“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” James 4:8a (ESV)
The party sounded amazing. The people I’d heard were going are easy to be with, incredibly fun and all madly skilled 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 that I didn’t get one.
I’d checked my mailbox for days.
Every time I walked down the driveway empty-handed, I assured my sinking heart that, because we lived out in the country, my mail was always one or two or 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 you on Sunday after church.”
And that’s when the hardest of all the realizations hit me.
I wasn’t invited because they simply hadn’t thought to invite me. I wasn’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 to see if that might work. I mean, checking was crucial because our schedule was jam-packed full of all kinds of urgent plans with Netflix. And, hey, for a thrill, I could always get a jump on paperwork for the tax returns due in four 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 that point in my adult life, these feelings would be but a vague memory in my distant past.
So why is it still an option for a grown woman like me to feel like the lonely middle school girl who never got asked to the dance?
Since I had all kinds of thinking time 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 breakthrough.
“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 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 His full wonder inside us 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, not 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. Be held by Him. James 4:8a says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” All I have to do is draw near to Him, and He will draw near to me.
Would I still love to be invited to the next party? Of course.
But even if I’m not, having a night with the Lord is good. Very good. Better than good enough.
Because with Jesus, I’m forever safe. I’m forever accepted. I’m forever held. Completely loved and always invited in.
Dear Lord, thank You so much for Your love. A love that always welcomes. A love that doesn’t reject or uninvite. I am choosing today to rest and delight in the Truth of Your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
Revelation 3:20, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (NIV)
Is there a situation in your life that's made you feel uninvited? What are some specific ways you can remind your heart this week that you are loved by God with a love that can never be diminished, tarnished, shaken or taken?
Share your thoughts in the comments.
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