You Know How I Wasn’t Invited…

To attend that party? To play on that team? To sit at that table? To go on that trip? 

It’s okay. It really is okay.

It wasn’t okay at first.

I was hurt as everyone whispered plans and gushed about the fun to be had. I was wistful as I watched every picture go up on Instagram. I was angry as names were dropped and superlatives were hashtagged.

I felt over-looked and under-utilized.

Don’t misunderstand me, even then, when it wasn’t okay, I knew that it was my problem and not yours.

My problem.

My insecurity. My brokenness. My coveting.

I knew you were just doing your thing. I knew that you must feel left out sometimes too. And I knew I had inflicted, and will continue to inflict, this same pain, like you, unknowingly {let’s be honest…it’s unavoidable}.

But it’s okay now. I remembered.

It’s okay because I remembered I am enough.

It’s okay because I remembered I have enough. {More than enough really.}

It’s okay because I remembered that when I have to strive to know people, to go places or to do things, I don’t enjoy the knowing, the going or the doing.

It’s okay because I remembered this is how Screwtape and Wormwood win over and over again in this day in age.

But mostly, it’s okay because I remembered that I’ve accepted THE ONLY invitation that has eternal significance.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?

Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.

I’ll show you how to take a real rest.

Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.

Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

Matthew 11:28:30 {The Message}

It’s okay.

I’m not just saying it. It really is okay.

Tell me…am I the only one who struggles with this?!?

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Jere Warren

    No…you are not the only one who struggles with this. I could have written this exact blog, but not as good as you did. Totally understand.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Miss our IF:Table Jere!

      • Jere Warren

        We miss you too!

  • Angela

    Loves this & I am with ya in this! 🙂

  • ElizabethNeedMoreShelves

    Ok, I am going to have to stop reading your words on my lunch break, because every time you make me cry my coworkers get more suspicious….

    No, you are not the only one. I’ve struggled with it all my life. And half the time I don’t even really want to go – but I crave the being asked. Only very recently have I linked it with covetousness, which really – I mean, how long does it take for God to get through? Struggling along with you, sister….

    • lindseyrnobles

      I agree. We will struggle together…

  • No you’re not alone. And yes, we’re going to be okay. And also this, my mantra: “We’ve Had Enough of the Not Enoughs.”

    With you, Lindsey Nobles.

    ~ JDL

    • lindseyrnobles

      Love this Jennifer!

      • (((Sorry. I didn’t know the photo was going to be so GINORMOUS. Didn’t mean to hijack the page here!! I’m not only “not enough,” but clearly, “too much” today! 😀 )

        • lindseyrnobles

          I loved it!

  • Tiffany

    This is me every day. Your words are beautiful, and a great reminder of what it’s really all about. Thanks so much. I needed this!

    • lindseyrnobles

      You are welcome. Needed to get it off my chest. And maybe to read it again and again and remember…

  • A “Screwtape Letters” reference and my favorite verse in my favorite translation? Girl. Amen. And? You’re not the only one. And it’s gotten harder this last year because I think people assume I receive more invitations because of my job, but it’s kind of the opposite. But, like you said, it really is ok – and my heart is starting to believe it as much as my head – because we’re included, always, with Christ.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Yes. Always. 🙂

  • Amy McKay

    As a pastor’s wife, I’m not invited to a lot of events outside of the church bc of that velvet rope I assume. It hurts a little…ok, a lot. And sometimes I have a pity party, but then it reminds me to reach out to others who are forgotten or left out. Reminding myself that He has called me higher and deeper helps, but yes the sting is there. You are definitely not alone.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Amy, yes…I do think it is helpful to look around and see how many people there are around that we can reach out to that might feel the same way.

      • Amy McKay

        The most common excuse, “well, there was going to be wine served….”. Wait!! What?!? Lol!! If they only knew;)

  • Emily

    Do you think this has to do with being single? I don’t by any stretch think it’s unique to that stage, but besides the feeling we may often have of being “not enough”, from my own experience and those I talk to, I think singles get invited to fewer things because the social world can tend to revolve around couple-related often. Regardless of that, WE ARE ENOUGH 🙂 Thanks for the reminder.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Yes. I do think that being single plays into it…but I know my married friends feel it too.

  • jessica

    i love this. and yes – you are not alone. I love that you are in Austin, that you are writing more, and I love that I get to do life with you. not alone.

