I was hanging out with several friends when they began to chatter away about a party everyone had gone to. Everyone except me.
The conversation turned awkward when they realized I hadn’t been asked to the festivities my friends were reminiscing about.
A few days later, I found myself in a similar situation when I was scanning through my Facebook newsfeed. My smile faded when I saw the beaming faces of friends at another friend’s wedding I wasn’t invited to attend.
After that, I dealt with another hurtful experience when a relative died but no one thought to notify me. Tears fell hot as I read the note with the outdated news.
- Not included.
- Not invited.
- Not remembered.
Have you ever been in that situation? It’s hurts, doesn’t it? How do you handle it?
For me, I’m tempted to curl up in a fetal position and suck my proverbial thumb till the hurt goes away.
…Or I think about ways to get back at them.
Maybe I could pretend it doesn’t bother me and post my own fun pictures of a recent exploit?
…Or I could retaliate and blast off a nasty text or a blistering email.
…Or I could run– but where would I go to outrun the hurt, really?
To sum it up, it’s inevitable that at some point in our lives, we will get hurt, overlooked, forgotten, not invited.
Yet those are especially the times when God opens his arms to us and invites us to run to him. As the psalmist reminds us: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
What do I do?
When we are feeling left out, overlooked, forgotten, we can know that, in fact, we aren’t.
We belong to the One who will never leave or forsake us.
That One has our names on HIS heart. And we are always invited into HIS presence.
It’s in the presence of God that we can find the grace, humility, and courage to forgive and extend our heart to those who didn’t invite, include, or remember us.
So the next time hurt happens…
- Run to God.
- Cry out to him and wait for his peace to fall.
- Let the Holy Spirit whisper to you that you are loved and accepted by the One who made you, that you are always included, never alone, and certainly never forgotten.
“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me— everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” —Philippians 4:8–9 NLT
God, it hurts to be left out, overlooked, not included. Be the caulk that fills in the cracks of my broken heart. Remind me that I can trust you to always love me, celebrate me, invite me. Amen.