Last week an email with the subject line You’re invited to Ellie Holcomb’s Kickstarter CD Release Party! showed up in my inbox. It was a surprise to say the least and at first, I figured it was a mistake.
You see, I backed her new album in November after watching her Kickstarter video approximately 67 times because of how much I loved the song she sang in it. I’m a college student, though, so I backed it at the lowest tier—$15 that would get me the new album and a couple extra songs.
Not long after she reached her original goal and added some extra ones. The biggest was a CD Release Party here in Nashville for Tier 3 bakers and above. When they reached that one, I thought, That’s nice. I’m sure they’ll all have a wonderful time.
So when I got that email last week, I knew it had to be a mistake. I was only Tier 1. I opened it so I could figure out how to reply and let her management know that they’d sent it to Tier 1 backers as well.
Then I read the email.
There was no mistake. They’d opened the show to everyone who baked the project.
Even then I almost made my mind up to ignore it. I’d already gotten the album. There was no way the small amount I’d paid should get me tickets to the party. I didn’t deserve it, so I wasn’t going to accept it.
Then I decided to invite my friend Whitney. She knew who Ellie was and I knew she’d enjoy the show. I had, after all, been invited. Once she said yes I started getting excited. Still, I argued with myself.
You know you don’t deserve this.
But I was invited.
Yes, but that doesn’t mean that you should go.
I kept feebly pointing back to the email and the tickets I’d printed off. I’d been invited. Surely I could go. I didn’t believe it, though. I didn’t really think it was for me or that I belonged there. I hadn’t done enough to get me there.
I’ve been spending a lot of time lately unlearning life based on performance. I’m not quite sure where I learned it. I'm sure much of it is leftover from the fall. But it has become part of who I am. If I don’t feel like I’ve earned my place somewhere it’s hard for me to accept it. Even when I’ve been invited.
This time I dared myself to push past that. I invited Whitney and I printed off the tickets. I started really looking forward to it. We went and we had a blast. It was better than I could have hoped. And we got to meet Ellie at the end.
If you want to know the truth I still don’t feel like I deserved to be at that party last night. But I was. That’s grace. You don’t have to deserve it when you’ve been invited. You just have to come.
Last night I’m glad I did. So much of what Ellie sings about is this grace. Words that are echoed in actions that echo Jesus. I need to be reminded of it so often, that who I am does not depend on what I do. And it’s true for you, too.
The party’s ready and you’ve been invited. Will you come?