by Kimberly Davidson

There have been many times in my life that I’ve regretted my choices. The other day I was thinking about what a bad friend I was to the few friends I had amidst my addictions. I met both Lisa and Jennifer through my job. Being single, we connected and immediately became good friends. As life would have it, they both found their soul mates and decided to get married. I wasn’t in their wedding parties, but they’d share with me all the exciting details.

Lisa’s wedding was first. I bought the gift, picked out my outfit, and anticipated her big day. The night before, I went out “partying.” Hungover, the next day I chose instead to stay home and binge and purge several times. The shame and embarrassment were overwhelming. I couldn’t face her and kept her present. Because I chose to miss the party, I lost a great friendship.

Jennifer invited me to her bachelorette party. After a stressful day at work, I chose instead to stay hidden in my apartment with ED, my binge and purge partner. Again, the shame and embarrassment were overwhelming. I had severed two relationships all because I chose to not go to the party.

This reminded me of Jesus’s parable in Luke 14.

A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When all was ready, he sent his servant around to notify the guests that it was time for them to arrive. But they all began making excuses. One said he had just bought a field and wanted to inspect it, and asked to be excused. Another said he had just bought five pair of oxen and wanted to try them out. Another had just been married and for that reason couldn’t come. “The servant returned and reported to his master what they had said. His master was angry and told him to go quickly into the streets and alleys of the city and to invite the beggars, crippled, lame, and blind. But even then, there was still room. “Well, then,” said his master, “go out into the country lanes and out behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. For none of those I invited first will get even the smallest taste of what I had prepared for them.”  —Luke 14:16-24 (TLB)

When we’re living a destructive lifestyle, we miss the party. We get so caught up in our coping methods and addictions that we make excuses. Two excuses were made in the parable—two had to do with work and the other with family. These people settled for living at a level far below the joy God wanted for them. The final warning is that we can miss the place that has been prepared for us by resisting God’s design and His Word, living in opposition to His ways of love. We can miss the love of God and His kingdom by being so caught up in our “stuff” that we miss the party by default.

The good news is: God’s party is ongoing. You can show up anytime and He will welcome you with open arms. He will say to us just as the Father said to his prodigal son: “It is right to celebrate (to party) … For he (she) was lost and is found!” (Luke 15:32, TLB)