About the Author

Mary is a writer and speaker who lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons – but lives because of God’s grace. She writes about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places at MaryCarver.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

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  1. Mary,
    I think we are all susceptible to self-doubt. I know that I am. When I don’t hear from a friend in a long time, I often jump to the (wrong) conclusion that she is hanging out with other more interesting friends or doing something more fun than what she would be doing with me. That’s what jumps into my mind first, when in actuality it usually winds up that she’s just been busy or perhaps weary and dragged down by life….and could actually use a friend. It’s only taken 53 years, but I am learning to recognize the enemy’s lies and am able to tell him to take a hike. Reading the Truth always helps and it reminds me that to have a friend, I need to be a good friend. So, I keep reaching out…thank you, Mary, for sharing so honestly this morning!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Just one more reason (as if I need more!) to stay grounded in the Word! (And I’m the same way – not hearing from someone for longer than I expect always makes me nervous!)

  2. Mary, what a beautiful, heart-touching post. Yes, I’m in my forties, and I STILL deal with this struggle. Rejection branded its imprint on my heart when I was a girl, and I still struggle to replace its lies with God’s truth at times. The thoughts of self-condemnation come when I look at situations through that lens of rejection.

    God is teaching me to look to Him and cling to what He says about me. As you mentioned, we are ENOUGH when He is in us. We are enough because of who we are in Him and who God says we are to Him.

    Thank you for your transparency. It touched my heart.

    • Thank you so much for this. It really hits home. I’ve never really had a great Christian friend that hasn’t stabbed me in the back at one time or another. My family insists I attract that. Nonetheless, “Rejection is God’s protection,” has been my unfortunate mantra. Thanks.

  3. Thank you for sharing what I still struggle with at 57 years of age. It was extremely challenging finding friends when I was in school. I always found myself gravitating towards the one’s no one would want to be seen with or weren’t considered “cool”. As I’ve gotten older I’ve had friends that have been there for a “reason” or a “season”. It is true though that just because a friend has been distant for a while doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten you. They may just need you to reach out a hand to let them know you are there as their friend. My everlasting and true friend who will never leave me or forsake me is Jesus and I am grateful for that.

    • Those friends for a season – I am just learning to accept hat, to be thankful for those friends even if they don’t remain close forever. I think instead of feeling frustrated that I’m still learning, I’m going to be thankful that He’s still teaching me. 🙂

  4. Aww I’m so sorry you had to feel all this! I totally can identify with this whole post though. Thanks for your honesty and dragging us along with you to point out the truth!!! We’ve got to keep our eyes fixed on HIM and I have to constantly remind myself of this every.single.day. (I’m a slow learner…!) Have a blessed day Mary!

  5. I’m nearly 20 years older than you and I will just tell you that those fears, doubts and insecurities…they are still there…waiting for a weak moment to whisper the lies. I don’t pay attention to them much anymore, but it doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I’ve found that in those times when I feel disappointed or discouraged about friends…if I will just stop focusing on what I DON’T have or what is going on at the time…and remember those who have walked this life with me…I am able to see God’s faithfulness to me in all seasons of my life. And I also make a conscious decision to take the focus off of myself…and look for others to encourage. Some days, this is reallllllly hard, but I think most people we meet on a daily basis are in need of a friendly word. Thank you for sharing this post…it’s a great reminder for me and much needed encouragement on this day!

  6. Awww, Mary, I understand because it’s been a tough season for friendships in my life right now, too. Perhaps it’s becoming more difficult for any of us to find our “place” in this world since so many are wrapped up in their own dramas. I’ve had a party that ended like your small group evening and it was a slap in my face, still stings. I’m so sorry.

    Keep treasuring the relationships you do have, invest in those who are able to reciprocate and let our Lord fill up those crevices in your heart that long for companionship. Hugs to you today!

    Missy

  7. Thanks, Mary. I have struggled with believing lies all my life until recently God showed me they are lies and the way to combat them is by His truth. This was a much needed reminder.

