All the guests are in their assigned seats for the reception meal. You check your placement on the reservation sheet. Your name appears with the number of the table you’re looking at. But there is no chair for you to sit in. All the seats are occupied. No one budges. No one looks up to even acknowledge you. Everyone at the table is deep into conversation — do you interrupt to ask if anyone might be in the wrong seat? Wouldn’t this seem rude? And who would admit to being in the wrong if they intentionally chose to park themselves in someone else’s place?
You refuse to hunt down the host. After all, who wants to draw attention and become the one person creating bad vibes on a happy occasion?
Finding a seat at some random table, unfamiliar with the nearby occupants, you quietly concede. And you cannot wait until the night is over so that you can get into your car and leave it all behind. But do you?
Chances are you take that dreadful moment with you — and it willingly travels with you wherever you go. Work, school, sporting events, church, conferences … it conveniently fits into your pocket of stored thoughts.
The effects of that main event have multiplied and morphed into angry and bitter monsters throughout the years that lash out at unsuspecting victims in their path. At the slightest hint of being unwelcomed, the ugly in us rises to the top and devours and strikes anyone and everyone within reach. Hurtful words, sarcastic remarks, gut-punching criticism and judgement that drops a gavel to impute pain. What may seem powerful in the heated moment is more destructive to the one who seeks to punish the world.
Maybe you can relate.
As you learn to compare what you’ve contrived as lack of talent, knowledge, possessions, status, expertise, number of followers on social media — oh, how the list is endless — the dark side of not being good enough to be included in circles or events echoes with whispers of ‘you’re not invited.’
Feelings of inadequacy and insecurity can haunt the most confident ones among us when that welcome mat seems to be nowhere in sight.
We begin to discredit our true identity and forget who we are: that unique image bearer that has purpose for her life.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14 ESV
If this is remotely part of your history, you’re certainly not alone, Friend. While it may have been part of your backstory, it is not where the story ends.
For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]. Ephesians 2:10 Amplified
I was what you might call the nerdy girl in school — I actually enjoyed it. Academics was where I found I could retreat into a world where only those who spoke that same language would understand my quirkiness. It was a place where I could anesthetize against the tyranny of feeling left out.
What I saw in the mirror was far from the work of art that GOD had seen from the beginning.
In your frustration, maybe you have reacted as I have. Misinterpreting the good intention of others, lashing out at their extended kindness because of those who didn’t put out the welcome mat in the past. You may have built a protective layer of self-preservation so thick and impenetrable that you’ve possibly shut out far too many people and missed out on some potential friendships.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Isaiah 53:3 NLT
If you didn’t know before reading this, Jesus was also rejected by those He came to love. In fact, He knew ahead of time that was the setting He was walking into. Being fully man and human, He felt the same feelings of being unwanted and rejected. He knows the pain and sorrow associated with all of that.
We can find the courage in the One Who was there all along while we were experiencing that pain of rejection to live in the present and anticipate the future with a brighter and fulfilling outlook. Because it is available to you if you ask and receive it.
‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and tell you [and even show you] great and mighty things, [things which have been confined and hidden], which you do not know and understand and cannot distinguish.’ Jeremiah 33:3 Amplified
Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. Romans 15:7 ESV
Choosing to embrace Jesus helps us to see what we were not seeing all along. He is the Light that will illuminate that truth within you.
And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 NLT
Use your voice to declare who you are, Sweet Friend: a child of GOD. That’s the best invitation you could ever accept. And get this: in His House He has reserved a place for you — if you’ll take it. There is no welcome mat big enough for that!
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~
LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary
*Thank you to Charlin Neal | Multitracks.com of Austin, TX for this.