About the Author

Lysa TerKeurst is a New York Times bestselling author and speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith through following Jesus Christ. As president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa has lead thousands over the past 15 years to help make their walk with God an invigorating journey. Not...

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  1. Oh did I need to hear that this morning. I’ve struggled recently with this very feeling over a group I was not invited to be a part of, and every time I get asked when the next meeting is or where it’s happening, it has been like a slap in the face to me. I love that phrase “Don’t put the whole of your identity into the smallness of this situation.” That is spot on.
    I am loved by Jesus, I am a child, precious and held dear, and there will be people for whom I might be the shoulder to cry on, or the one to encourage them, and there will be people for whom I am not that girl and they don’t pick me. and that’s okay. Because I’m Jesus’ girl, and that is what really matters. Thanks Lysa!

    • Hi, Laura: Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate the confession you wrote after sharing Lysa’s statement, “Don’t put the whole of your identity into the smallness of this situation.” I really like it, too. Praise God! This could be really freeing. I am seeing this in light of my struggling relationship with my 16 year old daughter. She is a good girl, but we are so different and she really doesn’t like me. Those situations with her really small in comparison to all I am in God and all He has for me in this life – how God wants to use me and how Jesus wants to be through me by His Holy Spirit. Praise God! Whew! God bless you richly!

      • Oh Cindy, I’ll be praying for you and your daughter. Those years are so tough to navigate- I remember exchanging my own mother’s wisdom and shoulders for someone else’s when I was that age. Keep loving her, keep talking to her, and keep praying for her. You are doing brilliantly just in giving the situation and yourself to God. My mom and I have a much better relationship now- not without its ups and downs, but because she just loved me and didn’t push me, I was able to come through that time and she was there when I realised she had a lot that I could learn from. Grace in all things dear sister, I will be holding you up in prayer that you are filled to fullest full of God’s great mercy, compassion and joy. xx

        • Laura,

          Praying for you and your daughter. May the Lord heal this relationship and help your daughter see the love you have for her.

          God bless you two! 🙂

  2. Just what I needed to hear today.. Thank you!
    A family get-together yesterday with so many little things… I was left with a gaping hole inside and a feeling that some things were forever broken. But they were just small situations. Nothing has been forever lost. I have been given fullness in Christ!

  3. I really needed this…..I can totally relate to the feelings you are talking about. I deal with that inside voice of rejection too often. I know I am a child of God and he is working on me. That thought and knowledge gives me peace. Thanks Lysa!

  4. Hi, I also have some of those. Feelings running around me presently. I am trying to stick with those places I am accepted.

  5. Lysa,
    I have been that little “sans pink t-shirt” girl too and it stinks! Thank you for the powerful reminder that we don’t have to listen to the lies and that our fullness and true worth is in Christ! Rejection comes at every age…that’s why we need to keep our eyes focused on the one who deems us priceless.
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Thank you for the reminder that rejection comes at every age! I expect kids to be mean to others at times, but I don’t expect it from adults. It’s so hurtful but also a good reminder that a careless, hateful word can so easily tear others down. My dentist, of all people, was very hateful to me a few days ago and made me question my worth as a SAHM. I hated that I let it get to me, and I’m so thankful for the reminder of Christ’s love and the encouragement of godly women!

    • Thank you for the reminder that rejection comes at every age, I don’t expect it from adults. It’s so hurtful but also a good reminder that a careless, hateful word can so easily tear others down. My dentist, of all people, was very hateful to me a few days ago and made me question my worth as a SAHM. I hated that I let it get to me, and I’m so thankful for the reminder of Christ’s love and the encouragement of godly women!

  6. My son was I guess the “blue” tshirtless kid ..by a “Christian” friend too..those really are confusing. I presently deal with being a 5th wheel or the back up plan with most friends I make. Your story really gave me perspective and I am very grateful. God Bless!

  7. At age 48, I have been battling rejection since my 3rd grade slumber party. It’s been a reoccuring theme in my life so much so I don’t think I will ever overcome. I know that is not true, but the enemy uses it against me daily. Thank God His word says that I should renew my mind on His truth and you’ve helped do just that. Thank you so much!

  8. Thanks for this post, I just got done comparing myself to others on Facebook. I was reading about retirements, graduations, new babies and weddings, right now its hard to be happy for others. My father’s health is failing and we are facing some very difficult decisions, our situation feels so lonely. I know God is with us but my heart is heavy and sad. He will be with us no matter how small we feel today.