  8. Phew! I thought I was the only one who is going through this! 😛

    Thank you for your encouraging message and reminding me of the Truth!!!

    love,
    Nina Ruth 🙂

  9. O dear, I don’t doubt myself ever. I’ve got a superiority complex. I just think that it’s not God’s will or God timing. If in fact it is God’s will it would happen. It’s got nothing to do with my personality.
    I’ve been created such because I’m God’s very own workmanship and HE LOVES me just the way HE created me and a friend would love me just as I am. Christ in me.
    O dear. I’ve never been treated badly until bible study.
    In the Catholic church I was cherished and deemed a very special child and adult and given the most attention by the nuns and the priests. I was loved.
    So, I could not understand why no one found me a special person. I was hurt.
    But then God, HE just said, someone else would come along one day.
    I made a friend in my early twenties when my son was young and she had a son as well and we hung out. She is still my friend and we share all our little moments together.
    I do not think the best kid in the block would be a good friend for me.
    I think that the one that really likes me is the best friend that I could have. Cos. Cos. Cos they like me and would like to be my friend.
    I would never force myself on anyone as I do not like being forced into friendships.
    Though I would never say ….. there would be no heart in it. It’s what I would call shallow.
    As I’m a deep person I would want something deep even in a friend.
    Like my marriage and my love for our children and our grandchildren.
    I’m a categorize person.
    🙂
    So a friend would have to accept me and love me for …. this very reason.
    It’s silly but most helpful in my meager mind.
    🙂

  10. Your words were the reminder I needed today. I too struggle with letting the enemies lies take over my mind and heart.

    Thank you for sharing.

  11. Thank you SO much for your words! Such truth written here. I’m so thankful to know I’m not alone in those thoughts I have sometime and thankful for the reminder that we have One who never fails us…. there is nothing we have to DO to earn His friendship and love.

    Thanks again for sharing!

  12. Thanks for sharing. I am going through a period of thinking I must be unlikable. I try to slough it off and not five the devil a foothold.
    Please pray for me. I am a widow and no nearby family.

    • Judy, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re struggling. I do pray for you to find community, to have courage to reach out to others and, most of all, that God will reassure you that you are loved, His beloved.

  13. Mary,
    Well, I like you. Even though I have never met you, I applaud your honesty and candor in sharing an issue that we all struggle with…acceptance.
    We have all listened to the Enemy’s lies at some point or another. But the beauty of Christ is that He never judges, only loves.
    And loves, and then loves some more. And never expects perfection, only a reliance on Him. Thank you for your post. 🙂

    • Thank you for your kind words, Veronica! And yes, yes, yes – a Friend who doesn’t judge, doesn’t expect perfection and never lets us down is an incredible gift!

  14. Well, I’m 60 years old and changed churches about 5 years ago, after being in the same one for 28 years. (History: Lots of the blame-game against the pastor, and when I didn’t fall in step with it, it got ugly) But at the new church, many have been there for about 30 years, since the start-up and it seems that many, okay most, don’t have room for a newcomer, except for the newcomers. So I have had many of the same thoughts.

    I’ve been doing the Beth Moore study, Breaking Free, and that has helped me replace the lies with the Truth. This post is so much what I’ve been working on. I guess people are people everywhere.
    :^) Praise the Lord that He speaks love and compassion into us so that we may speak it into those we encounter.

    Thank you for your honesty.

  15. Wow! This was so timely- I have had a few situations recently that have been difficult so your words are like balm to my soul.
    So true to ask ourself what is the truth in the situation. Also what has helped me is to ask Jesus what I can do for someone today and keep an open mind to his leading. Also to listen to His kind and encouraging whispers! Thank you for being honest:)

  16. Ok Mary… have you been peeking in my windows, over my fence, or reading my diary?? Those things have happened to me MY WHOLE LIFE!!

    The wonderful thing… is that I know that they happen to others too.

    I’m sorry that you’ve been disappointed… but the truth is, all “friends” are “people” – and people aren’t perfect in this world. And further truth… I’m probably guilty of hurting people (even friends) too.

    I try to remember that, each time I’ve not been invited (or no one has shown up), or when I’m spending another day alone talking to the walls (and there’s not any personal emails, phone calls or voxer messages for me to catch up on…).

    Yep. I’m quirky. Not everyone will love me. But The ONE who does, is all that matters. Your words sum it up perfectly… “You are enough. WE are enough. You are loved. WE are loved. The mighty God of this universe would do anything for you, for us – and He has. I love the way The Message ends that passage: “That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.”’ Thank you.

  17. Thank you so much for this – it so encouraged my soul! I read Isaiah 43 yesterday and His Word is life-giving! It reminded me of Ms. Battisteli’s song that says “He knows my name”!
    Bless you as you bless others with the gift of encouraging words!

