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 sleep over.
When Bethany passed out the shirts by her locker 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 sans 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 a pink t-shirt that day felt like a defining moment. And maybe it was for that day. I wasn’t invited to Bethany’s party. And that stunk.
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.
My Pastor used a verse in his sermon recently that echoes these same thoughts, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, AND YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN FULLNESS IN CHRIST,” (Colossians 2: 9-10).
I have been given fullness.
I can place the wholeness of my identity in that reality… and see everything else as small in comparison.Leave a Comment