    • DeAnn. Not knowing your fathers health situation please think about partnering with hospice. You are not alone with your father. Hospice is there. We had hospice when my husband was ill. I can’t imagine going through his illness and death without them. I now volunteer with my hospice. Please dont wait until he’s so very sick to call. Hospice is to help your family have better quality of life. Your fathers dr will be th oe to recommend hospice. Please let us be there to make this part of life easier.
      Sorry,got off subject…I’m just passionate bout hospice. 🙂

      • DeAnn,

        Been there with parent illness. I, too, called hospice to assist my dad with mom’s health issues. Although I have 3 older sisters, they live 5 hrs. away, have families, and jobs.

        Please call Hospice so you can feel some relief. Know that people are praying for you and your father in this situation!

        Father God–

        Please shower DeAnn with your love, grace & mercy during this trying time. Give her a hug with your strong & mighty arms. Help her to feel you and the comfort that can only come from you!

        AMEN!

  9. Thank you for this today! I had the same kind of experience recently in a church setting, which for some reason makes it even more hurtful when it happens. It’s hard to be an adult, yet feel like you’re back in middle school again. I didn’t have God in my life then though (which makes me so sad, wondering how much LESS those years could have hurt if I had…my parents thought church youth groups were evil cults, and steered me away if anyone tried to invite me…) so I am so thankful for words like these to share with my girls when they are in the middle of it too!

  10. This was so timely today. While making a final decision about the end of my marriage, I opened the door to my soon to be ex with an offer of spending time together (he initiated) and was once again put on the back burner of his life. I thought I was getting over the pain of rejection by someone I thought should “still” care and was reliving the hurt, when quietly in my heart I realized I need to stop looking at actions and laying blame. It’s just time for me to take responsibility for foolishly opening a door and giving access to someone who would think nothing of closing it in my face. Yet, at that moment and even today I was still feeling the sting of being so small and insignificant once again…but in HIM…knowing in HIM I have found my fullness and my identity. HE still wants me and I am more than enough for HIM and that’s what I needed to hear today.
    Thank you.

  11. When I read these words this morning I was transported back into time, why do these moments that happen to us have the ability to cut us deeply every time we recall them? Even if they happened yesterday, last week, last month or 20 years ago. A few weeks ago I was tired and hungry from a long day at work and came home to a messy hungry family, we had gotten BBQ dinners to support a local sport program so I didn’t even have to cook something. I was really looking forward to it. When I opened the box it was not what I thought it was going to be and burst into tears…..no one calls me, I have no friends and I don’t want this dinner, I thought it was going to be something else. I wailed like a child with hurt feelings and pity in my soul. Sniffling through the evening I consoled myself with other distractions, movies on tv and chapters I can’t remember reading. When I plugged in my phone at bedtime I realized I had a text message from a dear friend earlier in the evening, but I was too consumed in my own pain at that time to notice. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in ourselves we don’t take the time to see that while we may not matter to all, we do matter to some.

  12. It is a hard pill to swallow in being totally left out. The only answer is to focus
    on Jesus. He never leaves anyone out. This is my rock, my place to land.
    I have a large family, (all grown up they are), and there is no time for my
    husband and I. It is a difficult struggle to feel loved when the family is too
    busy to care. Praise the Lord. He always cares. I can do nothing to earn this
    great love.

  13. Greetings Lysa and sisters in Christ. Praise God for you all. Just wanted to say thank you for the message and comments. This is very meaningful to me, especially in dealing with my 16 year old daughter. Our relationship is not very good, though she is a good girl. Those rough times are small in comparison to the whole of life, and that is so good to know. My identity is in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I purpose to look to Him immediately in those difficult times. God bless you all!

  14. Some of those childhood hurts, those left-out feelings, stick around, don’t they? I am learning to tune in to what God says about me, instead. But it seems like a long battle, and as soon as I win one skirmish, another “am I enough?” Comes up. Thanks for the reminder to keep looking to Him who is Enough, and fills us with Enough too!

  15. Since discovering the (in)courage blog I have been struck by how many posts seem to be speaking directly to me. Today is yet another example. I jumped over here directly after visiting a friend’s blog. I found out that an important event had just occurred and I had not been invited. It had not even been mentioned to me. Stinging from that realization, with “You weren’t invited.” ringing in my head, I read your post. And once again this website applied a calming balm to my heart. Thank you!

  16. At, 56, I still feel this more than I want to admit. I still have what I call “so called friends” who do not invited me to events in their life, small or large, or who want to come to mine.
    Even family members don’t invite me to things like (DIL baby shower) and other family events. They say it is because we don’t live in the same state and know I can’t make it, REALLY? I can always send something so I will feel apart of the family. Thank You for reminding me that Christ wants me.