  18. I didn’t read all the comments but enough to know we are not alone and the self-doubt occurs at any age, even at my 61 years. Even though we are tempted to invite it in and entertain it for a bit, as you said we need to remind ourselves who we are. Talking with a trusted friend or listening to encouraging music… Jason Grey’s song “Tell Me Once Again Who I Am To You”, pulling out your old journals and reading just how far you have come along life’s journey, are only a few ways to remind ourselves. Thank you for this post! 🙂

  19. I stumbled upon your post today. I don’t normally read it. But today I opened it and it struck a cord with me. I have had self doubt this week. Your post is pulling me out of it. Its been a tough week for me and this is a wonderful way to sort out my thoughts. With holidays coming up and big changes in my life, I feel a bit alone and I’m expecting a lonely time of year.
    Thank you for this one today. It strengthens me.

  20. We just moved from the Midwest to the South, and boy howdy….here I am starting over AGAIN, and most days I decided to just stay in my own bubble, that it’s too hard to jump back into making friends. Reading your post made me want to drive across town (the state? country? Wherever you are!) and pick you up for a cup of something and a big brownie. Thanks for sharing your heart.

    • For good conversation with a new friend and a big brownie? I will meet you halfway. 😉 Until then, I’m praying you find a good friend in your new community. 🙂

  21. Loved this one today. For me, it was two years of telling myself lies before listening to the truth. Two years of feeling alone and lonely. Finally, I have friends, good ones who keep me on track and love me through it all. Your thoughts reminded me of how I have always been loved, even if it didn’t feel like it so much. Thank you so much for sharing this one today.

  22. Dear Mary,
    Thank you, I’m so first in line with what you described. Even things at work are changing not only with co-workers but my usually friendly students seem to be at arms length with me. I came home very discouraged and am discerning perhaps the door is closing on me teaching. It is a blessing to know these feelings are not just with me (not that I would like anyone to experience dicouragement) but it helps to know another can relate. Blessings to you

  23. Going through a really rough friend season right now and it’s hard not to get dragged down especially with disappointment. I trust that God is with me but sometimes it’s hard not to feel abandoned.

  24. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was just talking to my daughter about this very thing yesterday afternoon, how at 47 years old, I STILL tell myself lies. Praise God through His Son and His Word and the authors at incourage, I have learned to stop the lies and to tell the truth!! Bless you.

  25. I almost can’t type because I can’t see the keyboard through the tears (and I cheated in Typing in high school -_-)…thank you so much for these hope-filled, honest, how-could-you-see-inside-my-heart words! …and that verse from Isaiah slays me every time God plants it in front of my face. My precious 2nd-born (who’s now 21) recited that as a 2nd or 3rd grader for a Scripture memorization project, and, well, it’s just super-special to me.

  26. This really caught my eye today because it was exactly how I was feeling today and too much lately. I am 50, I have friends, but yet I feel like I am the one always reaching out, “would you like to meet for lunch, coffee or whatever” and I usually know the answer is “I can’t because” I know we are all busy, I work and some of my friends do too, but usually for themselves so they have more flexible schedules. I yearn for the days when I had little kids at home and had friends who were home and we could visit each and everyday if not at each others homes then on the phone. I can’t help not feeling so lonely! It just gets to be a pit in my stomache. I have friends at church who talk and visit while there, but we leave and thats usually it. Then I see the fun they have with others (posted on FB) and we are rarely asked to join in & get together. I have been hurt in friendships too and its hard to get over. I am a caring, giving nice person, the one who brings flowers or baked goods when I hear a friend is sick or just because, but it seems I never see it returned, NOT that I do it to get it in return, I just always feel for those who aren’t feeling well and think it would be a nice gesture .(I don’t get sick much myself) I pray alot not to have these lonely feelings and such, but it still seeps in. I just want some good friends who I can share my innermost feelings enjoy each others company go shopping etc. Maybe I am asking too much,maybe I am just being too needy.

    • Oh Nita, I’m so sorry you’re hurting. I wish so badly that I had words of wisdom to offer, but I don’t. I have felt – and, to be honest, still feel – so many of the things you shared. All I know is to go back to the Word and remember God’s truth and the mind-blowing fact that He loves me, He chose me, He cherishes and celebrates and adores me. I pray you can find comfort in that same Truth for you (and that He sends you a good friend soon!!).

    • Nita,

      Prayers for you my sweet sister! May God bring you a friend–someone to be there for you that you can call or will call you when you need something!

