a VERY small christian school with less than 10 girls in my class. If one didn’t like you, none of them liked you. I started high school at a different school where the rest of them had been since kindergarten. ..really difficult to find a place. Now I still frequently feel that way. I’m still single and almost all my friends are married with children. I frequently get left out because I don’t have as much in common. I have had to fight insecurity most of my life. Praise the Lord that He keeps showing me again and again that He will never reject me! Thank you for sharing your struggle too.

  • Teachermom47

    I have struggled with this for many years. This way of thinking has often added to my depression. I unfortunately have a very negative self image. Even doubting Christ’s love for me. For me, when I do notice those thoughts creeping in, I try to focus on the relationships I do have. My husband and son, my few but very dear friends, my church family. I anxiously await your “Uninvited” book. I’ll be one of the first to purchase it.

  • Erin Lambert Mayeux

    Yes, my husband and I feel this way often; we are parents of a special needs child. We don’t get invited many places, esp by those with typical children & families. Some people are afraid of my son b/c he is different, he may be a teen but doesn’t necessarily enjoy “teen” things. We often feel isolated from the outside world. I work for our church in their special needs ministry, so we have met other families like ours, and those are the people that tend to welcome everyone and are “real” despite everything. We learned early on in my son’s diagnosis who our “real” friends were; people that weren’t afraid their child would “catch” my son’s autism, people that treated my son like a person, which he is, and people that were interested in our lives just like before my son’s diagnosis. Jesus has been our foundation to lean on and keep going. God never promised that being a Christan would be easy, but he does promise to be with you always when you put your faith and trust in Him.

  • Jodie Frye

    First, let me say thank you for being so incredibly vulnerable in sharing this. I know it must have been hard. *Risky*
    I mean you are Lysa TerKeurst, who wouldn’t want you at their party? You can come to my party any day, oh what a gift that would be :-)

    My “uninvited” whisper is usually, “No one really likes you.” Or, the middle school one, “You’re just not cool enough.”

    It’s all really the fear of rejection. And we’ve all experienced it to one degree or another.

    Our little-girl hearts hiding inside our grown-up heads. What we feel deep from the outside doesn’t match what we know deep on the inside. And there’s a tug-of-war.

    Happens to me, more often than I want to admit. But … Grace whispers.
    And I’m learning to give that little-girl heart room to peek, room to risk, room to be the one who does the inviting. Room to learn contentment.

    Jesus plus no one else.

    Happy wonderful New Year❤️

  • Shauney Behnke

    It is uncanny how much this parallels with all of my feelings lately. I’m a new mom to a sweet 8 month old boy and my wonderful husband is a trauma nurse. Before our baby came, I was so involved with our church and became close with the ladies from our small group. However, when we had our baby it was our first and an adjustment. My husband’s days/hours don’t always give me the ability to attend evening events. I’m also a teacher/grad student, so once August hit I’ve been overwhelmingly busy (made me love your “The Best Yes” book all the more).

    Anyway, I’ve noticed that I’m left out of many things with my friends from our small group. I’m oddly finding myself walking into hearing inside stories from play dates, weekend get togethers, etc. Also, feeling like there are other moms in our Sunday school group that make it a priority (with baby in tote) to be at events. I’ve tried and I just can’t do that all of the time. Facebook and Instagram don’t help either… It makes me feel like something is wrong with me, or makes me wonder what I did to upset someone. I try to fight the feelings and decide to just block those people out. Maybe if I ignore them, then they’ll miss me. On the other hand, I think that if I organize play dates, events, etc. then it’ll all be better. It’s a terrible way to look at it and afterwards I have an awful feeling. I need to trust that I am who God wants me to be and that the loneliness, frustration, and rejection come from Satan.

    I’m looking forward to your new book! Sorry I unloaded on the comments section.

  • Lisa Montano

    Thank you for this post!
    As the New Year rolls in, I sit in my humble home alone. A few years ago I was the recipient of the ultimate uninvited, my husband of 26 years left me for another woman.
    Now, I am blessed. I have a place of my own. I have a vehicle to get around in, and food on the table.
    So many friends and acquaintances tell me, wow you are so lucky, you can do whatever you want whenever you want. Or , how great that would be, if I were you, I’d never want another relationship!
    I wish I could give them a glimpse into what being single in your 50s means.
    It means you are uninvited to an extended family that was once a big part of your life.
    It means there will be holidays that you are uninvited to, as your children go away to spend time in someone else’s house.
    It means you are uninvited to that close little social circle you once were a part of. After all, you are divorced now, and that is all at once frightening and threatening to the couples you’ve known.
    It means you are uninvited to a lot of church situations. Churches like their 50 somethings married and parts of a stable couple, not single.
    It means fighting the feeling of being less than, of being not good enough, of being the third wheel, of being uninvited to the big party of life.
    I relish the fact that I am invited by God, especially when the uninvites seem to pile up.

  • Kelly Hodgkins

    Oh yes, I can relate! It isn’t only when someone doesn’t invite you, sometimes it’s when you are invited but stand on the edge feeling more the observer than included – can’t wait for the book!

  • Sheila Sanders

    Well- I’m going back to middle school and i just gotta ask, “You weren’t invited??? Are you kidding me?” I would LOVE to have you over to my house. God invites us to His house for a banquet every day! It’s up to us to say, “yes- I would love to come!” And then let Him love on us lavishly.

