The Party

In January, before my blog was born, there was a story in my heart…

Imagine you’re at a party. A party like one you would have in a dream, where there is no beginning – you just realize you are there. You don’t remember getting an invitation. You certainly don’t remember giving an RSVP that you would come. You don’t even know when you arrived. But there you are none-the-less.

You don’t feel strange being there. It’s rather comfortable really. You recognize the surroundings, and they are familiar to you. You’re not sure how long you’ve even been there, but that doesn’t really matter. You settle in and figure, it’s a party, so it must be fun. You may as well enjoy yourself. So you have conversations, you eat the food. It’s all very nice. But as the party wears on you begin to wonder, “What is the party for? What are we celebrating?” It’s strange that you don’t know, but you don’t let it bother you – at least not at first. But soon enough, your curiosity gets the best of you. You must find out what kind of party this is.

So you turn to the décor. Maybe that will give you a clue. You notice that it’s really not very festive at all. No balloons. No bright colors. It’s all rather dull and gray, really. Very comfortable to be sure, but rather lifeless. For the first time you get a funny feeling inside that some things just aren’t right about this party.

Next you turn to the food. Parties always have great food. You’ve even eaten some of it and it was good. But as you look there are no clues there either. No birthday cake. Nothing that would let you know what kind of party this is. And with a more inquisitive look, you realize that the food is rather dull looking too. And rather bland. Strange. It tasted good a little while ago. The feeling inside is really making you uneasy now. But you don’t give up yet. This is a party after all. It was meant to be enjoyed.

Finally, you turn to the other guests. They surely must know what kind of party this is. You will get to the bottom of this yet. You begin to ask questions. Casually at first. You don’t want to appear foolish being the only one who does not know what is being celebrated. The answers are vague. Something about difficulties. Something about sorrow. Wait. This is supposed to be a party, right? But you press on. Surely you’re missing something. But the more you talk and the more you observe, you realize that there is no joy at this party. No laughter. Strange you didn’t notice that before. Why had you missed this? By now it seems so glaringly obvious.

You stay just a little longer, trying to make sense of it all. Finally, you cannot ignore it any longer. You are not having a bit of fun at this party. You know it really is a party. Somehow that is a truth you cannot deny. But this is not a party that you would have wanted to be at had you known what it would be like. It makes you feel down. It is keeping you from other things – wonderful, adventurous things. Things that you experienced before, but can’t for the life of you remember the last time that was. How long have you been at this party anyway? And then it dawns on you. No one is keeping you at this party. You are free to leave. And so, finally, you head to the door. Slowly, at first. After all, you might hurt someone’s feelings. But with each step you know it’s the right thing to do. Each step comes quicker than the one before. Until finally, you are almost running to the door. You open it wide and breathe in the fresh air. It’s like new life to your soul. You open your eyes and are immediately struck by the vivid colors. Oh, the things you’ve missed while you were at the party. But no more. You pull the door closed behind you. Ah, the freedom. As you walk away, looking forward to what lay ahead, you can’t help but take a glance over your shoulder. And then you see it. The sign on the door…

…The Pity Party.

You’re startled at first. How could you have been at a pity party? That is not a party you would ever want to be at. But as these thoughts race through your mind, you know it’s true. You didn’t even see it coming. You’re still not sure when your troubles and sorrow even led you there. They were real hurts. Real losses. Worthy of grief and mourning. But you never realized that you had crossed the line, that you had entered the pity party. It was so comfortable at first. It just felt normal. You hadn’t become depressed. Certainly that would have been a hint that you were there. But as you think even harder you recall that you didn’t have joy either. You hadn’t lost all hope. And there were joyful times even in the midst of the party. But still. You didn’t have the joy that made your eyes light up. Joy that made you want to skip. No, it had been a long time since you’d had that kind of joy.

Yes, the pity party is exactly where you had been. And even though you didn’t know its name at the time, you are grateful that your eyes had been opened. That you had realized it was no fun. You laugh suddenly, because it occurs to you that even the other guests at the party were really just you, talking to yourself. It’s funny how we keep ourselves company when we’re at the pity party. Sure, others may listen briefly to your stories and feel sorry for you. But that is exactly what you wanted. It is what keeps you at the pity party for a while. But when sympathy from others is gone, you can always feel sorry for yourself. After all, that is what the pity party is celebrating – you.

source: istock

Now that the truth is so clear, just for a brief moment you feel sorry that you had been to the pity party. But you laugh again. Isn’t feeling sorry for yourself the thing that had taken you there in the first place? No, you mustn’t be sorry. Instead you must do as you had done as you headed for the door. You must run. Away from the party. You must run toward the One who opened your eyes in the first place. The One who was never far away and was waiting for you with open arms. Yes, you must run to Him, and all of the wonderful adventures He’d been keeping for you. And you must take with you only that which He taught you while you were there. Without you, the party quickly vanishes away. After all, without you, there is no pity party. And quicker than you imagined, sparkle returns to your eyes. And, did I just see you skipping?

About Shelli Bourque

An ordinary girl living by the grace of life in Christ. Adoring wife and mom. Lover of quiet places and uncluttered spaces. Beauty seeker and image maker.


  1. Denise says

    Shelli, I loved this when I first read it and love it still. I have been to that party. Daughter, you have an untapped gift for writing. Denise(Mom)