Wednesday, April 9, 2014

When you're feeling overlooked and left out...



I had worked hard on the writing piece for the conference writing contest.  I had written, edited and re-written it.  I sent it off via email and received notice that it had been received and that it met the contest criteria.  It wasn't the winning that I was most interested in, but the mentoring and feedback promised for my submission.  Those of us who didn't win were instructed to pick up our writing pieces and feedback at a table in the lobby.  Mine wasn't on the table and when the young lady working at the table looked for my name on the list of contest entries, my name wasn't there.   Somewhere along the way, my submission had been lost.  I'm fifty six years old, but I wanted to cry like I was ten.

Later that afternoon, I had a private mentoring session scheduled.  I was looking forward to asking questions about blogging, writing, platforms and publishing.  I checked in five minutes before my  fifteen minute session was to begin and was sent to a room where I stood in the open doorway, in sight of the mentor, to wait my turn.  The mentor I was scheduled to meet with was still talking with the person ahead of me. When my fifteen minutes dwindled down to five and the mentor was still talking to the person ahead of me, I gave up and walked away.

Those experiences hung with me for weeks.  I'm normally pretty secure in who I am, but being treated like I was invisible, that my work had no value, shook me up.  As those involved in these situations were two or three decades younger than me, my mind jumped to the conclusion that I was a victim of ageism.  If I was, I think it may have been my first experience of feeling its sting.

Recently, we had a birthday dinner at our house.  The two oldest grandkids were going to spend the night with us following dinner. I was watching them the following day of their spring break while their mama worked.  When our five year old granddaughter caught wind of our plans with her cousins she cornered me in the kitchen.  She whispered to me, "Nana, will you please invite me to have a sleepover, too?  Mama said I couldn't stay because I wasn't invited."  My heart dropped into my shoes at those words as she looked at me with her blue eyes.  Immediately I reassured her, "you're always invited at Papa and Nana's house."  Now, is it as easy to have a five year old overnight as it is a nine and ten year old?  Perhaps not.  But no grandchild of mine is ever going to feel overlooked and left out if I can help it.  Yet, will I always be able to prevent it?  Probably not. 

The feeling of not being included, not being valued, can hurt us whether we're five or fifty five.  It can strike us when we see on Facebook that a group of friends had a get together without us.  It can strike us when there's a conference or retreat that everyone's going to except us.  It can strike us when our gender, or our skin color, or our age is used as an excuse to exclude us or make us feel devalued.  Yet, let's be honest here,  I know I've at one time or other, however unintentionally, left someone out.  I'm sure I've overlooked someone or not valued them or their gifts and talents properly.  We human beings fail.  We flub up.  We hurt each other.

Yes, these hurtful things like this can cause us to lose our bearings.  They can knock the wind out of our sails.  That's when we have to have our identity and our worth firmly rooted in something and someone that is unshakeable and unchangeable.  I know that I am adopted permanently into God's family.  I know that God valued me enough to sacrifice His Son in order to make that adoption possible.  I know that He had a plan and purpose uniquely designed for me before I was even conceived.  I know that as long as I have breath,  I have purpose.  My experiences at that conference did indeed shake me up, but did they knock me off the Solid Rock?  No, they didn't.  My life and whatever gifts and talents I may have are in good hands,  God's hands, and nothing and no one can change that.

still following,

     




at 3-D Lessons for Life

62 comments:

  1. SO. WELL. PUT. and needed. Thanks, Elizabeth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, my friend, and thanks for reposting on FB!

      Delete
    2. Just what I needed right now!
      Praise God for working powerfully through you!

      Delete
  2. This sounds like me over and over again over my 66 years. I was very unstable before I knew Christ but in these 21 years of knowing that I am His child, I, too, have come to know that my security is on the Rock.
    Much pondering for me to do. Glad I came as you are my next-door neighbor at Jennifer's.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    ReplyDelete
  3. just lovely, Elizabeth! We all want to be invited, don't we! Thank goodness we are invited to by the Great Mentor anytime we want! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right. My Divine Mentor is available 24/7! Thanks so much for your kind encouragement, Aly.

      Delete
  4. I know it was hard for you, I'm sorry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was hard, but I'm so thankful that I'm rooted in God's love, so these hurts aren't fatal!

      Delete
  5. Your life and good gifts are most definitely in his hands! Bless you for sharing today Elizabeth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Pat. I truly am confident that I am in His good hands!

      Delete
  6. Thank you for such a timely and needed word!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Pam for taking time to stop and comment!