  • Pam

    Lisa, I read your blog on the first day of 2016 and as I read about your uninvited circumstance all the resolve I had had the night before to let go of the insecure feelings around being “good enough” came flooding back. Triggers do that and I rarely handle them well. Your story was my story with colleagues of mine. It triggered all the feelings of rejection I felt with my uninvited situation.
    I am a school teacher and one woman on our staff was celebrating her 50th birthday party. Almost all of the women on staff were invited to the party and I only found out about it through a series of lovely photos on Facebook. I was so incredibly hurt and I dealt with that pain by sharing it with some friends who understood. What I didn’t do was share that raw emotion with God. I wanted to be angry and sad and lick my wounds and say, “See, once again, I am the one left out. I’m not good enough.” I found out it was a surprise party and the one organizing it clearly did not think about inviting me. It was not intentional. I was simply not on the list. In some ways that hurt more because for whatever reason I was not considered to be included.
    I loved what you wrote about God and that he did not make us to simply be “good enough.” God’s intention was and is to include His children in His creation of this world and we are in His image. We are his perfect creation and what we struggle with is living out a life for God in a world that is for the self. The self can never measure up in this fallen world and yet I still try to do that on so many occasions. When I am triggered in those tender areas I freeze and go to a place of self talk that is negative. It is a process and I am learning to give myself more grace, as my negative habits have lessened.
    Why have those poor habits lessened and the positive habits taken hold? Because when I get over my moment of freezing and I don’t get caught up in the emotion I am left with a choice. I can wallow in my upset and be fuelled by the negative swirl of emotions, or I can take “it” to God. When I take my struggle to God and I bathe myself in His scripture I am amazed at what truths lift off the page and rest in my heart. He blesses me every time that I move towards Him and away from those feelings of low self worth, rejection, fear, the list goes on.
    I made a resolution last night that 2016 would be about letting go of low self worth and all the fears attached to it. Lord, in the place of those feelings of loss I look to your promises. In every situation where I am tempted to rely on past fears to define me I promise to look to your scripture and allow it to refine me. Amen!
    Thank you, Lisa, for helping to renew my resolve. Almost every scripture you included here is a memory verse I have practiced memorizing this past year. Some I have forgotten. Thanks for the renewed inspiration in where to begin in my Bible reading. God bless to you and your family in 2016.

  • Jennifer Pettiford

    Sadly, I can totally relate; the past year my college age daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Life has been a whirlwind with all the needs and daily changes a baby brings. Here is the sad part, our church family made a point to complete ignore us as though we had leprosy. Yes, my daughter is unmarried, yes having a baby while in college was unplanned. Did this make my daughter less of person, she grew up serving their families. Watching their children, feeding them, playing with them. And seeing her or me at the local target caused them to turn around and walk the other direction. How sad is that? Where is the Christian love? … They have missed out on the wonderful things that this little boy has brought to our world. I am proud that my daughter Jessica did not abort her pregnancy, two weeks after giving birth she returned to school and she works part-time. She is persevering doing a great job as a new mommy. On December 24th he turned one. Life with this baby has been one blessing after another. He lacks not one good thing. I just hurts me to imagine how unloving the small community of believers that I once fellowshiped with could be so inconsistent in love mercy and grace..

  • Claire

    Reading these comments has been both heartbreaking and encouraging. I feel less alone in this issue, and my heart goes out to people who have been unfairly uninvited. If any of you live near Albany NY, please let me know, and I would love to invite you for some friendship/fellowship!

  • Lori Godfrey

    I feel this way a lot. We ran into friends at dinner last night; a group of them. I felt left out. I always wonder why we don’t have a group of friends to do things with. I continually tend to ask myself why. Am I not fun? Am I fake? What is it about me or what I do that people don’t want to be around me? What is wrong with me and why can’t I figure out what I need to change in order for people to include me? This seems to happen quite a bit and I wonder if I were included would I be happy that I was approved by them? Would I stop seeking God’s approval? These are good Christian people, and they did nothing wrong. It is just how I feel about the situation and how I choose to perceive the motives of people. Like you, Lysa, it’s just they didn’t think to include us; no ugly intentions were involved. I talked to the Lord about it…I’m trusting that He will work this out in me not them.

  • Suzanne Pregmon Vierling

    Wow Lysa, this hits home with me. I had a similar experience this past summer when a group friends had a ladies night out and I was not invited. I was very hurt to begin with but what made it even worse is that I found out about it on facebook! (This explains my love/hate relationship with social media.) Nothing like seeing pics of what you think are your good friends having fun without you and then publicly commenting about it. I saw these same friends the day of and week of because I was transporting and teaching their kids at vacation Bible school. I agree, as a 44 year old grown woman, I felt silly for feeling this way and yes it brought back memories of middle school all over again. I will admit that becsuse of this situation, I felt even more loved by God because no matter the rejection I felt, He loves me and I do matter to Him.

  • RL

    Wow Lysa. Do you have spies in my house? Thank you for writing this post and I look forward to your book! Recently this exact same scenario happened in my life, except it was a wedding. I have justified the uninvite by assuming they wanted to “keep it small”. Indeed, I heard there was standing room only during the ceremony. I was given a keepsake ornament because the bride wanted me to have one. How nice. Each year I can hang it on my tree and remember a time I wasn’t “good enough”. I can’t tell you how I worked through this because I have not. Obviously. But here is what I have done. I have asked God to show me who in my area needs a friend. Now I will ask God who doesn’t feel like she is “good enough”. I am looking forward to His answer. Thank you again, Lysa!

  • http://charcats7.blogspot.com/ Charlene Ricketts

    Lysa – reading your post just flooded with me with so many painful memories of being left out. In grammar school I was bullied. I was never picked for teams, constantly teased and overall just unwanted. I was also an only child which made my best friend my dog. High school wasn’t much better, but the teasing was much less. At one point, I considered suicide as I felt my parents didn’t want me either as they would never let me do anything & I spent a lot of time in my room with no one to talk to. Today’s level of technology makes it even more apparent the bullying and being left out. After all- you can tag all your friends and invite them to a party. It took a long time to leave the pity party behind. I went to church with a friend but was never ‘good enough’ for Jesus. No one ever explained to me that Jesus didn’t come for the perfect, but for those who weren’t. No one invited me to know Him. I wasn’t good enough. I had to be “right” with God first. I didn’t know the truth. I still prayed to God. I knew there had to be a creator as the ocean was too complex, vast, beautiful & the red wood trees too amazing (I grew up on the coast in CA). God had to be with me all that time- as there were so many times I screwed up and probably should never have survived driving on the Los Angeles interstates or several other situations I was in while being young & stupid. A few years after I was married (for the 2nd time) we were at an Amway convention & they explained that Jesus came to save those who were NOT perfect. That He would accept me just as I was. I didn’t have to be perfect first. That He already loved me – I didn’t have to prove anything.

