August 1, 2016
Sitting at Home, Alone
They were laughing in their matching neon pink t-shirts with the words “Bethany’s Birthday Girls” printed on the front. They were going bowling after school. Then to get pizza. Then a sleepover.
When Bethany passed out the shirts that morning I pretended to be too busy to notice. I stayed hyper-focused on unpacking my book bag into my locker. And then I hurried off to my first class.
It was clear. Bethany had made a list of her friends and I hadn’t been included.
I thought I would be. We’d gotten together before. I’d invited her to my pool party.
“No big deal,” I tried to tell myself all day. I had plans that night too.
To sit at home. Alone. And wonder why I hadn’t been chosen.
It’s been years since I watched those neon pink shirts all pile into a station wagon after school and drive away.
But it hasn’t been years since I’ve heard the negative inside chatter that ensued afterwards.
“You’re not liked.”
“You weren’t invited.”
“You weren’t chosen.”
Here’s what I wish I could have told my little non-wearing pink t-shirt self back then … and what I need to remember when those same feelings creep in today:
Don’t put the whole of your identity into the smallness of this situation.
Not getting invited that day felt like a defining moment. And maybe it was for the day of Bethany’s party.
But it wasn’t a defining moment of my identity.
It was a moment. And moments shift. People are fickle. People shift.
In the moment Bethany made the list of who to invite to her party, I wasn’t on the top of her mind. Not because she didn’t like me, but simply because she hadn’t thought about it.
It was a small situation.
And I can’t put the whole of my identity into the smallness of this situation. Or any other for that matter.
Have you ever done this? Let a moment define you? It’s so easy to do. And it’s certainly not a struggle that is new to mankind. We see evidence of this as the Apostle Paul has to address identity issues in our key verse.
In his letter to the church at Colossae, Paul tells them that because of their faith in Christ, they are made complete in Christ.
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority” (Colossians 2:9-10, NIV).
Complete. Whole. Full. Nothing lacking. No need for anyone or anything to give them their identity. The same is true for us as believers.
What peace for my heart.
I have been brought to fullness. I am filled up by Christ. With acceptance. With love. With all the fullness of an identity that can’t be shaken.
I can place the wholeness of my identity in that reality … and see everything else as small in comparison.
And when I walk around with that kind of fullness, I become free to let humans be human — fickle and fragile and forgetful.
Yes. Full and free.
Those are the words I want to define me.
Dear Lord, I praise You for Your faithfulness to me in every situation. I don’t want to get hung up on the small things of this world. Please help me place the wholeness of my identity in who You are and the everlasting acceptance that You provide. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
>Ephesians 2:4-5, “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.” (NIV)
John 1:12-13, “Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (NIV)
Don't go another day without learning to live from the abundant place of God’s love. Lysa TerKeurst’s new book, Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely will help you do just that. Pre-order your copy here today and receive free bonus resources that are only available for a limited time!
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What past hurt are you still processing that seemed like a defining moment in your life?
Reflect on the verses in today’s devotion. Write them down in a place where you’ll see them every day. This will help you remember what God says we are to Him — His beloved children who have been saved through His grace.
© 2016 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.