Therefore, therefore, do not lose heart. But take these truths and day by day focus on them. Preach them to yourself every morning. Get alone with God and preach His word into your mind until your heart sings with confidence that you are new and cared for. - John Piper
Last week I shared that I feel prompting in my heart to speak truth over some of the areas of my life where I've struggled the most. This is especially in light of the fall out of my last relationship. The very first truth that I want to address is the one that speaks against the feelings of being invisible.
In my last relationship, we did not tell people we were dating. Only close friends and family knew. For three years I had to put up with this charade of a double life. One life where I was the single working girl and then my other life where I enjoyed being in a committed relationship to a guy I loved. For two and a half more years it was the same in "friend" format. I had been compartmentalized for so long it left me worn down. While at first I totally was on board with not sharing with others (hello, gossip fest - I see it now as those same people we avoided telling read this with speculation and perhaps what they believe is affirmation..) - it really became something that broke me down emotionally. I didn't talk about it to him. Perhaps I didn't even fully realize it. But after a while, hiding from co-workers out while grocery shopping or not being able to attend work events kind of left me feeling lousy. I felt left out and unnoticed. After all, if he really loved me he would want to show me off and tell others about me, right? Instead it was as if I was tucked away neatly in the corner only to be brought out when it sufficed. Week night dinner partner? Check! Sunday drives with coffee? Check! Family events? Sure! And then it started to go downhill from there. Now, don't get me wrong. I loved this guy with all I had. We had a blast when we were together and I don't think I was just this token to keep hidden away. No.
But it sure starts to feel like maybe there's something wrong....with me. I can recall so many moments of life where I was told I wasn't worth anything so being segregated from a big part of his life like that really made me feel confirmed in those truths. I know it contributed to the emotional distress I had towards the end of our relationship. All my hurts came out in bitterness and anger. All the times I felt neglected or pushed to the side for someone else who needed something. He was always running to everyone elses aid and a lot of times that left me feeling unnoticed. I didn't know how to communicate back then (not that I'm any type of pro now) so it silently picked at me until it ate me alive.
In a lot of ways I don't think he realized what he was doing to me. But that is not the point. He's no longer in my life and I still have these feelings here that I'm invisible to the world. That I'm not seen. It has really started (or always has been) impacting other areas of my life as well. Work, hobbies, social media - everywhere I turn I feel this slight tinge that I'm overlooked. There are moments that I get lost in my emotions and for days I won't receive a text or phone call to say, "hey i'm thinking of you." When everyone else has their own life, their own relationships, their own family and plans - I feel forgotten.
The thing about feeling invisible is that it's a gateway to all other kinds of insecurities. So if I'm going to dig up all these lies I've lived believing, I might as well start here.
I have discovered a much different concept in the bible. God sees His people. In Exodus when God tells Moses He's going to deliver the people out of Babylon, He says to him "I have surely seen the oppression of My people...and have heard their cry...for I know their sorrows" (Exodus 3:7) God sees us. Even when the world doesn't know we exist. God sees. Even when we spend our days isolated. Even when it seems that our troubles, cares, desires, heart go unnoticed, God sees us.
Part of the freedom I'm discovering is realizing that I'm not meant to be hidden in some corner. You do not hide a lamp under a basket, but put it on the table, so that it's light shines forth. (Matthew 5:15) God did not design me to be hidden away- but to be used for His glory. A relationship that is glorifying to the Lord is going to represent in reality what is spoken in word.
So I take this truth and I try and believe it. Try to believe that I'm seen. Among the criticism and intentional non-invites there is a place for me in this world still to be seen in my truest form.
Just tonight driving home I saw what I thought was a giant rainbow. When I took my sunglasses off, I could not see it. But when I put them back on what I realized is that there was a giant sun dog around the sun. That was really cool. In the same way that I couldn't see with my blind eyes the beauty in front of me, I think this is how I've looked at myself. I spent so long looking at myself through everyone else's eyes - that I could only see the distorted view I've always knew. I let the worlds view of me shape my view of who the person God created me to be. I haven't been able to really see the way that God does. I haven't tried looking through His eyes. Turns out His view is a lot different.