    I have revisited that pity party left out feeling many times over the years since then. People at work saying nice things to my face & then stabbing me in the back later. Watching others plan to go to lunch & no one saying anything to me. Christmas cards & gifts put on desks while mine remained empty – or at least scant in comparison to others. I remind myself that comparison is not right- that their approval & acceptance doesn’t count. But it does still hurt. I was even unwanted & made felt unwelcome at church when my husband deployed to Iraqi Freedom III – they stopped talking to me. No one ever asked if I needed anything. Nor did they call and check on me when I didn’t show up. Talk about feeling unwanted.

    The thing is to get on my knees & tell God I hurt & ask Him to fill that gap. And He does every time. Satan tries to convince me that what others do & think toward me is important. So I read every day in the Bible so that God’s voice is louder than the lie. It’s not always easy & sometimes I struggle. But the more I stay in the Word- the less that struggle is. It’s the only way. Focusing on Jesus & His sacrifice to purchase us – the price He had to pay for ME- as He would have done it if I was the only one. He chose ME. That’s above and beyond than what anyone could say or do – or not say or do – to me. Jesus endured all of the world’s sin – even if there was only one to be saved….

  • Elaine Pool

    Oh, my word, you are speaking to me!!! At 57 years old (ahem) I STILL get those middle-school feelings. Two examples: once at our church, we had an outreach program/chili dinner, where each lady was to “host” a table of friends and new people. No one sat at my table. All night. At. All. Another lady and I “laughed” about it then, but seriously? I was dying inside. The other time was a few years ago, when I tried hosting an (in)real life weekend, and got no one to come. Again. So, back in middle school! But, as you do, I rest on (DEPEND ON) the knowledge that God chose me, and HE thinks I’m great company! Thank you for the empathy, Lysa!

  • Karen Eberts

    Oh, Lysa! You have such an amazing gift for writing…vulnerably, honestly, self-deprecatingly!! Love you, girl! As for my own reflections on “uninvited,” there was a time in my life where I definitely didn’t feel “good enough.” Not good enough to have true, loyal friends. Not good enough to be asked to help on special seminars at church. Not good enough to risk revealing the brokenness OR the uniqueness of who I was inside. What I needed was to be loved, “warts and all.” Thankfully the Lord placed me in the midst of a group of people who loved HIM, and recognized their own brokenness, so they could love ME! Through the practice of affirmation, both on my own (so I could believe good things about myself,) as well as with others (so we could believe good things about each other,) I was gradually healed. I was loved into wholeness…by the Lord, and by His people. That transformation placed a deep desire within me to nurture the broken places in other women. It led to years of ministry in the church as well as in my job and in the community, to nurture, love-on and affirm others. I have, by the grace of God, become very “other” centered, and now if someone rejects me, ends our friendship or says something unkind, I automatically think, “wow..they must have such brokenness in their lives to have acted like that.” I no longer think it is “me,” as I’ve been so affirmed through the years that my self-esteem is intact, no matter what others say or do. Of course I do pray and examine any part I may have in the interaction that might have contributed to the outcome, but unless the Lord convicts me of wrongdoing, I am now able to let go of the outcome, or even the relationship, if the other party is no longer desiring of it. This has been such a gift, as it frees me to continue to reach out to others and know if I am not “chosen,” it isn’t really about me at all anymore.

  • Linda Meier Maybee

    I too have been (un)invited and felt the sting of disappointment and nagging mediation of self-doubt. And yet just recently, I was “invited”. And though honored someone remembered me, I wondered why this invitation meant so much to me when deep down I really desired to decline the welcome. It meant a lot that I was considered to join the group, but did I really want to be in their company? Would attending actually feed my self-doubt and feelings of not being accepted because this group has already established a history of gathering together and I am the “newbie”. Would they chatter about past events together when I was (un)invited, leaving me out-of-the-loop and wanting to seek a quick exit so I can go loath in my disappointment? Or would it be different? Would they bring me in and create new stories in that moment as a participant in the fellowship? Sometimes the invite is just as difficult as the (un)invite. So what will I be doing? RSVP “yes”. Though I was overlooked in the past, it was an “invite” after all. Participating might bring disappointment, but it also could be be the beginning of something I very much need in my life…fellowship. A risk I am willing to take.