  17. Thank you for sharing this story again. I can’t tell you how timely it is. Just witnessed this w/i the body of believers this weekend and it still stings to be excluded. I’m so thankful for this perspective this morning. God’s called me HIS and has so much more for me!

  18. Thanks for sharing… even as an adult, it hurts to be the one left out – for whatever reason. I’ve always said that being a “Jesus Gal” in my neighborhood means that everyone “likes” me, but no one “invites” me… Used to break my heart, but now I understand. I’m not a stick in the mud, I enjoy having a good time just like everyone else, however, I put my family and God first, and I’m a reminder to “them” that they aren’t doing the same.

    I’ve shifted my REAL friendships to those that have the same core values and beliefs that my family does, and I made a new group with new T-shirts!

  19. But what if it keeps happening, so much so that it begins to feel as if there’s a pattern, and you can’t brush it away with “it’s only one situation”…?
    Is it God trying to prune me? Or the Devil luring me astray? And what if you can’t tell?

  20. This was perfect for me today. I am struggling with this sort of situation, but it is family that is leaving me out. It seems so much harder to take for me. I have cried many tears after hearing of family get togethers that I wasn’t invited to. I live in a small town, and news travels fast. I know that I have Jesus and that is all I need. I cannot change others or rely on them. They can’t take away my God or his love for me. That in itself is all I need. Thank you for this, and helping me realize I’m not the only one struggling.

  21. I am crying bc earlier today I rec’d a text from my 6th grader saying that one of her friends is still completely ignoring her. Last night, she couldn’t sleep bc she was worried about whether or not this friend would be talking to her. I remember what it felt like. I still recall the wondering, ” What did I do for so and so to decide I am not worth any attention?” It hurts. Why are girls so cruel? My daughter said there is whispering and mean looks and “I’ll tell you laters”. All while she is sitting right there at the lunch table. She texted, “Mom, I want to come home”.
    I will share this story with her, Lysa. Thank you. Because I would really just like to ball up and cry right along with her. Instead, I will tell her again to lift this girl up to The Lord. I will tell her to hold her head high. She is a child of Jesus.

  22. I am crying bc earlier today I received a text from my 6th grader saying that one of her friends is still completely ignoring her. Last night, she couldn’t sleep bc she was worried about whether or not this friend would be talking to her. I remember what it felt like. I still recall the wondering, ” What did I do for so and so to decide I am not worth any attention?” It hurts. Why are girls so cruel? My daughter said there is whispering and mean looks and “I’ll tell you laters”. All while she is sitting right there at the lunch table. She texted, “Mom, I want to come home”.
    I will share this story with her, Lysa. Thank you. Because I would really just like to ball up and cry right along with her. Instead, I will tell her again to lift this girl up to The Lord. I will tell her to hold her head high. She is a child of Jesus.

  23. I read through all the comments…and I think I could have made almost all of them! Why does life have to be so hard sometimes? Why do we do these things to each other? Sometimes when we are planning events, we have to limit the numbers and so someone gets left out, even when we don’t want that to happen. Sometimes it feels intentional. Right now in my life, I am missing having a “heart” friend, someone that ALWAYS includes you, yet I remind myself that Jesus is my “heart” friend, and He will never let me down. Thanks everyone, for sharing your feelings…it helps to know someone else struggles with these same feelings!

  24. When I read this it brought back tears for my 10 year old daughter. She’s been left out so many times over the years from events. However last weekend was hard because we walked right past the party as the girls were beginning to arrive. My heart broke for her as we held hands. I struggled in what to say. But I told her how blessed I was to have the time with her that I wouldn’t if she was at the party. Now I look forward now to having the words of Christ to tell her that I didn’t have in that moment. Thank you

  25. Thank you! This recently happened to me…again…as an adult. I wondered what was wrong with me, all over again. I wish I had read this earlier, it may have taken sting out of what may have been a simple oversight. It is all perspective, and this is a healthy, Godly way of looking at the situation.

  26. Thanks Lysa. This will touch the heart of so many. Although I was not subject to such hurt when I was young…or just don’t remember all of it, so many kids have, and still are today. May we all teach our children and grandchildren how to ‘care’ for everyone, especially the least of these…
    Blessings upon blessings to you!

  27. Thanks Lysa! Like the others here I’ve over and over been without the pink t-shirt and now my 13 year old daughter is feeling it too. I’m so glad that I can share this with her and encourage her through her time of being without the pink t-shirt.

  28. Thank you for this… I have been hurt quite badly though out my life ( even as recent as last week) I have allowed my identity to be wrapped up in people’s opinion. I have been feeling like I’m an empty shell because I have tried to hard to be who and what people will be happy with. I’m trying to change (which is sooo very hard) and am Thanking God for reminders that I am His child and belong to him. My identity is His identity.

