When the Loneliness Crushes Your Heart & Giveaway of Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

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When the Loneliness Crushes Your Heart. A Proverbs 31 Ministries devotion by Karen Ehman at karenehman.com

“The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.’” Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)

I will never forget the day of my senior prom. Not because I had a handsome date that swept me off my feet as we danced the night away. Not because I was able to purchase the perfect dress I’d always dreamed of wearing. Not even because I went with a group of girlfriends who all decided to go stag and then had a blast doing “The Bump” on the dance floor together. (Hey, it was the ‘80s, and “The Bump” was all the rage!)

No, I remember the occasion vividly because it was the day I decorated the school gym, set up the food buffet and then went home to spend the evening with the cast from The Dukes of Hazzard as my only companions.

I was on the committee that hung streamers and set out vases of fresh flowers to make the evening magical. And because I worked at the restaurant chosen to cater the finger foods, I also carved a watermelon, filled it with fresh fruit and placed it — along with platters of cheese and crackers and other assorted hors d’oeuvres — for the excited attendees to enjoy. But there would be no prom night for me…………….{read the rest of the devotion at Proverbs 31 Ministries but be sure to come back for the Uninvited book giveaway!}

Giveaway of Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst over at Karen Ehman's blogHave ever struggled with feeling over-looked, left out, lonely, or unloved?

I’m right there with you. It wasn’t just on the night of my senior prom, it still happens to me today. It happens to all of us.

Today I am giving away three copies of the #1 New York Times bestseller Uninvited by my friend and ministry partner Lysa TerKeurst. Within the pages of this book you will find a fresh new perspective and a healing dose of God’s love.

If you’d love to win one of three copies I am giving away, leave us a comment naming a time when you most felt uninvited–like I did when I didn’t go to my senior prom. We’ll randomly choose three winners and announce them here on Monday. Be sure to check back to see if you won!

Ok….tell us when your own “uninvited” moment occurred. But remember what the verse from Jeremiah at the beginning of the post states….

God loves you with an everlasting love!

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  • Just read this today. Your story sounds like mine except I didn’t prepare the food for my friends, I took their pictures. They were all dressed up in their new dresses, hair done, etc. the one prom I did go to I wore a borrowed dress that was 10 years old. Haven’t thought about prom time for awhile. I’m off celebrating my 35th wedding anniversary with my husband this weekend, I have the book!

  • Last year at the Adore conference held at my church, a group of my friends sat together during the Friday night session but didn’t save room for my mom and I so we sat close but not with my friends. That evening as we were leaving, I told the girls I’d save 7-9 seats for all of us if I got there 1st and could they do the same for me if they arrived first. We all agreed we would.

    The next morning I arrived and my mom and I put our stuff, pocketbooks, keys, bibles, etc at 2 tables to mark off 12 seats. I started texting the girls to let them know where we were so they could find us. Eventually they texted back that they were already there and waved us over.

    So my mom and I picked up ALL our stuff so we could go join the girls. When we got to their table and asked where we could put down our stuff, everyone started saying “oh that seat is for so and so” or “I’m saving that for ____”. Turns out that they hadn’t saved a place for my mom and I at all. So then as my favce reddened due to embarrassment, they started to scramble and pull chairs up for us. Well the tables were set w candles and gifts for the chairs already there but not for chairs that you just pulled up. I just said that I was sorry for bothering them and that my mom and I would just go back to the tables we’d tried to save for them if the tables were still available.

    I was humiliated, mortified, and mostly hurt. I didn’t want my mom to know I was so embarrassed but she kept saying “those girls are your friends?” So I finally just said that I wasn’t there for a friendly reunion but instead wanted to focus on the message of the Christian speaker that was about to take stage. However, that day still stays etched in my heart and head. Those friendships are not the same since then.

    I’ve never felt so uninvited before or since and I hope I never do but more so, I hope I never make someone feel the way I felt that day.

  • When my husband left me & our kids a yr & a half ago. I’ve never felt so “unwanted” in my life. I know God never leaves me & that He loves me but it doesnt help. Nothing does. I’m tired of being lonely & broken.

  • I was widowed several years ago. While I have good friendships and a good church community, it really seems like we live in a paired up world and the loneliness is like nothing I have ever felt before. It’s certainly made me more aware of including those who might be on the margins.