  • Wendy Everett

    Lysa, Reading this and thinking about your book I am reminded of personal experience I had a few years ago. It’s a simple story with a lesson that changed my life. I went on a mission trip where I knew no one except my teen-aged kids. Not to worry, I am a 45 year old extrovert and I’ve never had a hard time connecting with people and making friends. I also knew that bonding with people who were guided by the same Spirit to make it a resource priority to be on a trip like this would make connections even more easy. So middle school came abruptly and caught me totally off guard when, the first night we arrived, I carried my big smile and tray of food up to the nearest table to sit down and was told, “oh- we’re saving that seat for someone.” No problem, next table… rinse and repeat. Really? Rejected again? And suddenly, just like that, I was in Junior High. It was this overwhelming, paralyzing fear and sense of inadequacy. I mustered everything I had and tried again. After the third rejection, I found a lonely chair propping the door to the cafeteria open and slumped into it. I felt pathetic. The next morning, I avoided the scene altogether and took my breakfast straight back to my tent, eating alone where I could be pathetic in private, thank you very much. The next night I surveyed the scene, looking for a totally empty table, unwilling to risk rejection, prepared to take my meal to my tent when someone said, “Hey Wendy, come sit with us!” I will never for as long as I live forget the power of those words. I have used them many, many times since. I have made it my personal mission to be someone who says to ALL “come sit with me” – in my words and my behavior. Sometimes people respond, in essence, “No thanks, I’ve got other plans” but THAT never feels like rejection to me. I just want people to know they have a PLACE… that they are welcome beside me, that I’ll make room. I have been surprised over and over at how powerful the message of “come sit with me” is – even to people who may seem outgoing and confident. EVERYONE wants to be included. And isn’t this the message of Jesus after all? –Thanks for sharing your story. I related to the emotional struggle that you felt you should be mature enough to manage your internal response differently. At the end of the day, I don’t think it matters how mature, secure or confident we are, everyone wants to be included/invited. And, praise the Lord, we are! :) So, I loved your choice to take that time to banquet with Him. We won’t always be included with people, and that will hurt sometimes. We can become more sensitive to making room for others and we can enjoy our banquetting with Him. Thanks for being so honest and real.

  • Bev Nelson Womack

    This is my life… 46 & still not invited. I go to the bible studies (& have even led them), and never seem to truly connect with anyone. Everyone seems to have these “set ” groups that don’t have room for anyone else. I serve, and lead a team at church, again – people don’t seem to want to connect. i serve tons at my kids school, lead on the PTO, have tons of acquaintances, but no true friendships – I’m never invited. It’s clearly me. People always say how nice I am, I’m always friendly. I pray about this a lot. I just figure God has a reason for me to be in this desert. I do have feelings of rejection, & it takes me a little bit to work through. I eventually tell myself “stop!”, jump off the crazy thought train, and stop listening to the negative thoughts. I know God loves me & has better plans got me

  • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

    Thank you for this, Lysa. We normally throw a party of some sort for New Year’s Eve, but not this year. And nobody invited us to their parties, either, which was okay. Until my husband decided to drive by our friends’ new house (he’d helped them move, but I hadn’t been there yet) after a quiet dinner and our exciting trip to Walmart. I’d like to say it didn’t bother me to see cars lined up in their driveway and realize they were having a party – that we weren’t invited to – but it did, a little. Not a lot. But a little. So thank you for this reminder. I needed it.

  • Kim

    Been there also, even with Church friends.
    I think why am I not invited??Do I not belong?
    Can’t wait ffor the book.

  • disqus_ugi36YRRkc

    I recently experienced being “uninvited” when I found out about a gathering of friends the night before on social media and I hadn’t gotten a call or text to come over for the gathering. I was going through some things at the time, and would have loved to have been asked over. Though I knew I had done some things to push my friends away during what I was going through, and I needed to get with God about it all, it hurt a lot at the time to not be invited. I wondered, in my hurt, if anyone would miss me if I just took off for a while and didn’t communicate that with anyone. Well, God has answered that in such a magnificent way. He has restored the friendship, and even brought a new friend in to speak to other areas I’d been struggling with. He heard my heart cry when I came before Him out of this disappointment and hurt I was going through, and gave that disappointment and hurt to Him – because I couldn’t deal with it on my own, in my own brokenness. He reminded me to cry out to Him, that He loves me, He is for me, and He is sovereign.

  • rikkihester

    I could not have read this post at a better time. I am struggling so much in the area of friendship. I have prayed and prayed that God give me godly women to come into my life; women that are in the same area of life as me. As I have prayed this, my group of close-knit friends seems to be getting smaller, not bigger! I have concluded that God is working out in me who he would have me share my life with…really share my life with. That should be more of my husband and kids, honestly. Also, and ultimately, more of Him. I also believe that I am finding more and more the older I get, who God intends to make me close with….He has really given me a gift of discernment, and someone with past issues resulting in trust issues, this is huge!

    When I read this, I was just coming off having a little pity party, because not only had we not been invited to anything on New Year’s Eve, when I tried to host something at my house, no one could/would come because they all had plans!!! I mean, I was BUMMED! At the end of it all, my sweet husband knew how heavy hearted I was (and have been in general concerning this area), and suggested that we take a little road trip to see my best friend who moved away (due to ministry) 3 years ago! It was the best New Year’s Eve I have had in several years and it was just more confirmation that God DOES care about what we care about. God DOES have our best interests at heart and He loves me beyond anything I can ever comprehend! I loved loved this post and CANNOT wait to read your new book!!!!

  • Journey To Him

    Uninvited. A word that packs a punch and spans wider than just being uninvited to a social event… Uninvited to that promotion. Uninvited to the love of a man in singleness. Uninvited to be cherished by parents. Uninvited to the healing of illness. Uninvited to the perfect marriage and perfect mom club. Uninvited to a pretty face and svelte body. Uninvited to financial security. And possibly the worst, uninvited to know the love of God.

    Uninvited dredges up feelings of inadequacy which quickly pulls me into the trap of comparison. The solution of course is, being fully confident in God’s love for us, but that isn’t typically our first response. We seem to wallow in the “uninvited pool” for a while before we get the courage to walk on the water. Hurry up and finish this book!! I need it and can’t wait to read it. Your Compel sister.

  • Vicki Graham

    I often feel this way. A while back someone posted on Facebook about how they had 5 invites to Labor Day parties and I didn’t have any!! The only time I ever got invited to anything was when a whole group was invited. And sometimes people say why don’t you have a party and invite people, and my response is, “I’m afraid if I invite them, they won’t come because they have plans that are better than me.”

    Currently right now, I feel that if I’m invited great, and if I’m not, then I didn’t want to come anyway. Well actually I did, but I don’t tell anyone that ;).