    • lindseyrnobles

      thanks jtay! love you.

  • Yes times a million. When I wrote about this last week, I realized that even when I AM invited to things, I am still comparing myself to those around me and wondering why I wasn’t invited to OTHER things. It’s a never ending cycle if we let ourselves go there.

    “As soon as I am invited on a trip, I will compare myself to those around me and feel like I don’t measure up. (And by the way, why wasn’t I invited on THAT trip?)” http://inspiredrd.com/2015/03/follow-me.html

    • lindseyrnobles

      So good Alysa.

  • The hashtags, the wondering if I’m invisible, the woodworm…oh yes, sister. More than one pillow has held the tears and heard the whispers of a wounded heart that was not included.

    But that same pillow witnessed his presence as He says,”come away, my darling”. Because his desire is for me. I am more than enough and so is his love for me.

    This is a very needed post. Thank you for your obedience in writing.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Yes. This.

  • Jenni Claar

    Yes! This so resonates! I am not a fan of cliques, but that means I am usually not included in them. Which means I watch a lot from the outside. I was a new girl a lot growing up, so I’ve carried some of that wariness of upsetting the existing balance into adulthood. It’s hard when I read people’s blogs and they have this amazing home team of people or supper club or whatever because we just don’t have that. But God has been faithful to send the right relationships along at the right time, even if they don’t look exactly how I’d like them to.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Yes. The right people have right there.

  • Every single one of us nod our head and get this. All of us. How crazy is it that we can feel left out (because of social media) from things we have no business even being included in? We all desperately want to be a part of “that fabulously fun thing!” It’s harder than ever before because of social media. We all see this world happening around us, near and far, strangers and friends, and we have this ache of missing out. The struggle is definitely real.

    I appreciate you Lindsey. I love your heart. Come to Jackson TN and I’ll include you in everything under the sun. You’ll love it. 😉

    • lindseyrnobles

      Totally agree! 🙂

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  • Nope. Not the only one. I’ve said more than once that I often feel like I was invited to the party, given a chair, but can never seem to scoot up to the table. I sit on the fringes, craning my neck, trying to see what’s happening in front of me. And in so doing, I completely miss everything that’s happening all around me. It’s my problem – totally my problem. It’s a life-long desire to fit in, to be part of the inner circle, but never really knowing exactly what that means. I’m a work in progress and today? Today it’s okay. But for me it’s a daily process. 😉

    • lindseyrnobles

      Feel ya Kelli!

  • Francie

    You’re definitely not the only one! I think this should make us all consider what we post on social media. When I was a little girl, I was taught that you don’t talk about parties with someone unless you know they were invited. When I have a party, I don’t write about it on social media because I don’t want to hurt the feelings of people who weren’t invited (and I can’t invite all of my Facebook friends to a party!). I definitely think some of this is us needing to work out our own stuff, but I also believe some of it is being thoughtful about what we post publicly so we help others avoid feeling left out.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Yeah. But it’s tough…where do you draw the line?

      • Francie

        Definitely tough. My sister and I have this conversation all the time. Also, it came up with some friends recently who said it doesn’t bother them at all. They “know everyone can’t be invited to everything.” Clearly they don’t share some of my issues ; )

  • Susan Dumas

    Linds, you nailed it, my friend. And I love the verse. I am printing this one out. Love to you!

    • lindseyrnobles

      Thanks Sus! Miss you…maybe I can see you this weekend?!? You around?

  • Kathy Schwanke

    Oh, you mean like all those “popular people” in the land where Jesus walked? And the “important people” gathering?

    I daily kill the old flesh-woman that so naturally thinks those worldly thoughts . . . and I get on with washing feet and feeding sheep. I don’t ever expect that she will leave me until my soul is separated from her . . . I’m not surprised that her feelings feel like my own, but I remind my soul that I must recon her dead.

    I’m already seated with Christ in Heaven. Precious Lover of my soul.

    • lindseyrnobles

      yes. kill her! 🙂

    • Sheri

      This! So good, Kathy!

  • Ashley Williams

    yes. so much. a lot. all the time. ugh. i also find that when i feel like this and i cry out to God about it, He sweetly reminds me that he has invited me to a table. it might not be the one i think i want to be at but it’s where He has me in this season.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Love you Ash!