  • Thank you for this post. My whole adult life I have felt alone. I at some point joked with my women’s group that I was going to put a sign on my van that I was looking for a best friend. They laughed an I did too but shortly later I was asked by one member to start a younger study group and I did but I never felt so alone. I felt they didn’t want me anymore. It made me feel like even christians think I am not worthy of a friendship.
    People I know look at me and think, She has a lot of friends (yeah not true, I am a good faker….)
    It is hard to open up with others about the real me, so I am a pseudo communal with others and not authentic. I opened up to a friend about 6 years ago and then came up around a corner of a hallway to hear her gossiping about me. It is hard to open up anymore.
    I talk with God a lot about loneliness and like at this time my husband is a farmer, so he and my son are gone early to late. (I am a photographer trying to get my business to bloom as I am moving into landscape and wanting to sell my prints other than just do weddings and families, so if you know Oprah give her my name! LOL)
    The men being gone leads me to being home alone alot (well I have my two girls – pug Addy, lab mix Gracie) It is so hard when you see everyone posting on Facebook they are out with other girlfriends and you are well I am just still at home. God is my strength, and I will continue to pray He leads me on His Path, I know the final place I will be and I will never feel alone again. God Bless for your post.

  • It was unusual for my mother to hold birthday parties involving friends or guests. Usually, birthdays consisted of a special dinner, cake and a few small gifts as a family.

    For my 13th birthday, my mom decided to host a party for me and she put some effort into it. I was in 6th grade at the time and had passed out 20 (or more) invitations to various classmates. On my birthday, only one person showed up. She was the girl I thought was my enemy and she was an hour late, to boot. It turns out she wanted my friendship to herself and had been jealous of my friendships with others, so she would behave mean at school.

    I felt bad for myself and my mom over her unused efforts at a party spread. There was never another birthday party. We went back to our little celebration dinners. When planning parties for my own kids this memory caused me some anxiety, so God had some healing to do. Lol.

  • Many years ago in junior high a girl who I thought was one of my best friends was having a party. I was looking forward to going of course. Well as it got closer and closer to the time for the party I had yet to get an invitation. I kept wondering why. Well, just a few days before the party I got a note from this friend. On that note it said that I know you are aware that I am having a party but as you have also figured out you haven’t been invited. It also said that she would explain later.
    Well, the party came and went, but the explanation never came. Someone I thought was a close friend I guess really was only a friend and in my thoughts only. I can still remember that piece of paper and the words on it. I wasn’t really close to Jesus back then. I knew about him, went to Sunday school every week, and new all the Bible stories but I did not have a close relationship with him. Not nearly to the level I do today.
    That of course wasn’t my only uninvited moment but it is one that I still remember vividly. I think God has chosen to let me keep remembering that so I am sure not to make others feel uninvited. That incident does not have the sting it did those many years ago but I will admit there is still some hurt.
    God has redeemed me from a lot of my past and I’m still a work in progress.

  • Although some of my difficulties are different from what Lysa addresses in the book, I struggle with loneliness often and multiple situations of my life. I have lived with chronic pain and health issues for many years now and it limits so much of what I am able to do. I’m unable to drive, work, go to school, live on my own and do many other normal activities of daily life. It can be really isolating and my circumstances and sometimes other people (often unintentionally) can cause me to feel misunderstood, left out and missing out on normal life and relationships. At times, I’m the one declining offers because of my pain and limitations, so I’m not just blaming others and always expecting them to initiate friendships. I know that a God has a purpose in my suffering and I’m trying to trust Him in the midst of my trials. I feel bad and hesitate to say this but sometimes it feels like God has sidelined me and in a sense “univited” me from having a more normal life, experiencing milestones and life events that many people have and being used by Him in any way, from being effective or having any positive impact in the lives of others and blessing them. I often struggle with feeling like I don’t have a purpose and like I’m worthless. Also, I’m pretty reserved and an introvert so I’ve always had a lot of difficulty making friends (partly from my circumstances and partly from my personality). When I was able to attend school years ago, it was very common for me to sit alone at lunch, even though I tried to make friends, because I was not outgoing, fun, or popular. Even today, I still feel awkward, anxious, uncomfortable and like I don’t belong whenever I am in a social setting or a group of people. But I also really desire and need friends and fellowship. Additionally, I have experienced rejection by a family member and tension in our relationship and for years I have longed to see our relationship mended and for us to be very close, but I feel blocked out and unwelcome in their life and heart. I would love to read Lysa’s book.! It sounds like it could be insightful and beneficial to me in many ways. Anyways, thank you so much for taking the time to read this and for doing this giveaway! I really appreciate it!

  • Though we all have lonely times or moments, I am interested in reading this to guide my responses to my daughter’s loneliness. We moved last year and she is still feeling lonely from a lack of kids in our new neighborhood.

  • I think I feel left out a lot, I’m pretty shy and quiet, and have a lot of anxiety, so most of the time I leave myself out, instead of hanging out with coworkers after work or friends who I haven’t seen for a long time.

  • Probably after my divorce. Even families that were my friends and not my husband’s, a lot of them quit even letting me babysit for them.