    However, I am looking forward to the book.

  • Linda D Lettan

    My family has always treated me like the black sheep of the family.. I have always thought it was me! I realize it’s not me, I service a God of possibilities.. Amen

  • MB

    How did you? How did you look into my heart and life and see what the pain and heartache of a life of not being enough has wrought? I feel I am not enough for anyone. I am not skinny enough, not quiet enough, not submissive enough, not godly enough, not rich enough, not mom enough, not wife enough. Every year, I tell myself this will be the year that I put those voices away and take the counsel I’ve given others for years…that we are enough because He says we are enough. He died for me, so what other possible endorsement could I need? But I find that I do. I do need to be validated. Not in a worldwide name in lights kind of way, but the quiet respect and value of those I respect and value. Every year, I fall short. Every year, I let the lack of worth rear its ugly head and bring me back down. And the craziest thing? No one who knows me would EVER think I feel this way. No one.

  • Regina

    Oftentimes, when I think I want to go to something and I’m not “chosen” I get honest with myself beyond the hurt in order to realize that God knew all along that I did not need to be at that event, that party, spending time with those people at that time. And it is most often because He has to show me something and needs me alone, quiet and still to see it.

    Excited to read your book! And to hear you speak this summer at Milestone Church in TX.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Melanie Costello

    When I first read this on New Year’s Eve my plans for welcoming the new year with my husband involved pajamas, more junk food and Netflix. I refused to have a pity party that no one had thought to invite us anywhere and chose to relax and laugh and cuddle the one who knows me best. But as I thought about this some more I shifted my focus and thought from the other side: our annual Christmas party earlier in December was downsized this year. For various health reasons and personal challenges we went from inviting 50 people to 25. One evening about a week before the party the phone rang and it was a friend whom we did not invite this year. She was calling to ask about our party, were we having one this year? We had thought and planned carefully about whom we invited. The guilt and uncertainty of our invite list overwhelmed me. My husband began to remind me of why we scaled down the party and that lots of people wouldn’t be coming who had come in previous years. I had to be reminded that we did the right thing for our family, our health and finances (this party has cost in the thousands of dollars and that’s just something we couldn’t do) without wanting to have any bad feelings we were honest with the friend who called to ask. Honesty and openness were the only options for the uninvited. So I’ve been on both sides of the uninvited and need to be confident of who I am in Christ from both sides of the invite.

  • Valerie

    I feel this way often and appreciate hearing your perspective on how you turned a negative emotion into a positive.

    Thank you

  • Beth Williams

    Lysa,

    God’s thoughts of us are lavish. Why He even rejoices over us with singing. Wow can’t even wrap my mind around that! There are times when I wonder why God even loves me–little old me! My biggest problem is low self esteem. I often feel “not good enough, not wanted or needed”. I haven’t gotten over that in 50 years.

    Tonight my sweet hubby and I are going to snuggle on the couch and watch War Room together-I’ve seen it already. It should be fun and plus it’s God time!

    Blessings :)

  • In His Presence

    Comments on “Un-invited”

    Wow…I can share several stories on being “Un-invited”, but being uninvited,, Here is a sample for you to develop if you dare,,

    Imagine a single woman who is God fearing, God loving, vibrant, intelligent, giving and attempts, with the grace of God, to live a godly life.

    Imagine this same person with lots of friends who one by one get married off…but this person as they say “:is still single”..

    Imagine that, because this person is “still single” , she does not get invitations to the dinners, picnics, social functions, etc…because they know, with her courage, she is not afraid to show up alone…but, because everyone else will be “coupled” off, it is best not invite her to the functions…not even weddings…

    Imagine going to the mailbox looking for “your” invitation…that never comes.

    Imagine constantly being asked “When are you going to get married?”, as if she can magically make it happen,,,not “prayfully” make it happen,

    Imagine refusing to “compromise” your walk with Jesus Christ when you have been told that you “need to use the TOOLS God gave you to get a man”..

    Imagine, if you dare, excitedly looking forward to the “class reunions”, and “family reunions” . Everyone knows that you will attend, because you are so friendly, strong, unafraid, etc.,. but, they don’t know how you fight “the spirit of dread” dreading the same question…year after year…”WHEN will you GET MARRIED GIRL?”

    So you remain UN-INVITED…they want to INVITE you to other things…if and when you get MARRIED.

    I could go on…but for now…and at your request…just wanted to add my thoughts on Un-invited.,,

    • Angel Andrew

      Having been married and now a single mom, I can relate to you. My married friends don’t invite me because now it’s just awkward but then again neither do my single friends because they thought my boys were with me but didn’t even bother to ask.

      The most painful is when you see pictures posted later or hear about it with the “why didn’t you come?” response. To which I reply, “because I didn’t know about it.”

      The reversal is me doing the inviting in which friends seem interested and actually show up! While other times is a complete miss and people are busy or tired or have other plans. My love language is quality time but I am not a gatherer. I thrive on encouraging others, loving on them, and helping them succeed in life. Reciprocation is difficult to find.

      I agree that it is not worth compromising values, giftings, callings, etc., in order to find a true companion. I even had a well-meaning friend tell me that I should be open to looking for a man who doesn’t believe the same as me. Uh, no…thank you!

      One of the sweet ladies at the place where my boys get their hair cut always tells me how beautiful I am and asks if I have found anyone yet. She is so precious but really do not like having that conversation each time.

      My friends, who have either never been married or divorced like me, console each other from time to time. All I can really do to encourage them is say that I am praying for them. We have a small church and pickins’ is slim for us older gals! For the last couple of years I have been praying for true worthy godly partners for our singles. So far our 20 somethings have found what seems like “the one”. We’ve had a couple of weddings. I’ll know my prayer is working when my friends also find the one worthy of them! Haha! God is the God of impossible, right? Nothing is to hard for Him (as He reminds me from time to time!)

