I was just checking out at Hobby Lobby when I saw it. Truth be told I didn’t even know Hobby Lobby carried books. It stopped me in my tracks when the title was displayed at the end of an aisle. It caught my eye so I paused to browse a bit. I picked it up and then placed it back down several times. I didn’t even read the description on the back. I just circled around the aisle as the title kept calling out to me. I think it scared me to be honest.
No, that’s not right. It was terrifyingly familiar. I hadn’t even started reading it, but that title might as well of had my full name written beside it.
“Living loved when you feel less than, left out and lonely.”
After about ten uncomfortable minutes hoping no one saw me pacing back and forth between the display, I picked it up and proceeded to the cashier. Like most of us, life summoned me away from the book for quite some time. I love to read, but since motherhood I have this notorious pile of books that sits along my bedside. Sadly, months can pass by before I’m able to get past the front cover of even one. Yet, this particular book intrigued me and I set out time to read it. I was done with work one night and I retreated to a coffee shop after the kids were put to bed to “indulge” in an uninterrupted date night with this peculiar book.
I didn’t get past Chapter 1 before one sentence ignited me in such a profound way that I could feel the tears well up. Not just because it spoke to me on such a deep level, but because I’ve had the honor of paying witness to the insurmountable ways I know it resonates with so many of you. Motherhood isn’t the only role that reminds us when we’re not quite fitting the bill on a daily basis. In fact, some days if I’m not feeling stung by all of the ways I didn’t quite meet someone’s needs in one way or another, I consider that a victorious day.
It’s our marriages, partnerships, friendships, jobs, social circles and it can even be in our church. It’s every place and any time we feel we’re not good enough, accepted, a part of the “inner” circle, forgiven or an active participant.
When I set out to create a blog, I really wasn’t sure about the content, direction or purpose. I knew I wanted to reconnect with writing. I knew I wanted to record the daily invitations that my children offer me since becoming a mother. I knew that I wanted to break the silent prisons of humility, shame and judgment I felt shackled by. I knew I wanted to make connections just as I knew there were people needing an invitation. I wasn’t sure what the invitation would be for them, anymore than I can say I knew what the invitation would be for me either.
After that night, I made an intentional date to hide away with the book. I returned to that one page that electrocuted me and continued on. I thought about all of the ways in which each of us experiences being on the “outside”, waiting for the invitation. No matter what your challenge of “living loved, feeling less than, left out or lonely” looks and feels like, it connects us all together without even knowing it. Since creating the website, I continue to see the fear of being “uninvited” in life in so many of you.
From the subtle fear of admissions to what some may feel are risky topics I write about to the number of people who have shared their stories in private out of fear of being on the outside. I don’t think my reaction to this book is unlike what many of you might experience if you read it. It was a powerful reminder of why so many of us are choosing isolation and silence, but not because we want to. Some of us are just waiting to be invited.
There is a personal irony in the book. When I created my blog, I wanted to create invitations. That became the message I built the whole site around. Originally I wanted women and mothers to not only accept my invitation to feel connected and honored but stand resurrected in our truth (no matter how scary) together. Slowly, I began to see an audience reach out that reminded me that rejection and our natural inclination for acceptance is universal. It doesn’t know or care if you’re a woman or man. It doesn’t care if you’re married or not. It doesn’t care if you’re single or a parent. It doesn’t care what your accolades are, what socio-economic status you are, what social circle you ascribe to or what denomination you believe in.
At the end of the day, no one wants to be Uninvited.
No, I am not getting paid for what may seem like a good book review. Well, I didn’t get paid monetarily that is. I got paid, but in an entirely different, unexpected, refreshing, validating and inspiring way. I believe some of you would find an invitation in this book too. If you’re one of the millions of people who have already received the invitation from Lysa Terkeurst, well then let me just defend myself by saying at least I finished it. In honor of being truthful, I have about six books next to my bed that I faithfully started but never got to finish in just the past few months. For those of you who get what I’m talking about, thank you and thank you.
Oh and to anyone like me who had no clue Hobby Lobby carries books, they do. Hopefully you don’t do what I did and potentially scare the cashiers who likely thought I was about to hyjack something as I circled that aisle.
In Love & Truth,