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.”
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.”
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.