      All I know is that God made a promise and a promise made by Him is a promise kept. I will keep praying, declaring, and agreeing with Him. Not just for that special someone but also for friendships and relational reversals. I keep asking for His healing light to heal the painful places of unintentional neglect and ignorance.

      I love my church family but what you and I are experiencing puts us in a place to truly understand what others outside the church walls are feeling and going through. And that is without hope, without knowing our Beloved Heavenly Father, without knowing His true, deep, extravagant love like we know it.

      Love you in Christ!

  • Laurie Gregory

    I have often felt this way too, both in middle school and in my adult life. My husband and I both do not drink alcohol, and sadly that has resulted in some people not including us anymore. However, I have found that usually when I am spending time focused on someone who doesn’t want to be with me I am missing out on being with someone who does. Because there is always who does, and it is probably someone I have neglected or forgotten about. This year we spent New Year’s Eve with my parents, drinking tea, eating cookies, and watching the ball drop. Would some see that as boring? I’m sure they would. But I treasure that special time I had with the people who love me most!

  • Sarah

    Yeah, I have this, too. Except I get it whenever I make a mistake. I tell myself that I’m not good enough because I do something that I see as bad, and then I beat myself up because I see myself as a Failure. I’m talking to my therapist about this, but it’s still really hard. I spent many years going to 2 churches, and I really didn’t have friends. I had, like, one friend. And so at the one church the only people who hung out with me were really mean, if they paid any attention to me at all. And whenever someone had, like, a clumsy moment, they would say to that person stuff like, “You’re a Fail.”. And I internalized it, and even now, years later, I still catch myself calling me that. I don’t even say it other people; just me. So I struggle with being “uninvited” to God’s great calling for me. By me. So yeah. I get this. Thank you for posting this!

  • Don’tGoBaconMyHeart

    I had a dramatic, cry-filled morning because I accidentally screwed up a client file in a big way. Frantically corrected it and sent the revised file, only to realize 15 min later I had made another error and had to eat crow and resend AGAIN, even though at that point I had missed the necessary deadline. You want to talk about how many times I told myself I wasn’t good enough this morning? Not good enough to call myself a graphic designer, not good enough to do “anything right”? It’s a story I tell myself constantly. And the biggest one of all – I’m not a good enough Christian. I see so many other women who have these amazing conversations with God, amazing breakthroughs, amazing moments of ministering, encouraging, leading, etc., and I feel like I fail as a Christian at least a hundred times a day. And here’s a confession, I struggle with comparing myself to my 16 yr old step-daughter. She’s taller, absolutely gorgeous, perfect body, can wear anything and look flawless, super thick hair that can always pull off the perfect messy bun, and a sweet, fun personality that draws people to her and everyone loves her. So in essence, the polar opposite of me. So I don’t feel as left out with friends as much as I feel inferior and “not good enough” to a teenager! I’ve been praying that the Lord helps me to see her and myself through HIS eyes, and not from a worldly standpoint because I’ll tell ya, when we walk out of the house and she looks like a Pinterest board and I look…so not like that, I hear the whisper over and over, you’re not good enough. You will never measure up to anyone or anything. I know that’s a lie, but it’s incredible how “truthful” that lie seems.

  • Jessa

    Just today I was struggling with that heart wrenching feeling on not be “good enough.” Not being pretty enough. Not being funny enough. Not being interesting enough. I wanna be the girl that everyone wants to be friends with. I wanna be the girl that people want to go out to lunch with and go shopping with. And when I’m not that girl I fall into this crazy whirlwhind of emotions and I begin telling myself that I’m never going to be worthy of God’s love. Despite all this, the Lord always pulls through and holds me in his arms, providing the comfort that I need. And He opens up my eyes to show me what my beautiful soul has to offer to the world.

  • Jenny C.

    Hi Lysa. Oh yes, I’ve definitely experienced this, in ” worldly” circles for sure, but I’m sad to say in the church too…Even in the church there’s the in crowd & those on the outside looking in. When this happens, I try to remember to keep my eyes on Jesus, not other humans, and also look around for another “uninvited” one who I could maybe reach out to. It’s hard when these situations come, sometimes I’m ok, other times it really hurts….I’m very interested in your book. Oh one last thing, it really hurts when this happens to one of my kids. We know Jesus loves us & never leaves us, but sometimes things can still be rough.

  • Angel Rose Celestian

    I recently had a revelation about not feeling good enough. Businesses thrive on making all of us not feel good enough, and this includes men. News stands are flooded with magazines saying to “”Look younger, thinner, prevent/reduce wrinkles, hide gray hair””, etc. And then they sell you products with a false promise that their product will make you better. If we were all taught the truth……that we are already good enough as we are, businesses would never make any money. It is up to us to remind ourselves, as well as encourage others that our hair is fine as it is, our lashes are fine as they are, our bodies are fine as they are, our wrinkles do not need reducing, (it comes with age anyway so why fight it?) Bottom line…..we are all fine as we are. We are already good enough…….and we do not need advertisements/products telling us otherwise.

  • Kasi McClure

    I can’t help but think people see your life (or our lives) and THINK it’s full. They see lots of family, up front blogs, a couple social facebook friends, and ASSUME we probably have a full life with “enough” people in it. Plus, seeing an invite on a fridge is less harsh than someone specifically ex-ing you out :) Which might’ve not even been the case. If you were my bff, I’d be like chill, bro. You’re awesome. But overall, assumptions are sneaky and deadly. The truth brings life. I understand your story is feeling left out or unwanted… but surely someone close in our life can reassure us that we are wanted, invited, and special. We all know at least one person! In Ephesians it’s says we were chosen, loved, and guaranteed of our importance via the Holy Spirit. He is the arm around us when we are feeling like the turd in a punchbowl. Beautiful story, we’ve ALL been there. You are such an inspiration and encouragement, I hope us readers can be that for you too!!! We’re not made of stone people!

