The Invitation

     Growing up I recall receiving letters that would arrive in the mail box feeling just a little thicker and addressed very formally to my parents. Within the outer envelope would be another envelope which listed the names of my parents again.  What I waited to hear was if I was invited.  Sometimes I would be named personally and at other times the envelope would not necessarily name me personally but would at least say “and family” then that meant me. From the age of ten I was the only child living at home so I thought it odd that one person qualified for the definition of “and family” but either way I would be grateful to be invited.  Many times I or the “and family” was not invited and my parents would go without me. Very often they would return home saying the guest of honor always asked where I was and would hear that it was ‘just an oversight’ not to name me on the envelope. My mom would say how bad she felt that I had to miss out on such a beautiful and fun occasion.  I would also hear how so many other people, usually children, were also at the event though they were not personally named on their invitation. I used to think how bold and courageous someone was to just go somewhere special even if you were not personally invited.   My mother always made it clear to me that it didn’t matter what other people did because in our family ‘you don’t go where you are not personally invited’ and I learned to live by that message.

This interesting childhood message came to me recently as I waited to hear word about when I might travel to visit a ministry I have come to know, love and support.  I began to have this familiar feeling arise from my past that said, “maybe you are not invited….”, I could feel the same emotion rise over my body that my mind and heart apparently has held onto for decades; others have been invited and others just go whether or not they are personally invited, not you, you will wait for your invitation. Clearly it was more than a name on an envelope to me. To be invited placed a value on my worth; that I was noticed, that I mattered and that I was wanted.

As quickly as I heard these all too familiar voices in my head I also heard another voice that lovingly said, “You… are… invited”.  That was the heart of God speaking to that little girl within me making sure I knew that He was personally inviting me.  “You are invited to serve and feed my children, you are invited to go where those who need to hear of Me live, you are invited to go to those who need to know of My love for them. My child, I invite you”.

Yes, Jesus knows the childhood messages that I and others often hang on to that have shaped and sometimes hurt our view of ourselves, others and God.  I actually had a wonderful sense of peace that God knows what He is doing and His timing is just perfect therefore I decided to patiently wait on word from the ministry.  I trust and believe that God not only desires that I go into the world and serve Him daily but that He calls me to this and when God allows it I will also travel to distant lands to serve and share God’s love. I have discovered it is through serving and loving others that I am changed and the message that God has chosen me and that He values me becomes more and more real. How grateful I am to be invited to tell others of His love.

Interestingly it was only one more day before I received my invitation via email inviting me to return to Haiti. Today makes it now only 13 days away before I will be reunited with some dear friends who share with me more than I could ever give to them.

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5 Responses to The Invitation

  1. Coming from a very large family……….it was rare that the kids were ever invited. Just too many of us. We also knew the excitement of that “and family” when it did happen. This was a trip down memory lane as well as seeing clearly God’s invitation to me personally to minister to others for Him……..Beautiful!


    • SuAnne says:

      Aunt Dorothy, Thank you for following. Your comment also brought other large families to mind that I know and how infrequently their entire family may receive invites anywhere….
      I hope you are having a wonderful day! SuAnne


  2. Pamela Shaw says:

    Another good analogy is getting invited to sit at the grownup table at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter dinners. How wonderful that He invites us to sit and feast at His table.


    • SuAnne says:

      Yes, I agree, moving from the little side table with the kids to the “adult” table was memorable and meaningful. You also remind me of Jesus words, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14 So much to think about today….thanks Pam.


  3. SuAnne says:

    Reblogged this on hearts2haiti.


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