      I go to a small church & get involved in Women’s Bible Study. That makes it easier to really get to know some of the people better!

      Father God,

      Please bring a good Christian friend to Nita. Show her that she can be loved here on Earth just as you love her and will do anything to get her and keep her!!

      AMEN! 🙂

  27. Thanks Mary, I needed this.. I have very few close friends and I hear those lies too from the enemy of my soul. Thank you for a dose of the Truth here today
    Suzanne

  28. Dear Mary, You lead me on a trip down memory lane. I’m 60 something. I experienced severe prolonged rejection. The Lord, Himself, clearly, told me that I was precious in His sight and honoured by Him – since that particular day, I’ve never batted an eyelid. The living truth of His words reigns in my mind. The Holy Spirit has sometimes warned me that I am about to experience rejection, be despised – as was Jesus. So I enjoy seeing how it manifests. Usually disrespect, gossip. Blah, blah, blah. He also told me not to desire to be with the in crowd. So if the entire planet except me was invited to party, I’d stay home and party with the Lord. When the young ones get upset about not being accepted by others, they are surprised when I suggest that this may well be for their protection, future wellbeing. e.g. 7 girls rejected 1, and she is now the only 1 still walking with God. ‘Let them go’ or ‘stay away’, just remember to pray the Lord’s blessing on them. xxx

  29. I don’t have many friends–never was a very outgoing person. I’ve had a rough year for friends and just in general! Someone mentioned above about people being in their own little world–boy I was in mine most of this year. I still tried to remember friends and call to check on them! Like the rest of you I treasure the friendships I do have with all my heart! And yes self doubt creeps in steadily and I hear the lies: “you’re not good enough, smart enough, pretty, etc. No one wants to be with someone that stupid” and the list can go on!

    I need to treasure more what God thinks about me than what the world says! I will spend eternity with Him not this world Praise the LORD!!!

    Blessings 🙂

  30. There are so many seasons with walking “in the Lord” as a hidden treasure and pearl seeking The Pearl of great price…..all of the agitations, frustrations, and disappointments clothed in subtle or obvious forms ofrejection have a divine purpose for each child of God. Learning to draw all our strength, courage and resources from HIm is not easy for the flesh. IT is the only way for true spirituality and transformation into his holy image. There are alot of fleshly images in the world that are copied,imitated, and desired….but his holy image cannot be copied. For a true anointing from “in the cruciables, fires, and difficult times true obedience to the Lord via the holy spirit is what truly counts. God pleasers vs. Men pleasers. Many times he requires solitude, loneliness and yes,even rejection and persecution .to count it all joy with abandonment to him brings the Father great delight. Rare and precious treasures in his sight..molded by the master potter and used for his good pleasure.

    in

  31. An angel. How to have “an angel transformation”, well, it must begin with a heart regeneration. One must be born again for a holy seed sowing. A cleanse vessel for GOD’s holy spirit flowing. A holy seed …makes a heavenly breed. Holy spirit conviction persuades to turn from sin. This is how it truly must begin. Called to be “an angel” is not an easy task. You cannot wear the Pharisees religious painted mask. Blessed are the pure in heart. Great are the mysteries of spiritual art.

  32. Dearest Mary,
    I find it interesting that so many women feel this way. I thought I was the only one! I have been feeling this rejection and rebuking it for years. I just had a conversation with a lady at church the other day, she was telling me about someone who was feeling invisible and unheard. JUST the night before I said to the Lord “why do I feel so invisible and that my voice doesn’t matter?”. Then here is this post from you Mary! and the scripture that has been part of my go to scriptures, Isaiah 43! This is so encouraging…God so loves me that He would use a sister I don’t even know…don’t know where you live(I’m in BC Canada by the way)and will never meet to say, ” I see you…I hear you… I love you and you are never alone!”

    Thank you Mary. May God bless you Mary and make His face shine on you! ~ Debra 🙂

  33. Thank you. I lost my husband of 45 years 10 long years ago. I’m am now 75 and you would
    think I could get over being hurt by friends, but all my friends seemed to disappear into the
    woodwork after I lost him….it was as though I had something contagious. I’ve been so hurt
    I started to stay home alone all the time…..telling myself I was not welcome anywhere…even
    church.
    Thank you soooo much for reminding me of whose I am. I now realize that I need to reach out
    to others in my situation that may be feeling the same way I have been feeling.
    God spoke to me through you this morning. Keep listening and sharing. Bless you.

