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What To Do When You Feel Uninvited

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It was a normal day, until it didn’t feel so normal in the blimp of a moment.

I was scrolling quickly through Instagram, liking friends’ posts, when after double tapping one post in particular, I did a double take. Wait a minute. Wasn’t this the friendship outing I had suggested to my friends not too long ago? Pause. Take a breath. Double check who posted the picture in the slight case it wasn’t even one of the friends I mentioned this activity to…

My second look confirmed my heart’s ache—my friends had gone to the event I suggested and didn’t invite me. In that moment, I felt crushed. I felt unseen, unimportant, uninvited.

In the midst of my hurt, I began writing a plot line in my head—they don’t like me; they didn’t want me to go; they thought they’d have more fun without me; I’m no fun; I don’t have friends…

And then a second plot line crossed my mind—Emily, they didn’t even think about it. It completely escaped their minds. They weren’t intentionally not inviting you. And maybe they did. But truly, does it matter? Would you have been able to go on that date anyways?

It was in this crossroads that I knew I had a decision to make. I could either live in the plot line I was creating, or I could embrace the plot line of God’s truth. But I couldn’t embrace both.

I love this line (and gut wrenching truth!) from Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Uninvited: “It’s impossible to hold up the banners of victim and victory at the same time.” I knew in my heart as I sat with my phone in my lap that this was true. I couldn’t walk away from the post I saw or the feelings I felt in victory if I held up the victim card. Did that change the stinging sensation I felt? No. Did it change that I was uninvited? Not at all. But it changed my posture towards it.

I began to ask myself several intentional questions: Emily, were you available to hang out the day your friends went to this event? No. Emily, with everything else on your calendar at that time, would you have wanted to go to the event? No. Emily, did your friends ever tell you, “We don’t like you, so you’re not invited.” No. With each answer to my questions, I breathed a little deeper, a little more calmly, and allowed the truth to soak my heart with grace. I don’t know whether my friends intentionally or unintentionally didn’t invite me…and that’s ok. I’m choosing to fill in the gap with grace because there have certainly been many moments in my own story when I’ve forgotten to invite someone, text a friend, send that card, or say “thank you”…I’ve made others feel uninvited and it’s never been intentional. In those moments, I would want my friends and those around me to extend grace to me too.

If you haven’t read Lysa TerKeurst’s book Uninvited yet, push pause on this post and run to your nearest bookstore to pick it up. It. Is. Gold. I value how Lysa infuses each page with her story and experiences and shares tangible next steps for what to do when you feel uninvited. Chapter 11 is one I’ve held onto with both hands and keep close for moments like my Instagram-scrolling-turned-into-feeling-uninvited moments. In this chapter, Lysa shares 10 Things You Must Remember When Rejected. I’m going to share the tree-tops version with you here, but grab your copy of her book to read the nuts & bolts (did I mention how amazing it is?!)…

10 Things You Must Remember When Rejected

Uninvited, Lysa TerKeurst

  1. One rejection is not a projection of future failures.
  2. Rejection doesn’t label you; it enables you to adjust and move on.
  3. This could be an invitation to live in expectation of something else.
  4. There is usually some element of protection wrapped in every rejection.
  5. It’s good to ask the “what” questions but less helpful to ask “why”.
  6. Don’t hash, bash, or trash on the internet. Remember, the internet never forgets.
  7. There’s much more to you than the part that was rejected.
  8. What one person sees as your liability, another might see as a wonderful asset.
  9. This is a short-term setback, not a permanent condition.
  10. Don’t let this heartbreak destroy you. Let this breaking actually be the making of you. Let God use it in good ways to make you stronger and take you further.

Does feeling uninvited sting? Oh yeah. But what I choose to do with the sting defines what happens next…and ultimately how I choose to live in the feelings of being uninvited, or become the victor over those feelings, determines how I’m becoming who God made me to be. Warrior friend, we all have moments when we feel uninvited. Don’t live there. Look beyond this moment into the truth: you are enough, there’s nothing wrong with you, and the best is yet to come. I’m choosing to believe that deep down inside my core. Will you join me?

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