About the Author

Mary is a writer and speaker who lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons – but lives because of God’s grace. She writes about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places at MaryCarver.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

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  1. Mary,
    First, you handled this beautifully with your daughter! Our kids need to know that we have experienced their very same hurts and we need to acknowledge and validate their feelings. I’m a fixer too, but perhaps the best lesson we can teach our kids is that pain and a deeper abiding joy can coexist. Yes, we are always God’s first choice and in the pain we need this reminder. Reminding them that they have a Savior that felt all the very same pain that they experience gives them a Savior they can relate to. Jesus got ditched by His very best friends. They made something or someone else first choice over Him. Looking forward to reading “Journey to the Cross!!”
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  2. Thank you for this message. I am an only child and have often felt this way, like I’m the one they call when no one else is available. I struggled and pushed myself to find friends sometimes. Sometimes I went to the person who looked like she also was feeling like a “second banana”. Because I longed to be first in someone’s life. It’s wonderful to remember that we are first in the eyes of the Lord! He cares for each of us as his own.

    • Reaching out to others is such a great remedy to feeling overlooked. I sometimes forget that, but honestly, it never fails to heal a bit of loneliness.

  3. such a wonderful message. yes God puts us first and loves us first in his eyes.
    I’m there with friends…always putting others first and getting the left over scraps of ” oh yeah I forgot to call you”…3 weeks later or ” I honestly don’t have much time to give you I’m getting my hair and nails done soon “, after I spend hours listening to their problems or throwing birthday parties for them etc..
    it’s the worst to hear I don’t make time for you…but I’m thankful God does. I know it’s a fallen twisted world so I chalk it up to that & don’t take much personal anymore , I too am trying to walk a daughter thru this all with her friends..
    God gave us grace and so we can extend that grace while not being walked over..

  4. I really needed to read/hear this today. The Lord always knows exactly what we need when we need it the most. Thank you Mary and thank You Jesus!!

  5. Wow, this is close to the bone, Mary, and so very revealing of the truth that I am so prone to view God as my back up friend, the second choice to some other companion. Praying right now that we, your readers, will grow into a place of valuing our friendship with God so much that we can truly profit from your insights today, for there is real comfort in your story.

    • I have been thinking of this ever since I read your comment yesterday, Michele. Because I, too, so often view and treat God as a backup friend. Thank you for sharing your heart so openly with us!

  6. not just the young feels this way and it is hard–as an old person i see not only friends but family can hurt–maybe not seeing how deep their actions can go.but i know God is feeling those empty days and He is taking care of us.

  7. Thank you for sharing your story and how you handled the situation with your daughter. You said something that I need to remind myself everyday that I am God’s First Choice, no matter I fall in other people lives I will always be the number 1 choice to God. I would say that I related to this so much even now, it was hard to read without tearing up. Thanks again for sharing and the reminder. Be blessed!

  8. The timing for this was so perfect. I’ve been struggling with feeling like this for a long time and it’s been very acute recently. At the moment I’ve been losing sleep all weekend, anxious thoughts about a friendship of mine assaulting me every time I open my eyes and all through the waking hours. I feel like sloppy seconds even though I consider this person a best friend and I feel like I’ve been doing something wrong. Now I worry I am being replaced and it most definitely does suck. I appreciate the reminder of God’s love for me even if I don’t feel it right now.

    • I’m so sorry you’re hurting over this, A. I’m praying God can heal your heart and give you confidence in His love for you, no matter what any people may say or do.

  9. I HAVE ALWAYS FELT LIKE THE BACKUP FRIEND SO THIS SO TOUCHED MY HEART.

    I WILL USE THIS AS A REMINDER THAT WHENEVER I FEEL THAT WAY, I WILL SAY “I AM GOD’S FIRST CHOICE”!!!!

    I’M SMILING AND FEELING BETTER ALREADY! THANK YOU.

  10. I’m glad I’m God’s first choice. I’ve been the second choice a lot of times, but I’ve been guilty of making a friend second choice.

    • So true, LJ – how many times have I unintentionally made someone feel like second choice? This is a good reminder to be mindful of including and inviting and reaching out, even to those we might not think of first.

  11. Thank for sharing. So many of us have been in this place, where people we care about (and thought cared about us) really only think of us an option or a Plan B. Make room for people who make you a priority and let go of those who make you feel “less than.”

  12. Mary, thank you for this. As with others who commented, it made me well up and brought back some memories. Thinking about it though, I sometimes don’t make God my first choice, I say that I don’t have time for him right now, I don’t slow down enough to hear his gentle voice. So my prayer at the end of this is: Lord help me to show You how You are my first choice in this life. Help me to recognise that this is a two-way thing. You will always put me first, let me do the same for You.

    • Gillian, thank you for sharing this prayer. I’m joining you in acknowledging that I don’t make Him first – and asking that He would help me change that.

  13. Wow–God’s first choice. What honor could possibly beat that?! It IS astounding to contemplate the God of the universe values and treasures his children individually and equally, as if there was only one of us (St. Augustine). Such a blessed reminder for your daughter, for every one of us. Thank you, Mary!

  14. Thank you, Mary for your wise words. I, too, have felt like second best. I love believing that I am God’s first choice.
    Often times, I now look for someone who needs a friend or
    someone to talk to. I have had some wonderful conversations and met some great people this way.

  15. This speaks to me and my experiences, also. Listen to the song “The Last To Be Chosen” by Ray Boltz. It has brought me much consolation and joy!

  16. Mary, you are such a great mama, and you are a treasure as a friend. I’m grateful for your words here, for the way you guided your daughter, and for how you’ve reminded us that we can guide ourselves just as gently. Your honesty is a gift.

  17. Mary,

    You are super mom. You handled that situation with your daughter with such tenderness. We are all vulnerable. Young people, especially need to know that we’ve been there done that & we understand their pain. Your teaching point that God-maker of the universe-has felt that very pain-wow! His own people abandoned Him at His most needed hour. Most people, myself included, have made God our second or third choice. We have a problem so we run to trusted friends & family. Then at the end we run & pray to God. Jesus loves us so immensely He went to great lengths to prove it. He chooses us first & foremost. God foreknew that we would have friendship issues on this planet. He is there to help us. All we need to do is run to Him in prayer. Realizing that if no one else on planet Earth wants us He surely does. He chose you from before time began!

    Blessings 🙂