    Nowadays knowing it is hard for me to go places due to health issues, even family seldom notifies me of special events, rather than give me a chance to see if I can and want to try. Also, except for my aunt, all most all contact is done at my initiation.

  • I was in a sorority in college, and even though I was surrounded by many young freshman girls like myself, they all knew of each other or played against one another in high school sports. I was an out-of-state student so I had no connections to anyone. The girls quickly found their connections and formed quick bonds leaving me on the outside. Even in our sorority Bible study these cliques formed. It was so painful. God is still teaching me about His everlasting love and healing old and new wounds scarred by rejection.

  • This devotional really resonated with me because I felt the bitter sting of High School as well. I was never popular. I was never the “It” girl. I was the “fat girl” and because I chose to give my life to Christ at the tender age of 13, I felt the deep pain of loneliness and rejection all throughout my HS days. I would spend most of my days in the school hallway by my locker just reading books and eating my lunch. I always felt like an outsider. I never felt like I found my niche. I was ridiculed and mistreated. I could hardly wait until church or youth group to see my Christian friends. I clung to God and my beliefs hard. I felt lost, but in Him I found solace. I found out that Jesus too had suffered. He was mistreated, spit at, beaten up, pushed down, he was called names and teased. He too experienced the rejection and pain I myself had felt and that made me love Him even more.

  • Most of my life I felt that way. I lived in a small town and my parents were drinkers and the domestic violence wad a public display often. It seemed I could never fit in. I went from marriage to marriage hunting for acceptance and then in my 50s I finally surrendered to Jesus. The struggle still goes on, but I am learning to feel more accepted.

  • Currently going through terrible custody battle and recently was told by the attorney that my children who i raised 10 & 12 years, all but the last 2 years dont even want to see me or have anything to do with me…. Loneliest time in my life!

  • As a young mom, finally home with my babies but friendless in a new town. A mom I had swapped cell numbers with answered a later text with “who is this?”. She didn’t mean harm, but the sting of her not taking the time to save my contact stung. It did, however, inspire me to be very intentional about connecting with anyone I met who was new!

  • Feeling alone and seperate have been constant companions. . Years ago a teacher explained that I would never truelly fit in he was not being cruel, but explaining to me that I should “own it” and become more. See I’m a puertorican, that was born and raised mostly in NYC. We moved around a lot so I got to experience both cultures. But, I never was quite puertorican or american. See when I lived in NYC I was asked where I was from, by all intents it should be an easy question but it never was because what they really meant was I was not here but from Puerto Rico (where my parents were born and raised) which to me meant you are not from here. The funny thing is that when I went to live on Puerto Rico the reverse happened. So I was left with a sense of longing to belong,and a loneliness.
    Years later I feel the same way being a christian, when I’m at church im expected to act certain way but long friendships can’t understand my action meanwhile the newyorican (a combo of new yorker and puertorican) craves to come out in music and prayer and speach. Who I am dirty words, merenge dancing me craves to be acknowledged. This things do not represent my transformation or my live for Christ, but identity.
    Even my call to to be God’s child was cornucopia of religion and people. See I knew God and I knew Jesus but I didn’t know the holy spirit, at least not in any capacity besides knowing that he was part of the holy trinity. See my alter call was at an Amway meeting in a city I dont even remember but what I do remember is that yearning, the call, the hunger to step forward to acknowledge and accept the holy spirit, and I vividly remember a stadium full of “strangers” coming together in prayer and in praise. As my holy spirit fuelled fog lifted and my eyes where open and what I saw around me was as blinding as a cloudless vibrant sun, mesmerizing and stunning to my eyes. It was people filling the floor and up the bleachers of the stadium -a multitude of denominations, colors, from all parts of the United States, from many different countries, from many different social status, from many different econimical statuses , a cornucopia of people, all where one. One voice. One callling. Praising ONE God. Loving one God.

    A stadium full of his children. All in aggrement that Jesus is Lord and it instantly hit me all around me as I stood as close to the alter as I could manage (which wasn’t very far) we are all one. And we belong to the ONE God.

  • I felt invited all through school. I was the awkward one I was the one who wasn’t worthy enough or pretty enough. I wasn’t comfortable with who I was and that helped to create the isolation. I wish that I had known who I really was , my identity in Christ

  • I felt “uninvited” recently while attending a baby shower for a friend from church. Three gals (they’re all friends of mine) sat near me and planned a coffee date between them and didn’t include me even though I was the only other person in the room at that time. I’ve been at this church for two years and have had a hard time making close friends, and then this happened. I know God is bigger than this, but I really want one to two close Christian friends and have been praying for this and trying to be purposeful in being the friend to others that I want to have. I won’t stop doing this even though I want to give up.