  • Guest

    i wish i didn’t struggle with the same lindsey. i wish i was able to say, you know its not really that big of deal…the whole feeling forgotten, not good enough to make the team, not cool enough or in the clique or whatever but the feeling small does hurt sometimes. a lot. and i love how you wrapped it up with the the one true invitation that matters. atta girl. fist pump.

  • i’m such a ding dong & can’t figure out how to sign in with my legit credentials! ha! so take 2— i wish i didn’t struggle with the same lindsey. i wish i was able to say, you know its not really that big of deal…the whole feeling forgotten, not good enough to make the team, not cool enough or in the clique or whatever but the feeling small does hurt sometimes. a lot. and i love how you wrapped it up with the the one true invitation that matters. atta girl. fist pump. paige knudsen

    • lindseyrnobles

      thank paige!

  • Emily Abrami

    all the time, Lindsey! BUT…the more I become aware that crying to God sooner rather than later saves me burning resentment and angst…the more I turn to God and the less I dwell on my insecurities and selfish desires. Well, maybe I don’t dwell on them less 🙂 – I just turn to God faster than I used to! Truly AMAZING GRACE.

    • lindseyrnobles

      yes, headed in the right direction!

  • rachel blazer

    all the time. i love that you pointed out that ‘it’s my problem, not yours,’ because that’s what it boils down to for me. i get so insecure about being included that i forget to be where i am with the people around me. and it IS my problem- they are not gathering AT me, or hash tagging AT me. i make it about myself and my desire to fit in, when i am ‘in’ exactly where God wants me.

    • lindseyrnobles

      yes. there are so many people to love, to hang out with, to appreciate, right in front of me!

  • Sheri

    I struggle with this a lot. A group of us have been friends since high school – last year, not only was i not in the wedding of one of our friends, she didn’t invite me to her wedding! so til this day they have parties and they all talk about it, how they were all there – and i just feel like this outsider. i still do. now it’s carried over to parties and get togethers. it’s frustrating and hard. and i’m the only one that wasn’t invited. yet the night they got engaged i was the one there helping put together their surprise engagement party. oh man. i totally get this. times a million. thank you for the reminders. i’m working on being enough- err- realizing that i’m enough. after this past year with a fall out of a relationship that i thought was destined for marriage, watching this guy who was my best friend become engaged to someone else…. oh yeah. i get it. <3

    • lindseyrnobles

      so hard sheri. so hard. i have been there. it’s not you. as bob goff says to don miller in scary close, i’m sure “you are so good at relationships.”

      • Sheri

        this just made me tear up. thank you for saying that. <3

        also, i may need to invest in that book.

        • lindseyrnobles

          Do it. Actually if you email me your address (lindseyrnobles@gmail.com) I’ll send you one…

  • Alia_Joy

    Ok, I 100% agree with you about the popularity thing. I think I’m so used to not totally belonging anywhere, I’ve made my peace with that on most days. I’m kind of a fringe-dweller anyhow and I’m ok with being small.

    But the part I worry about is when the invitations and the trips and the parties and the opportunities being presented aren’t only about popularity but about inequity. I do worry about those seats at the table being homogenous and inclusive only to a certain set of people. Especially as Christians, I think there is a place to lament the fact that certain seats seem to be reserved for white upper middle class married women under 50. That I do struggle with because I think it’s about so much more than being a cool kid, it has to do with being a body for each other and with each other and sometimes these kinds of things set that off in me. Not that I need a seat at that table, but that I’d like to see someone like me in one. I don’t like what the world sees when we talk about the leaders and world changers and they don’t look like much of the world. And I’m sure the same thing could be said by others who not only feel excluded but invisible.
    And I’m saying this knowing that I also want to be someone who is for people. For the good they do, for the steps they take, for the process and journey they’re on. But still, sometimes I am grieving the invitations and the trips and the line ups and the teams, not so much because my name wasn’t called up but because so many names are never called up or included and we can and should do better.

    I don’t always know how to speak to that while also balancing grace and genuine happiness and joy for those who God is using now in powerful ways.

    • lindseyrnobles

      You’ve given me a lot to think about Alia. Someone asked me yesterday if I felt left out because of my singleness — and yes — I do think that is a real thing — especially in Christian circles.

