Saturday, October 3, 2015

31Days - Chosen

It's the moment every kid hates. Well, maybe not every kid. The kids that will eventually be the stars on our high school basketball courts or football fields, etc., probably love it. Kids like me? Yeah, we hate it. Standing on the sidelines in the elementary gym watching as the two captains take turns choosing from the dwindling number of kids still standing at the front of the class... unchosen. Not athletic enough to be chosen at the front of the pack. Not popular enough to be even chosen at the middle of the pack. If I wasn't dead last, I was at least close. Humiliating. I'd like to know what those elementary P.E. teachers were thinking. Did they not see the emotional damage? Not good enough. Unchosen. Ugh.

Of course, it didn't stop with elementary gym class. There were other moments in high school – waiting to be chosen by a guy for one thing. And I remember years later when I volunteered for something at church and was told "No." They had another person in mind. The reasons were valid and good. I knew, understood, and agreed with them in my head. But inside, even though there wasn't a scrap of truth to it, my heart heard, "Not good enough. Unchosen."

Last year it hit again. I applied for the Lay Counseling Certificate program with the Allender Center. I'd been there for the Story Workshop and walked away really feeling like the certificate program was something I should do. After an extended amount of time waiting for the reply, though, I was told they didn't think I was ready. I wasn't far enough along in my own story work. That was an unexpected blow. I thought I'd come so far... what had the last 18 months of counseling been about? It wasn't good enough. I wasn't good enough. I quietly said I understood before I hung up and let the tears fall. All the hard work I'd done... and still... not good enough. Unchosen. I know now that it really was for the best. This fall is my little girl's last season of high school marching band. I wouldn't have wanted to miss a minute of it. Still... tears threaten to fall even now as I think about that night, those feelings. Not good enough. Unchosen.

And last night I hit the "submit" button on another application for a workshop with the Allender Center. They will contact my psychologist for a reference and will do a 45 minute phone interview with me. And then they'll decide whether I'm accepted... or not. So, yeah, I'm living in fear of that phone call... the one that will determine if I'm healed enough. If I am good enough. If I'm chosen.

So my fear for Day Three:

I am afraid of not being good enough; not being chosen.

It's a real fear... with some valid reasons behind it. History – my history – proves it can happen. And it hurts. So there's some truth in the fear. But what's the real Truth? Truth with a capital T?

It's one my psychologist shared with me over a year ago:

“But you, Israel, My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
Descendant of Abraham My friend,
You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth,
And called from its remotest parts
And said to you, ‘You are My servant,
I have chosen you and not rejected you.
(Isaiah 41:8-9)

I have chosen you and not rejected you.

It's tempting to read over those verses and think that He's talking to someone else. But the New Testament church (that's us) has been grafted into the Old Testament Israel. He is talking to us. He's talking to me. My psychologist read it to me this way:

“But you, Jenn, My servant,
Jenn whom I have chosen,
Descendant of Abraham My friend,
You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth,
And called from its remotest parts
And said to you, ‘You are My servant,
I have chosen you and not rejected you."

That's the God of the Universe talking. He has chosen me! He has not rejected me. Before I was even born – before I even had a chance to prove my worth – He looked at me, pointed His finger and said:

I have called you by name; you are Mine!
(Isaiah 43:1)

Wow. He pointed at me, called my name, and said "you are Mine!" With an exclamation point, even!

And just two verses later He says,

For I am the Lord your God
(Isaiah 43:3)

Did you catch that? In verse one I am His. In verse three He is mine. The cool thing about this is that it echoes the lovers in the Song of Solomon: I am my beloved's and He is mine. I am His beloved! And He has chosen me. He's called me by name and said I am His.

Remember those selections for teams in elementary gym class? The first names that were called were called with excitement. "Phil!" "John!" "Mark!" Somewhere down the line it became a little less enthusiastic. You might've even heard "Ummm... I guess I'll take...." But at the end? At the end, sometimes they didn't even say a word... just pointed to the last one left... no name needed. But God... God calls me by name and says "You are Mine!" I'm not last. Far from it. I've been called by name; chosen by the King. He calls me by name. He calls me His beloved!

Father God, sometimes I take for granted just how amazing it is that You chose me; that I am Yours. I can so easily let others' opinions make me feel like I'm not good enough to be chosen. Not just for elementary sports or even programs with limited space... but even as a friend. But, God, You remind me that You have chosen me; not rejected me. You didn't take me because You had to, because I was the last one left, but because You wanted to. The picture of you pointing at me, calling my name and saying "you are Mine!" is a picture that speaks volumes to me... touches me. Help me to hold to that; to not take that lightly or for granted. But to remember that the God of the universe has looked at me, really looked at me... and declared I am HIS!

Fear: I am afraid of not being good enough; of not being chosen.

  • "I have chosen you and not rejected you." (Isaiah 41:8-9)
  • "I have called you by name; you are Mine!" (Isaiah 43:1)


Note: This post is part of a 31-day writing challenge. Click here to see the rest of the posts on my 31 Days of Fear (and Truth).


  1. I struggle with this as well. Yes what was the gym teacher thinking? Everyone wants to feel needed. That is a basic human need each one of us has. Thank you for being so open!

  2. Amen, Jenn! It was so powerful to see your name in that verse (which happens to be MY name, too). I am going to go back and read this again. I also fear not being chosen, but I want to remember, I have already been chosen by God!

    1. Thanks, Jen! It was powerful hearing my counselor insert my name (over a year ago). But when I went back this time and saw the "you are Mine!" (with an exclamation point) and envisioned God standing, pointing at me, saying my name and shouting out "you are Mine!"... allowing that to touch the same places that the story PE team selections had touched... redeeming those places... that moved me even more. :) "You, Jenn, are MINE! I'm calling you for My team!" Wow...

  3. There's something so powerfully freeing in naming your fears & working through them, isn't there Jenn? Keep pressing on! And putting your name in verses is incredibly healing too. God has indeed chosen you Jenn. I'm glad to meet you online.