    • Sandee, I’m so sorry you’ve had to walk alone and have been so hurt. Praying God will give you courage and a friend to do life with – and that He’ll keep reminding you of His love.

  34. Today I am grieving a friend who has decided not to be my friend anymore after 10 years of a loving relationship. Physically and mentally she has changed to a degree that none of us recognize her. My heart feels broken. I hate our society that seems to feel people are disposable. I can barely lift my head for the heartbreak I feel.

  35. Thank you for speaking to me this day. After a lifetime of rejection and the last dozen years of gut wrenching trials a few months ago I walked out of a meeting of Christian friends .After working a decade bringing the message Jesus loves you to others… some of these *friends* judged me teamed up and verbally attacked me,spread lies and dropped me from this circle .My heart has been grieving but the message has never been clearer..God loves me no matter what..God alone is sufficient .
    The Isaiah scripture you used was the clincher as my good friend Debbie had shared it with me when she was going through cancer(go through raging rivers but you shall not drown).She has since passed away.I was feeling very alone and rejected this morning …so these truths you shared breathed life back into my soul.Thank you Mary Carver you are a blessing

  36. From age 12 my name was written in red lipstick and carved in the bathroom door walls…lisa Johnson is a whore, lisa Johnson is a slut…on football ribbons on book covers…everywhere I looked, I was born again at age 24, but the behaviors and belief system stayed with me until I was 43…I still struggle with trusting women, especially “Christian women” and this is exactly what Beth Moore spoke about yesterday at her simulcast …I have almost totally isolated myself and I need that core group of women desperately to rejoice with and weep with..thank you for your post, let’s pray for the “company we keep” and to stay so very close in tune to who we are in Christ and what we are not.,,thank you again…perfect timing post 🙂

    • Oh, Lisa. Thank you for so bravely sharing your heart here! I’m so thankful for the encouragement you found – and shared! – from the Beth Moore simulcast. She always has a good word, doesn’t she? 🙂

  37. Mary:

    Thanks for your brave honesty and humor in it!
    At 52 l still want to be one of the”cool” girls too! and l want my grown up daughter to see me as a ‘cool’ Mom, not an “issue”to put up with
    and then l remember….
    the truth of who l am because of Christ who was so rejected and “uncool” that his peers killed him.
    and l cry and thank our maker for loving me this much and for reminding me us ‘uncool” people are in the very best of company…
    and how cool is that!
    thanks for being YOU Mary!
    smiles
    Kim

  38. THANKS SO MUCH for this post! I am having a hard time releasing a long-time friend! It’s been a very difficult journey! Have cried many tears…struggling deeply even now and finding it difficult to not take it personally when it seems she doesn’t want to spend as much time with me as she used to and not as much time as I want to spend with her now. Our relationship has changed a lot since another girl came in to her life and she is spending gobs of time with her. She feels this girl is a ministry for her, but I’m finding it difficult to not be jealous and fear losing something very precious to me (being replaced and/or displaced in my friends heart)! (My friend and I don’t live in the same community, but this girl and her do.) It’s hard to not compare our relationship now with how it used to be. Have struggled with feeling rejected, abandoned, etc. I am sure I am believing lies but it’s hard to recognize them as lies sometimes. Would appreciate your prayers! Thanks & blessing, Naomi

  39. Thank you for this message. Lately i have felt just like u described; no longer good enough even for my friends. But i thank God for loving me more than i know and gor reassuring me that i am good in his eyes.

  40. All of these were good for my soul! For the last two years, I have been feeling many of these emotions regarding friends and the friendships I have. Our very good friends (like family) left our church two years ago, and things have not been the same since. I felt so abandoned and everything in the world felt wrong.
    Ever since that happened, I don’t want to be close to anyone at the risk of putting myself out there and getting hurt again. Perhaps I’m still in recovery mode….but I battle with; who would want to be my friend, and obviously there’s something wrong with me.
    I also know that I should be making more of an effort at church and making those relationships count, but that’s where I got hurt and it feels like a great risk to try again. I know I’m missing out on God has created through the church and friendships, but my heart is so weary.
    I love the passage posted from Isaiah 41! I’m going to memorize that with the kids this month! So much truth from the Word that we can use to fight the attacks of the evil one.
    Thanks for listening ladies! It was good for my heart to share.