I was humiliated…I couldn’t believe this happened. I showed up to a party (that I had helped plan by the way) and realized that I was one of the maybe…three people who didn’t know that there had been a change to the attire. I was wearing jeans and a sweater while almost every other woman there was in a formal…I’m talking prom dresses and cocktail dresses while I wore jeans and boots. Now, don’t get me wrong…I am most comfortable in informal clothing…it is something left over from childhood…I prefer to wear something that I can fight in if necessary (not that a soccer mom in Flower Mound attends many functions that require fighting…but still…it’s part of me.) It stung…it really hurt to realize that nearly every person there had taken the time to talk about this and plan this and nobody even considered me when I had helped plan the event! (Groups of them had gotten together during the week and even discussed it.) This was the moment that I realized that, although I did a lot of work for this group, I wasn’t really a part of it. There were many other instances that painfully drove that point home to me…but I won’t get into that now. Let’s just say, I had thought I belonged, and found out in very painful ways that I was simply serving a function…I was not actually included in this group…these were not my people…my community.
Before this experience (and the many more to follow with this group) I would have said that someone intentionally hurting me would be worse than just not being thought of at all. Now, I believe differently. See, if someone is intentionally mean, you can consider that part of their bad character…he or she is not a safe person for you and you can reasonably take their opinions and behavior with a grain of salt. But when a person or people treat you as if the thought of you never entered their heads…well, that is the stuff that nightmares are made of for me. It means that your existence is of no consequence to them. It means that all the things that you have painstakingly done for them never mattered. All of the times that you had them into your home, meant nothing. All the effort…taken for granted. That, to me, is more painful because it rocks your sense of self-worth. For me, this led to my questioning all of my relationships: Does it matter that I am Bekah or do these people simply need me to fill a role? Am I simply a function for them?
This series of events led to a potentially devastating time. But…well…you know I’m going to say it…Jesus was there for me. I remember praying one morning before heading off to a play date at the church: “Lord…please…see me.” I wasn’t in the church for 10 minutes before one of the pastors there, who is now my boss coincidentally, asked me to be included on a committee made up primarily of elders and pastors to help determine some of the direction of our church. I know that sounds like fulfilling a function to many of you…but to me…well, it meant that my opinions mattered. It meant that my vision mattered. It meant that I was seen and valued. It was as if heaven was giving me a hug and Jesus was saying “I see you Bekah. Be where I have you. Be still.”
I don’t know if any of you struggle with these feelings of not fitting in…not mattering…not feeling known…but if you do, I want you to know that you matter. You matter to God and you do matter to the world. Sometimes, the world is extremely ungrateful and callous…but…you matter! Sometimes, the people around you will take you for granted and maybe they will never acknowledge your service to them…but…our God sees you…he loves you…he thinks you are more valuable than any treasure on Earth…and you are.
Praying that you all feel known and valued today.