It happened twice this month.
The people doing it didn’t know their choice not to include me, hurt.
I was left out as a general oversight or a purposeful decision.
Both cut the same.
It’s not the sort of grief that comes with loss or sorrow, it’s the quiet pain we women know so well. Exclusion.
It’s an old war wound in me that resurfaces when I least expect it. Usually when I think I’m a victor over the battle.
But, then there it is. Again.
It starts in the pit of my stomach and grows to become A Thing in my mind. After I’ve thought of every possible angle and excuse, it settles in my heart, like a big brick. And I lug that heavy burden around and see my life thru it’s lens. The feelings that come with being left out (of a group, event, party, initiative, community, you name it) have way more to do with me than anyone else.
I know this.
As I started digging around in my heart, I discovered something ugly. I saw beneath the layers –pride. I recognized it as a desire for my name to be KNOWN.
I don’t long to see my name in lights, I’m way too introverted for that, but I want people to read my blog, to buy my book coming out next year, to support Mercy House—all good things. But it’s a slippery slope when you start out wanting to MAKE HIS NAME KNOWN and discover a longing for yours to be known, too.
When you write a blog, run a non-profit, or say yes to anything big, you often hear these four words: Who do you know?
They seem harmless enough, but when those 4 little words are said to me, this is what I hear: You are not enough.
I don’t have a list of power players or big names. I am small with a quiet voice in this noisy world. I am unknown and I remind myself I wasn’t even on The List or invited to The Event and the wound festers.
I confessed some of this to my husband one night. I told him how I should have been a part and asked why wouldn’t they include me? He said, “You don’t love speaking or crowds or traveling. Would you really have gone?”
I found my answer in my answer, “Well, probably not. But I just wanted to be invited. I wanted to be recognized.”
And there it is uncovered, ugly, staring me in the face: PRIDE.
I found my knees. I asked God to root out this desire to be known that only left me feeling unknown. I prayed, “search me and know me God. Forgive me.”
Because really, I don’t want to be known by the world. I don’t want them to see that I can use my words to hurt others. I don’t want them to know I tend to hold a grudge or lose my cool. I don’t really want my insecurity to define me. My husband and children know the real me. They’ve smelled my morning breath and seen my funky bed head.
And God whispers, “I know you.”
He sees when I sit, when I rise, when I make my bed in Hell, when I serve or give without telling the other hand what I’m doing. He knows me whether I want Him to or not.
He’s beckoning me out of the spotlight and into His light.
So, ask me who I know. The list is short. It’s not very impressive. It won’t land me on a panel of big names or a bestseller list.
But I know Him.
And even better He knows me.