Howdy, friends! I’ve been traveling non stop this past week. Houston to Dallas to Arizona, feeling homesick and missing my sweet husband. I’m currently on a flight on the cutest little plane on my way home. I long for our own bed, our little kitchen and my DVR box that’s begging me to catch up on my shows! There really is no place like home. Also! If you’ve emailed me in “ask Mariah” the past two weeks- I’m catching up on emails like a crazy person! I haven’t forgotten! Promise!
Anyways, anytime I write a post I always ask God what to write about. That’s why sometimes I’ll go weeks without a post- a lot of the time our jobs and business get in the way, but also I never force a post. It has to be heavy on my heart and on my mind. Quality not quantity, my friends.
God made it very clear though what to write about this week. There isn’t really a particular story I can tell you, or a recent situation that I want to vent about. Just a series of little things that add up to a conversation I wanted to have open up.
Have you ever felt so uninvited that you just want to give up? Or even change yourself in the hopes of being included?
- Not invited or welcome
- Not wanted or encouraged.
I’m what you might call a… people pleaser. I love love LOVE for everyone to be happy. As I’ve gotten older, I really have grown to appreciate my priorities and what makes me happy too. Maybe that’s saying no to a friend because I know I need quality time with my husband. Or it’s forsaking extra sleep to wake up 15 minutes early to spend some quiet, alone time with Jesus (oooh yeah that’s right, married friends! sometimes you need your devotion time just by yourself. you and your Father- you’re not leaving your husband out, rather refueling to love even better! I promise.)
I’m my happiest when I feel that everyone around me is happy. That may turn into what may be classified under, overbearing pushing over-ing. (< I made that up and I would appreciate you pretending that’s it’s a real phrase / real grammar.)
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to what my Papa calls “over-do”. Going all out with gifts, favors, and being so loving that it left no time to love myself. But you know what is the funniest thing? Even with every effort in the whole world- it still wasn’t enough for the people I was trying to make happy. Dare I even say, the people I was trying to make like me. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have some weird complex about not sleeping at night if everyone didn’t adore me. But I do love for the people I’m around to like to be around me! (does that make any sense?) But still, even in every effort, it wasn’t and still isn’t always enough.
In the world of social media, it’s so easy to see everything at the drop of a hat. As they’re happening, you’re aware of it in real time. Whether it’s all of your friend’s together without you, or people you desire to be your friends together without extending an invitation. It could be your siblings, cousins, extended family. It doesn’t matter: there are circumstances you feel forgotten about sometimes in life, no matter how wonderful you try to be. If that’s how you feel, I want you to know that it happens to me, too. Sometimes people mean to hurt you, sometimes they don’t. What matters is how you react and respond. There are moments in life when I want to be sassy, sarcastic and react out of my emotions. I can’t say that that never happens- but I try my hardest to take time to understand situations before I hurt so deeply and respond in a way that would hurt the person right back (what does that help?). It takes a lot of soul to find the reason why we can be so hurt by missing out on things by way of being left out. I deal with it to this day, this week I had a conversation with a family friend who’s way advanced in life – she felt the exact same way. I couldn’t believe that such a successful, beautiful, talented and hilarious wife, mommy and business woman dealt with the same issue that was on my heart at the time. She spent her time blessing people, loving on people and inviting people just to get the opposite back.
I personally think that what the enemy would love to do, out of this specific situation, is plant seeds of self doubt and self-loathing. Now I know what you’re thinking “Mariah, ‘self-loathing’ because you weren’t invited to a party is a bit dramatic, don’t you think?”
It may sound like it, but you’re talking to someone who dealt and deals with this from time to time… The devil will plant any rotten seed to grow a root of bitterness. A childhood tragedy, a middle school breakup, someone at your church or school that just looked at you the wrong way. He’ll use other people’s issues to plant insecurity in your heart, water it with words of destruction and shine the deep darkness of fear over it until that thing grows and grows into a core belief. In that definition of the word ‘uninvited’ above, I really liked what #2 said: “Not wanted or encouraged.” #NoKidding. Have you ever dropped things for someone, listened to them, talked them through hard times and loved on them, but when you need that attention back they’re nowhere to be found?
Sometimes it can feel like you pour out and pour out and you’re left empty. Let me tell you, don’t ever let this stop you from being an encourager. I believe two things about our life here on earth:
- Jesus was and is in the business of People. And he’s hired us to work in that office too.
- “Love your neighbor as yourself”, if you don’t love yourself- then you can’t love your neighbor well.
There are times: you can love so well. Encourage well. Friend well. And you are left without a healthy reciprocation. People aren’t always able to love you back in the same health, because they’re still learning to love themselves. I refuse to be a friend to people who only are able to give something to me. Sometimes there are relationships in your life just for you to be a blessing. God will give you people, friends, mentors and family that will go through the hard times and the good times with you. Not everyone will do that – nor does everyone need to do that. I’m begging you, don’t let this make you give up on people. Love love love until the day you’re called Home. Because I believe it is truly our purpose. Love those who do you wrong, just as much as those who bless you well. You’re planting seeds of life. Sowing a harvest that is so big that your great-grandchildren will reap it long after you’re gone. (If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that God blesses generationally. And I love that my kids will reap a harvest of graciousness that I may never see.)
I conclude by saying:
God taught me a cool lesson this month. What I may see as rejection, may actually be God’s divine distance from situations and areas I don’t need to be in.
And even if there are people who have forgotten about you, know that that doesn’t give you a license to ignore them back. Love from the distance you’re at, bless them, and keep moving forward. You may never know how impactful that could be on their life, spirit and heart. And as always, if you ever feel left out, know that you’ve got a friend in me.