      Delete
  7. Thank you for writing this. I've been struggling with these feelings just this week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barbie, I think we all get hurt in this way at times. The only cure is being so deeply rooted in God's love that the rejection of others doesn't move us. Love you, dear friend.

      Delete
  8. Thank you very much for sharing these timely and encouraging words, Elizabeth! May the Lord bless you in your life and ministry to Him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Ashley. It seems most of us have been through similar hurts.

      Delete
  9. Wow, Elizabeth. Your writing is truly a God given gift. I am sure it is on your gratitude list. If not, it should be!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well put, Elizabeth. And how true it is that we become more sensitive to the feelings & hurts of others through the hard stuff that we experience personally. Our lives ARE in good hands and nothing changes that. What a comfort.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right. If we allow God to make us better, instead of us getting bitter when we feel rejection from others, He can then use it to help others through us!

      Delete
  11. I have been in many similar situations and can totally relate to this. You did a wonderful job putting it into words. Thank you, Elizabeth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Debby. You are a blessing!

      Delete
  12. Oh, I so feel your heart here. Thank you so much for writing this. It's something I struggle with all too often. And it really does hurt when we feel overlooked and left out. But I loved your reminder of how "We human beings fail. We flub up. We hurt each other." So true. Amen to this ~> "I know that I am adopted permanently into God's family." May we hold tightly to this true and may it also help us to be more sensitive to others feelings. Blessings to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beth, thanks so much for your encouraging comment. I agree that we have to hold tightly to the truth of God, so the rejection of man doesn't affect us so much.

      Delete
  13. Amen! So glad we matter to the One whose opinion matters most!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen to that! Thanks for taking time to comment, Sarah!

      Delete
  14. Elizabeth, this is such a good reminder for us all. May we not overlook those around us. May we not cause others to feel they are invisible to us. And may we always remember our God always sees us. His eyes are ever on us. I am so glad you wrote this post & you were just before me at Imperfect Prose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for always being such an encouragement to me!

      Delete
  15. I can relate to this! I have definitely been feeling left out recently, and overlooked. Thank you for your encouragement! new reader here :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ashley, thanks so much for your comment! I hope you are confident that you are never overlooked or not seen by God. He loves you so much, in fact you're His favorite!

      Delete
  16. Sorry to leave another comment but I just thought of this. There was an older gentleman at church years ago, who whenever I would greet him, I would say, "It's good to see you." His response, every single time? "It's good to be seen!" Your post just brought that back to mind. There is not a single one of us who does not desire to be seen, to be noticed, to feel valued. Such a great post, Elizabeth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I LOVE this, and am so glad you commented again to tell me this wonderful memory!

      Delete
  17. I too have walked away, perhaps too early, with the certainty that no one cared.

    I can't help wondering what would have happened if I stayed, pressed in, pushed on...

    ReplyDelete
  18. Beautifully said,Elizabeth! I think we've all had times when we've felt left out and overlooked. I know I have! Remember that we are loved by the only One who matters is something that we should never forget. Thanks for sharing this! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, to have our roots so deep in God's love that the rejection of man can't move us is what we all need! Thanks, Lynda!

      Delete
  19. Elizabeth! Such a good reminder that we are never overlooked by the One who always sees us. My daughter was 'left-out' of something recently and it hurt me so fiercely, so deep...I wanted to wrap her in my arms and never let her out, never let her hurt like that again. But in the end, it's as you said - we have purpose in HIs plans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it hurts worse to see our children hurt than ourselves. I'm reading a great book about how we're pre approved by God, it's Love Idol by Jennifer Dukes Lee. She wrote the book with her daughters in mind.

      Delete
  20. Thank you for sharing that painful piece and being vulnerable. I would have felt the very same. Just know that I so appreciate your posts and the encouragement that you share. God didn't forget your labour of love. I hope you kept a copy. Maybe it wasn't the right time. God knows.
    Blessings, Diane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement. I did keep a copy and used it in a blog post. Here's the link:
      http://www.justfollowingjesus.com/2014/03/encouragement-for-young-mamasmy-story.html

      Delete
  21. So many of my blogging/writer friends are feeling the pain and disappointment of not being "the one" - the one that gets th job, the contract the ..."yes" of approval. I was at the conference and wish I'd known how you were feeling. I'd have offered you a warrior hug and told you what you already know...Your words matter...they are God inspired ministry and life - KEEP ON KEEPING ON!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a joy to meet you at the conference. You just shine bright with Jesus! I suppose in every gathering there are those who are feeling the way I felt that day, even in our church. I need to remember to be sensitive to what others are going through and let God use this lesson for good.

