Day 10: To the girl not chosen…

To the girl not chosen…
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. The intercom buzzes alerting you to the news…
“I’d like to announce this year’s Homecoming Court….”
The room hushes in anticipation. I notice most are looking down, not around. The list of names are slowly read…and your name isn’t called.
You took the chance and ran for Queen. And for what? A big NO? It seems unfair. Adults tell you it’s not a big deal – who cares who was chosen – you won’t remember this in five years.
All of this is true. You probably won’t remember or care in five years. Except it hurts right now. And instead of rolling my eyes at your “first world” problems, I’d like to acknowledge that you feel left out and let down.
These contests are the way of this world. There’s always an “in” and “out” – a “chosen” and an “ignored.” When you’re 40, you’ll still be aware of places in which you are welcome and places you are not. There’s still in and out. No, adults don’t run for Homecoming Queen, but we do join organizations, churches, clubs, and friend groups. And over time, a division in any of these can become strikingly obvious and deeply hurtful.
Divorced? Disqualified from the term “family.” You can’t be a part of the married friend groups either. “It’s all couples, sorry.”  Lots of Pinterest fails? You’re probably not winning Mom of the year. Everyone makes picture perfect cupcakes and decorates magazine worthy homes. You live where? That’s a “bad” part of town. You’ve not been a member for years? Didn’t grow up here? Oh, well this is for the long timers; we have a bond.  You want to join us? help us? Well, involving you would take too much of our time (I just heard this recently about a gal that I KNOW needs love and care. Grrrrrrr!)
Adults still roll our eyes and send the “knowing” looks when someone walks into a room. I know. One would think we’d be over it. That we’d be mature enough to accept and embrace differences. To love regardless. To give the benefit of the doubt. To welcome the stranger. To embrace the broken and needy. To look the hurting in the face and say “you’re always welcome here.” To include.
But, no. We often insulate and congregate. Divide and delineate. Label instead of love. (Again, grrrrr!)
How we treat one another can dishearten. And discourage.
Yet, I want you to take heart. And to love. That’s the BEST remedy for rejection and refusal.  Love those who were chosen and not chosen. Ignore the knowing looks and eye rolls when “she” walks in the room; be her friend. Accept who you are and how God has made you. Cheer on those who are queen candidates while consoling those who wanted so badly to be. Take your hurt and turn it to help.
I am not glossing over your heartbreak. I know it’s real. I just know you have much more to give when you reach out instead of turning in. And I pray you learn now to take “not chosen” and turn it to “already accepted.” Because he has already accepted you for who you are. Just as you are. And He wants even more than you can ask or imagine for your life. You don’t need a vote or invite to be you!
Keep taking risks. Keep loving the one labelled “least.” It matters. You matter. They matter.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

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