  • Kathy Miller

    Isn’t it amazing that with all of God’s merciful love we are still are own imperfect beings, with this myriad of thought life and range of feelings?

  • Adriana

    I began my true walk with Christ in my mid-twenties. Although I don’t recall truely feeling ‘not good enough’ I’ve often felt ‘left out’. It has been hard to make good relationships with people at church when you only see them a few minutes before or after service. You tend to be close with those you see everyday. But if most of your friends still live for fun of the world, you find (I’ve found myself) alone. Friends no longer invite you along, whether they support your changes or not. Because you’ve yet to make new ones, you do feel alone, a lot. Although an evening with The Lord is good, for people who very social, it is also very hard.

  • Monica

    I think for me the word that expresses my feelings in these situations is “unwanted” – and that can cut to the core – like you said – it jolts your very sense of worth and the the old lies can shout at you inside your head.

  • Jerri Altman

    Oh my goodness, Lysa! I deal with these sort of feelings all the time. I feel awful when I get my feelings hurt and let a supposed slight really tear me up. I have to take a step back and try to put things into perspective. My upbringing was less than idyllic and I have struggled all of my life with feelings of inadequacy and a terrible fear of rejection. I know that the devil likes me to wallow in this and let it drag me down. I try not to get down on myself and keep looking toward the Lord because I know he created me more than ‘good enough’. Thank you for sharing because I have been in exactly the spot.

  • Cindy

    This is pure magical writing and I cherish the rawness and honesty of it. Thank you for that. I think we all walk this line…feeling like we’re enough and it’s never tied to the big things…small things like not getting the invitation to the party. We humans struggle with “enough” and I am starting to understand that it’s God’s way of wanting us to lean in more. It’s hard but I know we’re meant to do hard things. It hurts to feel like your not thought about. I don’t know how to overcome the hurt. I left my lifelong home in Los Angeles and moved to Franklin TN so i know more now about not being included or feeling lonely. I think we’re all in this together.

  • Christa Green

    This has been something my husband and I have struggled with for the last 6 years. At the age of 24 we decided to adopt our first child (age 6…turned 7 only a few weeks after we got him). While we knew that this commitment was a major one, as this little guy from Liberia came with a bag of layers of emotional and physical trauma, that at the time we thought we could just solely love him through. At first family and friends rejoiced with us for our new son, but it didn’t take long to quickly be added to the “uninvited” list. It was amazing how quickly people assumed because we now were the parents of a school age child, we must not be interested in weekend outings or game nights or honestly anything anymore. It grew worse as our friends began to have babies of their own, suddenly it must have meant we no longer could “relate” any more because the minimal invites we were still getting, came to an instant halt. We went from having a very wide and close knit circle of friends, to finding it a whole lot of work to even “make friends”. If we wanted friends we could relate to, with kids the same age as ours we were having to now reach out into circles 5, 6, 7 or even more years older than us and we’ll I’m not going to lie…that turned my mom confidence to sand. We had our one little passionate fireball, which as you well know, kid’s from the part of the world which he is, whom have been forced to survive have been blessed by a special power of passionate strong will. So as each Sunday we’d go to church and I watched how these older mom’s had their kids all nicely lined up, dressed with no wrinkles, and watched as their young’ns politely held their hand down the hallway…as mine, the second we hit the doors of the church took off in a dead sprint to find his classroom, as I did my best to keep up with him chasing him from water fountain, to keeping him out of the elevator, to getting him to stand still enough to put the Sunday School registration sticker on him, while answering the 3-4 questions he had asked all in a row about lunch, snack and where we were going after church. To keep it short I couldn’t imagine being adequate enough, to be welcomed into those mom’s inner circle! It hasn’t been until recently that we’ve been able to look back with gratitude that we were left uninvited because, as I mentioned a bit ago we naively thought we could just “Love” our little man through healing of his traumas. We now know that without the Lord forcing our family of 3 to spend endless extra weekends together, when most of our friends were doing things together…we have been able to help our son break down so many of his attachment walls, that his counselors have been very impressed with. Like a couple of kids, not wanting to hear that their parents really did know best, we are so grateful the Lord “uninvited” us, so that he could open up the doors to the relationship we are now able to have with out son! We still stuggle from off and on missing the social interaction that we once had, but know we have to continue to remain faithful that God is going to continue to provide the people in our lives that we truly need.

  • Lisa Williams

    Reading the comments, I wonder if there’s a certain type of person/mindset that is particularly vulnerable to this type of thinking because I can soooooo relate! And it started early on, like most describe. However, my “not good enough” feelings started at home. So, I’m not sure what I did, but I feel like perhaps I began to attract the same types of friends who would offer me the rejection that I’d become accustomed to…despite the pain. As a college student, young adult and on and on, the feelings and treatment continued until I was now rejected in divorce and the accompanying family dynamic of ‘we love you, but he’s family.’ That’s not what they said, but it was what I felt. And simultaneously, I was dealing with a ‘priority shift’ in my group of friends. I was invited to less and less birthday dinners or parties. When I was invited, hurtful comments were made that assured me that conversations about me had occurred in my absence. The biggest issue…my friends were also fellow church members. Navigating through rejection after rejection and sitting in church trying to heal amidst more rejection made me quite a tough cookie. Nah…more like a FREE BIRD! Being able to live and find joy and strength in Christ (with help) in the midst of such a deep shift was some of the best development in who I am today just a few years later. My current husband reappeared in my life after some years and it just so happened that he lived in the South, whereas, I was living in the Midwest. The work that I’d done in all those shifts of priorities of people I loved (nicest way I can put what I went through) PREPARED me. As a church leader, I hadn’t let those issues and feelings hinder my ability to minister to others, and I believe God honored that. I didn’t stop coming; I didn’t change services, change my habits or move my seat. By His grace, I was able to get to a place of love with them, no matter how many events I was missing. I found joy in my solitude in worship and even drew different, old friends back in my life. I became whole. And when He swooped in and moved me away in marriage, so many people were amazed and some dismayed at how little fanfare was made. Some argued that I was selfish by not allowing them to do more in the way of celebration. But I was in peace and had no expectations, hard feelings or the like. And while I still struggle here and there with feeling rejection when I’m (un)invited in these new relationships, I’m also unwilling to sacrifice my wholeness to go back to that way of living. I’m a year in now, and fighting to remember that my being uninvited back then led to great blessing, so I’m gonna hang on and trust the process!