      Delete
  22. As you can easily see from the many comments here, your blog post hits home. I'm feeling a particular kinship to it right now. I am in a state of "I don't fit anywhere" these days. A friend even called me "Woman without a country" in a recent conversation. That's exactly how I feel.

    I guess since I'm a pilgrim and an alien in this world, I am actually supposed to feel that way. That's the reality and the TRUTH. If I can just wrap my heart around what my head knows, I would probably feel better.

    Thanks for this post. As usual, it was excellent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm rather shocked at the response to this post. We all desire to be seen don't we? Thank God that He is the One Who Sees Me!

      Delete
    2. Debbie, I'd love you to email me and tell me more about what you are going through if you feel comfortable doing so. Love to you, dear friend.

      Delete
  23. Here I sit in my office wanting to jump up and down and say, "No!!!! Y'all forgot Elizabeth's entry! That's not fair." But...maybe through the mix-up and being overlooked by the mentor, God still had a plan.

    And how you related it back to your precious granddaughter.

    I've felt this way too. Guess we never get too old to want to be included.

    Beautiful, Elizabeth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, it was a tough pill to swallow, but God knows. Perhaps He wants me to use it to be more alert and aware of others and their feelings.

      Delete
  24. So many times I feel overlooked....but I am guilty of not including others myself. Not that I am doing it on purpose.... its just that I get so wrapped up in stuff that I tend to be selfish and just not put others first. May my eyes be open to those that are around me and may I work at including others.
    Thanks for this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Piper, You and me both. I pray God uses my hurt to make me more aware of others!

      Delete
  25. There is a precious nerve you have touched here Elizabeth. We have talked a little about all this being invisible, passed over, not invited thing. And I know this: God hasn't missed a thing and you beautiful Elizabeth bring a deep level of Jesus to the entire on line world. Thank you for that. Love you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rhonda. We're going to press on and make the rest of our life the best of our life, right?

      Delete
  26. I'm so sorry you had to go through that experience, my friend. I always admire your writing and wish I had a way with words that flows so sweetly as your do. You always touch my heart. I do know the feeling of being overlooked or left out but I'm so thankful God never does that to us - He sees and keeps loving and including us when we least expect it! Keep up the good work, dear friend. You touch to many hearts you may never know about until you get to Heaven some day!
    ~Adrienne~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for being so supportive and such and encouragement to me!

      Delete
  27. First off, I can't see where you would need blogging tips and suggestions anyways because you write beautiful well written content. I have been blogging for three years and have loads of knowledge, but I don't even use half the knowledge I have. Feel free to email with any questions you have.

    Secondly, I have to to say this blog post hit home for me a lot because I do feel left out quite a bit, and have most of my life for one reason or another. Sometimes I feel it's my own fault because I come across in all the wrong ways because I've been raised as a loner.

    I'm glad that you addressed this issue so well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crystal, I think our "plight" is one that is quite common. I'm sure the enemy likes to keep us all feeling isolated, and so we withdraw even more, leaving us vulnerable to his plots to discourage and destroy.

      Delete
  28. Elizabeth, thank you for reminding me that God's purposes for my life are unshakeable. This good word encouraged my spirit today. Hugs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To be an encouragement to you blesses me so! Thanks, Lyli!

      Delete
  29. So glad to have stumbled on this at coffee for your heart! This was just what I needed to read, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sybil, I'm so blessed that this encouraged you!

      Delete
  30. such a great post! When I get too dependent on "people" God always reminds me that my confidence needs to be full grounded in Him. Amazing how we never get too old to experience this kind of disappointment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Debra! I so agree that we need to be deeply rooted in God's love so that rejection from people doesn't knock us down.

      Delete
  31. Thanks Elizabeth! This post is excellent! In this life, we may face many injustices: we may be misunderstood; we may not be appreciated by others; our work and service may not be duly rewarded; we may be overlooked and ignored. The world often ignores the plight of the needy, crushing any earthly hope they may have, but God, the champion of the weak, promises this will not be the case forever. He knows our needs, He knows our tendency to despair, and He promises to care for us. Even when others forget us, He will remember! God bless!

    ReplyDelete

The best thing about blogging is hearing from you!
I'd love for you to leave a comment! Click subscribe by email if you want me to be able to reply to you.