Extending an Invite This Season

by | Nov 16, 2023 | Life Advice

If we were sitting together right now, you would see me admiring the cheap Christmas decorations I just bought from 5 Below to decorate my apartment for my first post-grad Christmas. If we were together I probably would’ve made some hot chocolate and cookies but since it’s just me, it’s my girl dinner that consists of cheese, crackers and popcorn. I really wish we were together so that I could have the first choice! Holiday season has begun and the social calendar has started to pick up. I feel like everyone has had a birthday, engagement, or festive get together recently. Like they say “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” As I sit to write this blog I can’t help but to think about the girl that just doesn’t quite feel the warm and fuzzy feelings this season can bring. You may feel included, maybe you are the hosting queen! Or maybe you feel excluded or a little less important than the typical social butterfly.

If you got left out of the plans, recently weren’t invited to something, this is for you. First I want to say I’m sorry, it’s never fun. Never good timing to be left out of the group chat, not invited to the birthday party, forgotten in the head count. It leaves a feeling of insignificance, a feeling of loneliness, and oftentimes those feelings make a home in your heart that take a little too long to leave. It is interesting how the lack of an invite can create the kind of bruise it does in our hearts. How the scroll on instagram, that reveals how they hung out without you, can create a sort of bitterness that pushes apart a relationship that was once so special. Can I share a little bit of my heart with you today? It won’t be anything that fixes the sting but it may comfort it.

There is a story in the bible where Mary and Martha felt forgotten by God. If you flip to John 11 you will read the story of Lazarus and how he became ill and Jesus “didn’t show up.” Because Jesus didn’t show up when Mary and Martha thought that he should, they felt unseen, lonely, and like they had missed an opportunity for a miracle. Verse 5 shares that “Jesus loved Mary and Martha so when he heard Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was at for two more days.” As I read this I thought how interesting that Jesus loved them but didn’t come to them when they expected. But we see in verse 15 that Jesus says, “For your sake I am glad I was not there so that you may believe.” The moment they felt forgotten led to a moment where they experienced Jesus in a new way. Lazarus had been dead for 4 days when God raised him to life and exceeded the expectation of Mary and Martha. When Martha told Jesus “If you had been here, Lazarus would not have died” Jesus said I had a plan all along to use this experience as a way for you to grow closer to me. As a way for Mary and Martha to know God in a way they had never experienced before. Know him as Father. Know him as a healer. And know him as their closest friend on a day that couldn’t feel more lonely. God is not just using their season of loneliness for his glory but he is using yours too.

The amount of invites you get does not determine the amount of value inside of you. I know that doesn’t seem accurate today, it doesn’t feel true today, but how powerful it is to choose to believe it. It can feel like the invite number equals the number on the value scale but thank goodness it doesn’t. Could you imagine? If our worth was built on an invite, I think we would all be lacking, because we have all been left out. I’m so grateful that the number of invites you have received doesn’t correlate with the amount of value you withhold because even if you do get a lot of invites what happens the moment one doesn’t come? Our value would come crashing down. Our value is not based on who you are, what you do, or where you come from. Better said, your value is not based on what they called you, the things you do with them, or the things they didn’t do for you. Your value is based on the one who instilled value inside of you, Jesus.

Maybe they didn’t call you friend or really they didn’t act like a friend. Thankfully you have the biggest friend, the best friend, and his name is Jesus. He doesn’t just play the role of friend but he also comes as a Father. A protector, a healer, a source of peace. This means when they swing, he protects. When they hurt, he heals. When they fill your heart with so much anxiousness you can’t stand to be near them, he fills your heart with peace to walk confidently not just in their room but in every room. Having Him on your team means that you never walk without a friend but always have one right beside you. Every moment, every hour, he is a friend to you.

Just because they didn’t send the text doesn’t mean they don’t like you. Just because you weren’t invited doesn’t mean you were supposed to be there. What the world tells us is earthly “rejection” is often heavenly protection. There have been many “invites” I was too busy to make, that have guarded my heart for the roads I am walking now. The missed event wasn’t accidental because God doesn’t create accidents in people or actions. He creates purpose. Pain is on purpose, because there is not one thing wasted for the one who is a child of God. The timing of Jesus’ arrival as Mary and Martha prayed for Lazarus’ healing was on purpose because of the glory God would receive in the end. The nights you spend alone in your room are purposeful for the realization of who God wants to be to you.

At the beginning of our conversation I shared about the hosting queen, social butterfly, maybe it’s you? It is me! The one who loves to be around people, go to dinner with girlfriends, host the friendsgiving. God created a role for us in the invitation too. Jesus lived a life that impacted more people than we read stories about. Jesus also lived a life not waiting to be invited but inviting people in and we get to do that too. Recently I was asked what advice I would give to someone looking for community. I shared with her to never wait to be invited but be the one who invites. If you are looking for a community and feeling like you’re at the bottom of the invite list then invite girls into your life. One of the biggest ways the enemy likes to isolate is by telling us “they already have their friend group.” I have met a lot of girls who looked like they had their dream friend group when in reality their hangouts were full of gossip, shallow conversations, and relationships that left them feeling lonely.

Is it not fun to be the one not invited, we know that, so why would we not invite. Let’s be the “inviters” (is that even a word?? I’m not sure but I want to be one!) High school girls, invite a new friend over to your house for girls night. College girls invite a friend from class to go on a walk with you before your class tomorrow. Young adult girls, invite a friend over to chat and fold laundry with. Mommas, invite a neighbor over for dinner. Let people in on the joy of your life, even when you don’t get invited into theirs.

It’s the holiday season, the most wonderful time of the year and as much as it feels like there is a weekly event to not get invited to, there is a weekly opportunity to be the “inviter.” Being left out hurts. Felling unseen and unwanted hurts. If we know how it feels to be that girl then let’s be the girl we always needed. I challenge you this week to love the people around you, walk with Jesus as your Father and Friend, and invite people into the joy of this season.

XX Scarlet

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