  • Toni Dennis

    Wow! It’s like I could have written this article. I am a soon-to-be 50 year old wife and mom to four and I still have to stay-off these feelings occasionally. I am thankful for the awareness that the Lord has graced me with regarding these feelings so that I can offer encouragement, support and guidance to my two youngest who are girls ages 9 & 11. My prayer is for (a continual) renewing of our minds through Christ Jesus. I, unfortunately, most often experience these feelings at church because that’s my go-to place and I have to remind myself and my girls that the church is not a safe-haven from hurt (intentional or unintentional), but that we are to extend grace and to pray that others as we are all in great need of both constantly. Thank you for your transparency, Lysa. You’ve blessed my life many times throughout your ministry. Blessings!!!

  • pattylorie

    I feel you!! I was bullied most of elementary, middle school and high school. I thrived in College because I was a new me and could run to anyone’s dorm room to hang out. After college I was single into my 30s. I went to social gatherings but didn’t have a husband so many people my age were in different groups. Now that I’m married my kids are way younger than people my age and it is hard to fit in – even though I try. I struggle because I feel like unless I invite I never get a call to come over from people in my current church or even the last one I attended. I’m grateful I have a few friends who stick with me but it is hard to always be inviting and calling and leaving messages but not get calls often. I can’t wait to read your book. Sounds like something I need to hear…

  • LRC

    Hi Lysa,
    These are great words, and I’m thankful you shared them! Here’s how I’ve been challenging myself in this area. I am a small-inner-circle type of person. Although I love to form new relationships, what I really love is deep relationships, and those take time and investment and a small inner circle. So when I see that I’m not part of someone else’s inner circle, after the initial sting, I’m telling myself the truth that: 1. This is healthy and good. 2. I’m thankful for my close friends. 3. I’m thankful that the non-inviters have found their inner-circle and are investing in it. 4. Jealousy harms the cause of Christ.
    I have lots of outer-circle friends so this is a regular occurence. Fighting to speak truth to my own heart has proven vital. I can’t love people like Christ does if I’m living in the Land of Petty.

  • Christy

    When the devil has used rejection to destroy you, it’s hard to not be a victim to it when it comes your way again. Being adopted is a special thing, but there is something inside that cries out – How could they give me away? What was wrong with me that they didn’t want me? I’m not good enough. I’m a reject, a mistake. So, this bad seed was planted way down deep in my soul. Then it opened up and got some strong roots. The it grew and grew and actually touched every area of my life. It was ugly and kept me bound. It’s stems wrapped around my heart, making it difficult to let anyone in, all the while choking the life out of me, leaving me feeling hopeless and unloveable. This can cause you to become one who strives and thrives on the acceptance and favor of everyone. It’s not important what I want, because I don’t matter. It matters what you want. How can I please you? How hard do I have to work to get you to love me? Oh, we can have a great relationship. You do your thing and I’ll do mine. I won’t disagree with you. I will be great company and I will support you. All you have to do is be there for me when I fall and pick me up when I’m down. That’s your job. Make me feel worthy and loved. Accepted and protected. Oh, but wait. Don’t hurt my feelings. Don’t leave me out. Don’t choose someone else over me. Don’t ever make me feel invisible. For when you do, I will reject you. I will get rid of you. I will do my best to block everything good you have ever done for me and take the hurt you have caused me and wear it like a protective armor. I won’t let you in, no matter how hard you try and in the mean time I will use this armor to push everyone else away so I don’t have to feel the pain. My root, stems and flowers of rejection will fill me up, inside and out and I will struggle with containing this awful plant as it spreads and wraps around my armor of pain and bitterness. I will find it hard to trust anyone, even God. I will take my plant which has attached itself to me and sink back into a safe place where there is no taking chances. I will let this plant be my reason for carefully deciding who or what is worth it. Oh, I won’t be hurt by others again. I will play it very safe and never allow myself to really trust someone again. My hurt will only be mine and from me. I refuse to let it come from someone else by actually loving and trusting them.

  • Kaye Hodock

    I’m so looking forward to this book. I am currently doing a bible study with some ladies in my area using your book “Made to Crave”. Although many people think it’s just a book about dealing with weight/food issues, it is really SO much more. I’m realizing that I have been craving a lot of unhealthy things more than I craved God. Being “(un)invited” has been something that has plagued me since my childhood. At the age of 43, I would’ve thought this would no longer be an issue for me. I was wrong.

    In the past, I would spend my precious time trying to analyze what I could do differently to get invited in the future. Questioning If I had done something to offend/hurt the person/persons. I have wondered if maybe I should host an event and invite the person/persons in order to establish that we can be “weekend with friends” kind of friends.

    In the end I have decided that I am already accepted and loved by the One who matters most and that by seeking him when I am feeling lonely or hurt is the perfect medicine to mend my aching heart. God has filled me with a big ole loving heart, and maybe all of those extra friends in my life would take away from the love I have to give to my family and the friends I already have. Or maybe, joining this new “weekend with friends” will bring me pain ….I only know that “God is good at being God”, and his timing and blessings are always perfect.