No matter who you are or what stage of life you are in, you’ve probably had at least one season of your life where you felt overlooked.

“Hi! Good to see you! Where’s your brother?”

“Hey, would you tell your sister I said ‘Hi?”

“Looking for your roommate!”

Or maybe now you’re married to someone whose personality or position overshadows you. I recently talked with Kay Warren about what it’s like to live in the shadow of her husband – the world-famous Pastor Rick Warren. You can listen to it here:

She had some very insightful things to share that I thought were more than interesting; they were worth writing down! Having spent my time playing second fiddle before, let me tell you a few things I’ve learned.

God uses all of us in different ways. 

I remember working for Pastor Mike Breaux when I worked in Kentucky. He is an incredible communicator and a one-of-a-kind talent. I was his backup. When I filled in for him 10 times a year, there would always be disappointed looks, some times people got up and left when they saw me take the stage. That’s always fun to see! Many times I’d have to quietly give myself a pep talk while on stage… “You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and dog-gone-it, people like you!” But one day, I heard someone say, “I really enjoy hearing you teach… it connects with me more than Breaux,” and I was reminded that God uses different tools in his toolbox. So rest assured… he’ll put the two of you together. 

Let your time in the shadow help you sympathize with others.

Being overlooked is a great time to remember that many people feel this way more often than you. So, find them. Look for the people that are left in the corner when everyone else is enamored with someone else. Look for the kids whose parents are the star of the show. Be the light for them.

Pray for those in this sun.

The problem with being in the sun all the time is that when you fall, everyone sees it. We’ve all heard enough news about fallen pastors, leaders, politicians, and CEOs. Pray for them. I heard once that people who put you up on a pedestal will one day resent you that they have to look up to you. So pray their character can handle that.  

Your day will come. Be you. Don’t try to be anyone else. They’re already taken. 


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