  29. It doesn’t seem to matter how old we are, feelings of smallness and inadequacy can steal our confidence and joy. The verses from Colossians and your conclusion make a powerful rebuttal against the enemy’s lies. Thank you, Lysa!

  30. Very, very encouraging and REAL! I know all about those lying voices as a molestation survivor, but glad that Jesus set me FREE from them. I too remind myself when they begin to chatter that my identity comes from Christ and nothing or no one else! Glory to GOD! If you get time, please check out testimony in my book Healed Beyond the Pain.

    Love,
    Jessica

  31. I can so relate to those feelings of being left out or simply of NOT belonging. On my first day of Kindergarten the first child that walked up to me said to me – you don’t belong in Kindergarten. You are too big and too fat. You belong in first grade. That remark stuck with me throughout my whole school career – I did not belong. I did not fit in. I felt invisible. It has stuck through an awful lot of my adult life too – I still hear it in the whisper in my ear when I am not feeling sure of myself. I think the first time I really accepted myself I was 49 years old. And there are still days that I simply do not fit in. Isn’t awful how we can hang on to one small negative remark and it can define us. I am glad that you didn’t let your lack of a pink tee shirt define you. It is awful.

  32. Thank you for sharing Lysa. I love your devotionals. I feel like a third wheel and get “fogotten” by my friends since they are all married and I’m separated. It just gives me more time to spend with my kids and the Lord.

  33. So familiar!!! I needed to hear that today!!! There is one person at our church who is inclusive to certain people and I am not one of them. It has been a big hurt, even recently, so I have been praying a lot about it. What I learned was to acknowledge the feelings and mentally move on!! It really does work, praise God and there is no bitter root formed!!!!

  34. Thank you for this very timely reminder. I have been dealing with some very difficult health issues which have severely limited not only my, but also my husband and son’s, social lives. I went from being very active and involved with family, friends, church, etc to being almost completely bedridden. It feels like most everyone has forgotten about us since I became sick, including family. It’s very easy to feel hurt and useless and even unloved. Those who you helped in the past don’t seem to even remember that you and your family exist. An especially hurtful event happened this weekend with my family forgetting to even inform us of an important happening. It’s easy to forget whose we are in Christ or what we can do… and instead focus on those hurts and how much we have lost. Thank you for this reminder of who we are in Christ. And that I’m also not alone… I have family in Christ. Praying for each of you and your situations.

  35. We’ve all been there and are probably re-living those times through our daughters. God give us the words and wisdom to share with them so that they truly see the smallness of the situation. Not easy for our little ones but I think our own experience and your wisdom here Lysa should help. Thanks for this.

  36. As a youngster I didn’t even try to fit in with the crowd. I was too shy & spent to many a night at home with parents. Now as an adult I am having feelings of rejection at work. Oh the people like me and talk some to me, but not about their work. I feel as though I am an extra weight, third wheel. Each week the evil one speaks to me saying “dumb, stupid, not good enough” and sure enough I tend to believe Him. Oh the sting of rejection.

    Thank you for the verse… “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, AND YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN FULLNESS IN CHRIST,” (Colossians 2: 9-10). I try daily to remind myself that I am a Child of the King no matter what happens!

  37. “Don’t put the whole of your identity in the smallness of this situation.” This line will stay with me today! Thank you!

  38. Thank you for this post. I really needed to hear it. I struggle as an adult in our tiny congregation. I’ve always had friends growing up and have felt accepted but when I came here I’ve struggled with feeling like I belong or that I’m actually wanted. I’ve never had to deal with this as a child growing up but as an adult I have and it’s amongst other christians at church of all places. It’s not easy and it’s not fun to feel like the one that others don’t want to have around. This has been a huge discouraging trial for me for many years.

  39. I experienced that when through Facebook I saw my deceased husband’s family all having dinner at my sister-in-law home at the night before the memorial service I called to celebrate his life with his family and friends since I have no family in United States, except a daughter and grandson living with me. I felt excluded but I refused to feel sorry for myself and I remembered Paul’s talks about his family that didn’t have his same sweet heart for me. I continued loving and respecting his family as mine.

    Thanks for Unglued. I’m still reading and enjoying it all applying HGC and laughing with your stories. The last laughter was the C-gene that you’re not.

    Love!

  40. Oh boy.. did my heart ever sting for that little girl trying not to mind that she hadn’t been chosen! Bless you for sharing. Bless all those little girls who go through this.. may they find peace and may God always put friends by their side.