So I’m sitting at a table in a restaurant. An extra long table assembled to make room for our large party. I’ve got a middle spot, ladies to my sides and across from me. We’re chatting, as women do. Happy conversation, smiles, paper straws in our water glasses.
And at one point I realize that the conversation has split into tiny groups around me. Elementary schools across the table, husbands’ jobs to my right, house hunting to my left. And I sit in silence in the middle of it all, completely unengaged.
Thoughts start buzzing around my head.
“Nobody wants to talk to me.”
“My life situation doesn’t fit anywhere.”
“I have nothing to contribute.”
“What am I even doing here? Maybe I should just leave.”
I swat at the thoughts, and reach for my water glass. The paper straw becoming limp.
Surrounded by smiles and I feel alone.
I have felt it before, you know. Lonely. In second grade when all the girls are giggling behind closed door and I’m the only one not invited. Chemistry class at a new school and the “pick a partner” lab lesson leaves me partner-less. I’ve been lonely as a senior in high school, lonely as a young mom, lonely in my marriage, lonely on Friday nights when Dominoes races pizza to parties and friends post “ladies’ night out” pics while I run the empty trail by myself.
I was reading this morning and words seemed to jump off the page.
“And you He made alive… But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us…made us alive together with Christ…and raised us up together…in Christ.”
You know what I thought of? Picking teams. Standing in a group of kids while the two most athletic ones call out names of who they want on their team. Silently pleading “pick me” while the group around me thins and my name isn’t called. It’s a horrible feeling.
But these verses tell me that God picks me. I know this section of Ephesians is packed full of doctrine and weighty truths, but the message I heard warmed my soul. I am chosen. God wants me on His team. Not because of my skill or height or athletic prowess, but because of His great love for me. He loves me and He calls out my name.
And new thoughts start buzzing.
“He chose us in Him”
“I will never leave you nor forsake you”
“In Your presence is fullness of joy”
“you did not choose Me, but I chose you”
“my soul shall be joyful in the Lord”