When words feel like a stab

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I was so ready. I was so excited. It was finally the month that my book was going to launch. I was going to speak to an audience about the book – hundreds of parents. This was a group of homeschool parents.

I had my outfit. My speech prepared. Here we go Lord. It’s time to tell the world what you’ve been stirring in me for some time – let’s do this!

I delivered the talk – a little bit of funny, a little bit of tears and I did it! I felt great to sit down. A rush of emotions. My butterflies were flying out of my body.

Then, an unexpected rejection came…

The next speaker stepped up on stage to deliver the next talk.  He opened with a statement and one well-placed joke that almost physically knocked me to the ground.

He said, “I know what you could’ve done with all that creative energy and time – you could’ve had more kids!

And the audience ROARED with laughter.

I felt like the size of an ant. My smiles instantly went to a straight face and I held back the tears.

It felt like he sucker-punched me in the gut. Part of my message was about “all this creative and energy and time that I had when I stayed at home” and God used it to start Lil Light O’ Mine.

He used my story to make a funny opening joke. I’m tearing up right now I type. It still hits a nerve. Do you know why?

He kicked me in a deep insecurity. He didn’t know.

I wanted to run like a shamed little girl to the back of the room and run out. I wanted to quit. I had just started. I just launched my book. But I felt like he was confirming my biggest fear of what people might think:

I don’t have enough kids to be legit.

I am only a “girl mom.”

My kids aren’t old enough to be an authority on anything.

I’m too young to share wisdom or insight on ANY topic – much less parenting.


As Lysa TerKeurst beautifully says in Uninvited:

“It hurts exponentially more when you’re kicked in an already bruised shin.”

I’m telling you this story, not so you will go find this nice man and punish him. He didn’t know.

I am telling you because I want you to know that I know words are painful. And this is just ONE of many stories I could share with you. I’ve been in the halls when moms have said a word in passing about my daughters. I have wondered if it was a flippant comment or a carefully-placed jab. I have had emails sent to me that sting so bad.

I am human. I am insecure.

I am a VERY tender-hearted girl which is one of my very best gifts from the Lord. If you’re tender like me, I hope you’ll see it’s a tremendous gift of yours. It makes us so very aware of the needs around the world. God has used my tender heart to serve his people time and time again. I am so thankful for how He made me. However, my tender heart has also made me get my feelings hurt too often. And quite honestly – that’s when it’s a weakness that I need to manage.

So, learn from me…

Too often our friends are actually not thinking of us or thinking poorly of us at all.  We have to give them the benefit of the doubt. Assume the best of our friends. Just like we’d want them to assume the best for us. And I am finally learning that the words of others should not define our worth.

And instead of stewing on all these rejected places (either perceived or real) – I am trying to spend my time on my PART. Take a hard and careful look on my jabs and jokes and words. Whether intended or not.

I have certainly sucker-punched someone and never known it.

Lord, let me see your children the way you do. Let me never assume I know the entire story. Let me be sensitive to my single friends, my friends battling infertility, my friends who have all boys or all girls – or those dying to publish a book. The list goes on and on! My comments and jokes can hurt.

Please forgive me for a joke that may have landed wrong during one of my talks. For a girl reading right now that may have been hurt and never told me.


Lord, I pray that you will continue to use the book Uninvited to heal so many women from the DEEP wounds of rejection. We are not left out. We are INVITED. Let us learn to LIVE LOVED! Let us learn to live from that confident place each day! Amen



Can you relate? Have you been sucker punched or kicked in your shins of insecurities? Hang in there sweet friends. You are so so loved. GET THIS BOOK and read it slow and two times like a love letter from Jesus.

It’s a serious game-changer.

Here’s my on a new show I’m doing with Kay Wyma – we’re rag tag group of friends. We love to chat with other friends around the kitchen table or in the car. It’s RIGHT UP MY alley because it’s in DFW before our kids get home. It’s the Say Something Show.

See Lysa interview here on Rejection.

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Funny note: I MADE Ron put up these shades and he called while I was out “um, they are like a foot short.” And I was all like “who cares – we have a party tonight – put them up – NO ONE WILL ever know – they are not even for actual shading – just looking cute bunched at the top.” Fast forward to rag tag interview with Kay and Lysa – hey, let’s put these shades down for better lighting. Face red. Um, they are like a foot off. Busted.

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  1. Ouch, Courtney! We tell our kids {often} that self-deprecating humor is usually funnier & certainly safer/kinder than picking someone else as the object of a joke.

    The book sounds great!

    fyi…the military mom whom you sent a book is doing great & her son’s cancer is in remission. 🙂

      1. Quote:A new President isn’t going to change things a bit.Sure he is. That was his primary campaign promise. CHANGE. So once he changes the carpet in the Oval Office, he can kick-back and slack-off for the rest of his 3 years, 11 months, 3 weeks, and 4 days in office (assuming he’s handy with a capest-rtretcher), since he’s brought the promised historic change to the White House.

  2. I LOVE this and SO needed this encouragement today as I face so many insecurities and past hurts. Thank you for sharing!! Praying for you!

  3. Needed this today! Wouldn’t you know that was the one book I did not bring home from SheSpeaks. HA! It was the one I needed the most. This is such a great message and you are a gifted writer.

  4. I love this so much Courtney…although we have never met, I subscribe to your posts and can always relate with the words you so beautifully write. Your paragraph about being a tender hearted woman really hit home. I too, love to help and serve others and often read into people more than I should and get my feelings hurt. Thank you for always sharing so genuinely…I just asked my husband to get me the “Uninvited” book for my birthday.
    Thanking God for your words today!!❤️

    1. hey karla. kindred spirits! 😉 i try to remind my sweet tender hearted daughter – he’s going to use her heart for such good!

  5. Tender hearts unite! And, we also share a love of Lysa’s writing. To be honest, most times when I’m reading her books, I feel like she’s done a little digging into my past. I’ve been hurt more times that I would like to let on (we tender-hearted don’t like to let others know how much they hurt us because we think it makes us look weak) but so, so, SO many times, it’s just my perception and not {exactly!} what they meant! Thank you for sharing your heart.

  6. Courtney, this is how I’ve felt many times and I’m so thankful that I’m not alone! Thank you for sharing this story from such a tender place and with so much grace.

  7. I feel I am just a few short years behind you in the writing/speaking gig, and am so very glad I found you on the Compel post of your talk at SheSpeaks! Taking notes like mad (Do not take cheap shots at fellow speakers: check), followed you on all the platforms I am on, and cheering you on!

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