How it feels to be invisible
I'm well aware of the feeling. You are there, in every environment. At work talking to your favorite co-worker over coffee, sitting across the table from your closest friends over brunch, or at the diner table with your husband and children. You take up space in these spaces. You breathe the air, you laugh, you nod, and say the things that need to be said at the moment, but you are not seen. You are barely heard and often never truly understood.
These are the safe spaces you occupy. The ones you have the right to be in. Everyone there says you are welcome, but your heart won't accept it and your head won't believe it. It's not acceptance that you crave, it's visibility. The more you feel unseen, the more you diminish your light.
I've felt so dim in past seasons of my life that I've been completely invisible. As a business owner, I learned that people viewed me as an entity, a bank, an expert, a guru, and a big boss. This gave them the right to ask me, How's the business in the middle of dinner on days that I just wanted to forget about the busy day I had. As a minister, I've found myself pouring out with an empty cup. I've been asked how I was doing, while the asking party proceeded to talk, never giving me a courtesy pause to say; " I've had a rough day, my faith was challenged, I'm believing that as I pray for you God will strengthen me." Parenting leaves no space to be anything but the dictator, the teacher, the cook, the CEO of the house, the rule maker, the fun coordinator, and the general manager of everything all at once. While your children don't have the full capacity to see anything let alone you, it doesn't make you feel any less invisible after a day of being everything to everybody.
Marriage has offered me a special grace. When I met my husband at the young and tender age of 15, I was unaware of the grace God was allowing to enter into my life through the love of friendship. This love was never perfect, but it was always real, sacred, and beautiful. It challenged me, scared me, broke me, nourished me, inspired me, and confounded me. God let me find myself in someone that could see me.
To be seen is sacred. If your heart taught you to hide because of the constant fear of being lost in invisibility. Love makes you visible.
I want everyone to know this love, in this way. I am aware that this is not everyone's story. And love exists in spaces and places I've never seen or visited before.
So who removes the invisibility off of you? Who plainly sees you for who you are, in such a way that you see yourself, fully, whole, and profoundly.
My personal journey to become new was marked with seasons of unsettling invisibility.
Without the presence of the Lord and the satisfying peace I found in Him, I would have never known that there was a possibility to be seen.
One day during my study time with the Lord. I was reading a passage of scripture and the Lord held me in place. He arrested me so I could hear a whisper He had held for me for a moment I needed it most. He said I see you.
A conversation with the Lord who sees you can render you seen in such a way that makes you whole.
The Lord showed me a woman who was battered, broken, and hurt, who ran away from an abusive, traumatic relationship and toxic environment.
An invisible woman named Hagar, the slave of Sarai was forced to sleep with her owner's husband. The domino effect of the decisions made for her placed her in life-altering invisibility. Running through the desert, I could imagine what her heart was saying. The desperation must have been earth shattered. She puts her son under a tree, not being able to bear watching him starve. And the Lord sees her. In her invisibility. He sees her. He knows her, He speaks to her.
He tells her what her past is, creates a well in the dry place, and prophesies her future. She finds hope in her hopelessness and responds in such a way, that after I read it, my heart broke because I knew the feeling so well.
She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”
Genesis 16:13 NIV
At another well. A woman who was drawing from Jacob's well talks directly to the Lord. The Word who became, flesh reveals himself to a woman that should be twice forgotten, double invisible. First, because of her nationality. Jesus being a Jew should have never engaged in conversation with her. It was unlawful for a Jew to talk to a Gentile woman. Secondly, because of her condition. She was a woman married many times living with a man that wasn't her husband. We have found ourselves in these spaces if we're honest. Believing our invisibility separates us from access to love.
Love shows up through Jesus
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.
He tells her who she is and sees her
He leaves her saying this......Then the woman left her water jar and went away to the town. And she began telling the people, Come, see a Man Who has told me everything that I ever did! Can this be [is not this] the Christ? [Must not this be the Messiah, the Anointed One?]
John 4:28-29 AMPC
Her encounter with the one who saw her, made her leave her water. Being in a space so safe that you are seen and you can allow yourself to be seen will make you let go of everything else you were thirsty for.
Both women like us, are considered far off from the messianic promise, but the mercy of God found them and us in the driest place.
To be seen by God when you feel unworthy, abandoned, and invisible is an experience I pray you have.
To become new is to be seen by the one who sees all, has numbered your hairs and your sin, and through mercy said you're redeemable. You're the one I want to redeem. You're the one I see. When God sees you, you'll never be invisible again.
As you think, read, and allow God to speak to your heart pray this prayer.
Lord, Thank you for being the Lord who sees me. I've felt nearly invisible in so many places and seasons of my life that sometimes I convinced myself that I wasn't important, worthy, or capable of being seen. Your Word declares love all over my life and I want to experience it in its full. Know my heart, search it, and bring me into a complete understanding of your grace. As you make yourself real to me personally, unveil the love my heart longs for and engulf me in it to the point that I see myself fully the way you see me. In Jesus'