Verses

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished! Luke 1:45

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Invisible Woman

Sometimes I feel invisible. I think it may be a typical problem of most women, particularly stay-at-home moms. But it isn't a fun feeling.

I don't enjoy feeling like I don't matter to anyone. Or that I could easily be replaced by just about anyone.

It's a feeling I've struggled with over the course of my lifetime. Most of the time now it comes from feeling unappreciated but it also can be the result of feeling very average and typical. I like to think there's something special about me that makes me ME but sometimes it doesn't seem to be there. And it certainly doesn't seem to be recognized by other people.

Feeling invisible can be frustrating and depressing and bitter. It can cause me to see only the worst in others.

That's one reason I like the story of Hagar in the Bible. If you don't know of her, she was an Egyptian servant to Abraham and Sarah.

They had been promised a child by God even though they were closing in on the century mark in age. Sarah decided to 'help' God by giving Hagar to Abraham as her surrogate. So Hagar went from invisibility (that she expected as a servant) to having importance -- both in filling a need for Sarah and in the obvious intimacy that would be present between she and Abraham.

The problem came when she actually got pregnant. Sarah's jealousy caused some bitter behavior towards her and, eventually, Hagar ran away.

Hagar had been used and then made to feel invisible again to someone with whom an intimacy had developed which probably hurt more than being despised by Sarah, who had likely at least been friendly before everything happened.

But God found her. In the wilderness, He spoke to her. He knew her name and called to her. He comforted her and told her about what would happen. And that's why, from that point on she knew God as "the God who sees me." She did return to Abraham and Sarah.

And when the child that was promised did actually arrive about 13 years later, Sarah despised her again and kicked out both she and her child, who had been loved by them until that point.

But God still saw her and He took care of her again. Just like He sees me and takes care of me. He calls to me and is with me. Whether I am seen by my spouse, my children, my family, or my friends or not, I can know that the God of the universe sees me. Specifically me.

And He thinks I'm special (even if it feels like no one else does). Because He told me so.

2 comments:

Kim said...

Shelia,

I love the story of Hagar for the reasons you point out. Like you, I especially love her description of God as the "God who sees me." Beautiful! I am sorry that you feel invisible sometimes. I know that I don't think of you as invisible or average, but as very steady. Consistent. Like a rock or an oak tree. I don't know if that sounds as awesome to you as it does to me, but for me, the two most admirable character traits in a person are consistency and restraint. And so I am amazed and encouraged to "watch" you move through your life with strength and grace, and very little drama. You serve God and take care of your family and make delicious food for people and craft wonderful creations and blog with amazing regularity...and no one feels the need to mention any of this because we know that it's going to happen whether we mention it or not. We know that you are a strong and steady person. And since you are not dramatic, we assume that everything is always okay. But of course, I'm sure that is not always an accurate assumption. And even though you ARE strong and faithful, we forget that everyone needs affirmation that they are on the right track.

So, I'm sorry that I haven't said it lately, but I do want you to know that I very much admire you as a wonderful Christian example. I feel blessed just to know there is a "you" in this world, even though we don't get to talk much any more. But even though I don't see you these days, please know that you are not invisible to me, nor are you to so many others who love you.

(I know that you weren't necessarily inviting all that, but I thought it needed to be said.) Love you!

Kim said...

PS. This is probably not the post to mention this on, but the reason that this is such a late comment is because for all that talk about you not being invisible, my RSS feed seems to think that your blog IS invisible, and only updates your blog on my feed about once a month. But what does my RSS feed know? It's stupid:).