  • Slidnonice

    Yeah, I totally get this. Last year I turned 50 and the two women that I considered to be my closest friends here in this tiny town that we moved to 2 years prior, decided to go away to have a “Girl’s Week” during my birthday. My birthday is a pretty big deal to me anyway and the big 5-0 was (I thought) exciting. I couldn’t have gone with them ’cause that day is also a big deal to my husband and parents but the fact that they didn’t invite me or even _tell_ me about it ’til the day before they left, really hurt my feelings. When they got back, they invited me to lunch “for my birthday” and I let them know how badly they’d hurt me. I just needed to know if I thought this friendship was a more important thing than they did. Hey, I make friends pretty easily, if I’m not your cup of tea…I’ll get over it! There were tears and lots of frank talk and it ended with me being even closer to one and a realization that as much as I’d like to be closer to the other, she just doesn’t have it in her to open up to more than one friend at a time. It’s all good now, but, man, I was a mess last year!

    • lindseyrnobles

      I bet. That would be so hard.

  • Nancy McGee

    I love this Donna King I have to share!

  • I struggle with nearly being invited, nearly getting in and nearly feeling like I belong. I always get ‘just close enough’ but never fully there. I confess that there are days it’s almost eats me alive wondering if I will always be on the outside. Then the logical part of my brain tells me that there are some who may be looking at me and my life and feeling as if they are on the outside looking in. What am I doing to love them the way I wish I was being loved? My prayer is that I can learn to focus on letting them in rather than the circles where I feel left out. I wonder if any of us really realize how many lives we could touch if we just stopped looking to get in and instead started working to ‘let in.’ Just how God is messing with me after reading this post. It’s wicked hard and you are not alone by any stretch.

    • lindseyrnobles

      So good Anne!

    • Anne, I have totally felt this way too. So close to the circle and yet feeling outside of it. My thoughts have often been, “I kinda know you and if you knew me, I think we’d *get* each other!”

      I have many, many different circles of friends. It helps when I focus on what God has given me already, rather than what I think I’m lacking. Depth with so many different kinds of people is a blessing!

      Your words about making sure we are working to ‘let in’… That’s good stuff!

      • Dana! YES! I so often feel like if the people I in the circle I want to be in knew me that we would *get* each other! I think that’s either the great motivation or the great lie. You nailed it!

  • Chad Cannon

    Such a great post, Lindsey! You’re one of the best includers I know. Thanks for sharing this raw post. You need to write more. 🙂

    • lindseyrnobles

      Thanks Chad. So kind of you.
      I’m trying! 🙂

  • You are most definitely not the only one! I think that I overestimate my importance to people. In my mind, they are at the top of my list. I assume that they feel the same. Then, when I am not invited or thought of, reality knocks me over! I love making friends and am willing to go deep with them but it is hard to build covenant friendships. I have a million acquaintances that are an inch deep so everyone assumes that I am popular and have a ton of besties.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Think this happens a lot in the social media age Karina. It’s kind of hard to know the depth of your relationships sometimes…

  • Jen Deshler

    Beautiful post, Lindsey. Feeling left out is such a reminder of our desire for community. Keep sharing your gift of connection 🙂

    • lindseyrnobles

      Thanks Jen!

  • Oh Lindsey…This was elementary school, middle school, high school, and college for me. It still happens on occasion, but not as much now that God has placed me with a group of fellow believers. I can now say I am thankful that God allowed me to be “left out”, as it has given me a heart to see others in the room that may be sitting on the sidelines and feeling left out. All things work together for good, whether it’s creating a new level of sensitivity or allowing us to just be with Him.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Great perspective Cyndee…

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  • Tammy Sellers

    THIS is why I just do not like Facebook. From my (uninvited to practically everything) perspective, there are people living their lives and sharing, and then there are people who seem to have to prove that they are “it” in someone else’s lives and tag and make it known that THEY are the special people who are always doing, going, and being present in other’s lives.

    Thanks for this post! It gives me a lot to think about.

  • Felisha

    Can we be friends? Because I feel like you GET me. http://www.millybecomingwilder.wordpress.com

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  • Jerusalem Greer

    Preach it sister.

  • You are not alone. I have felt this way most of my life. I always feel left behind or left out. Not good enough. Which will spin me in the downward spiral of comparison – which leave me discontent, frustrated, and down. I am really working on not comparing myself to others. It is so refreshing to see that I am not the only one who feels this.