09.18.2016

A Letter To the Girl Who Didn’t Get Asked to Homecoming

I don’t know your name.

You probably feel like no one knows your name.

That you’ve gone unnoticed and uninvited. I’ve seen the social media posts of boys asking girls to homecoming in insanely creative ways. Writing invites in their front yard, sending posters, showing up with balloons.

And you, sweet one, didn’t get asked. No one showed up at your front door with a balloon bouquet and creative poster, telling you how much they desire to go to the dance with you. No one plastered your car with sticky notes that read “Will you go to homecoming with me?”

How I wish I knew your name. I would say your name, grasp your hands in mine and look into your young face and tell you that I know what it feels like to not be asked.

I was you.

In the mix of a new high school, with over 1,000 students, no one asked me to freshman homecoming. Just weeks into the transition from middle school to high school, and no one invited me to the first big event at the new school. I barely knew my way around the hallways, but I knew someone was supposed to be asking. I waited and hoped, but no one did.

Other girls had boyfriends, so they were automatically asked. Others held on to boyfriends they didn’t like so they wouldn’t risk not being asked.  And others were asked by boys who looked at them and thought them worth asking.

In a school as large as mine, no one asked me. I remember sitting at lunch, while other girls were asked, waiting to see if a boy would walk across the schoolyard and make his way to me. No one ever did.

After the dance, people traded pictures. Do high schoolers still trade dance pictures? When you’re the one who didn’t get asked, you don’t have any pictures to trade. No one wants to give you a picture of theirs because you don’t have one to give in return.

Can I stop with my story here and tell you this? 

Your worth isn’t determined by whether someone deems you worthy.

Your value isn’t determined by one boy asking you one question.

homecoming letter

I know the need to belong runs deeper than any other feeling you may know. It’s deep, intrinsic, and one that feels overpowering at times.

You might not get asked this time, and you might not get asked the next. Don’t spend the rest of your high school years or the rest of your life determining your worth by what “they” ask you to or what you don’t get asked to.

I say that as one who looked around during those first few weeks of my fragile high school years, and realized I was being left out of the whirling society spinning around me. I spent the next few years making sure I climbed every social ladder, placed myself into a position of popularity, and never went “unasked” again.

It didn’t feel the void.

Being asked to the right dances, being elected to right clubs, and pursuing popularity still felt empty.

There’s a lie being whispered into your ear that if you’d only been asked, then you wouldn’t feel so alone. But sometimes, you can be asked to all the right places, with the right people, and still feel a loneliness through the deepest parts of your soul, that longs to be filled.

Being asked to the dance won’t fill your aching heart.

I want to tell you that you are loved more than you could ever imagine. May you always run to him when you feel that there’s nowhere else to run.

If you could talk back to me through this letter, you’d probably tell me being left out hurts more than you thought possible. How I know this. How I wish I could show up to your house on homecoming night when everyone else is at the dance, and tell you face to face that one lonely night will fade, but a lonely soul can last forever.

There is One who has invited you to an eternal dance. Turn your face toward Him, and He never looks away.

In her book “Uninvited,” author Lysa TerKeurst says it like this: “No person’s rejection can ever exempt me from God’s love for me. Period. No question mark. The most beautiful love story ever written is the one you were made to live with God.”

It took me years to fully understand His love story over my life. It started mid-high school when I realized the emptiness of chasing acceptance and popularity. When I said yes to His love story, it made all the other stories less important.

There were still days when the other stories seemed louder than His. There are still days when the other stories seem louder than His.

I’ve learned to listen to His invitation to the dance. His words over you say you’re beautiful, wonderfully made, and loved by the King. I know it doesn’t take away the sting of not being asked, but when the sting disappears, there’s the assurance of One who holds out His hand to yours, asking you to trust His plan, even in this moment.

Not being asked doesn’t mean you’re not loved.

Not being chosen doesn’t mean you’re not worthy.

Being left out doesn’t mean you’re alone.

Dance with the One who never lets you go.

 

 

 


Comments

  1. Tosha says:

    This makes me think of that song “We Dance” by Bethel!

  2. Leighton says:

    I want to thank you for posting this. I am fifteen and there is a dance next week at my high school. My three best friends have dates and are going in group to take pictures, eat, and then dance. I was not invited by any boy and it has felt like the end of the world. As I sat here crying my eyes out in my room, I read this on my school laptop and i feel calm. I feel different and i feel strong. Thank you for giving me hope that actually spoke to me

  3. Isla Dawn says:

    Thank you so much. My prom is coming and no one asked me and no one probably will. I pray every day hoping that someone would ask me but after reading this I feel a lot better about myself and understand God’s plan for my life more. So Thank you.

    • Praying for you, Isla! Sometimes not being chosen can feel like the hardest thing, but knowing He has already chosen us truly is the best.

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