Do you know that feeling? That way you get when you just don’t feel like you are there? Like you are invisible? Like you are alone in a crowded room and not one soul sees you? Like you’re invisible. Like you’re a ghost.
Maybe you were a kid and nobody picked you for their team in gym class. Or maybe you were at a party and you saw your ex from across the room. He/she knew everything about you. And now? Its like you are a stranger. They don’t even notice you. Or maybe you are at a new job and that clique of coworkers tells a bunch of inside jokes and then they didn’t invite you to Bob’s yearly BBQ bash! The nerve!
Or maybe you worked your ass off for your boss and he didn’t say anything. Or you prepared a great newsletter for your students’ parents–and not one parent read it!
It kind of leaves you asking: Does anyone even see me? Does anyone even know me?
If you want a little bit of the insight into the very unorganized and college-style mind of Emily (that’s…me…btw), the idea of not being seen has always been with me. To this day, I ask God in prayer, “why am I going to this or that thing?” “do I really belong in this ministry?” “If I just disappeared today, would anyone even notice?”
I think this might be a chronic problem with all of us. We all want to be seen because we want to know that what we do actually matters. For many of us, we find our fulfillment and our meaning in our accomplishments and in what we do. If you tell me I’m doing a good job, I have meaning and purpose. If that boy asks me on a date, I must be important! If you tell me what I shared at bible study really touched you, I must have purpose! If you see me–I must matter–right?
Is it possible that maybe we are settling? Yes, we all have a desire to be seen. After All, we share in God’s image and likeness. We were made to create and do as an image and a reminder of how God creates and does. But I think we are made for something deeper. We were made to be known. Our deepest desire is to not just be seen but to be known.
Everyone might be able to see your good works, how often you pray and go to confession, or how good you are at your job, but it’s a completely other thing to let people actually know you. For someone to know you, they have to see all of you. They have to know your accomplishments and your flaws, your fears and your victories, your wounds, your virtues, and your sins..
But we settle. We don’t really want people to know us. We just want them to see our best selves–the self that prays, the self that gives, the self no one will judge. But what we really need to be is to be known. WE need to let other people see us for who we really are. We need to let people see our quirks, our wounds and our struggles.
Being seen is easy but being really known is scary. Because we can’t control how people are going to react when we take those walls down. If she knew I was that insecure, she’d never talk to me again. Or if he knew how much I struggled with this sin, he’d judge me. No, it’s easier to stay in my own little made up land where my life is perfect and everything is great #fakefacebookhappyselfie
But it’s not just enough to be seen. If we hide behind a mask, we’ll always feel isolated and like we are hiding from the everyone around us. Instead of letting other people come to know us, we’ll just continue grasping for attention, and worry if people are seeing us the way we want to be seen. In the long run, we’ll just be lonely and never really grow in relationship with anyone.
But damn it’s hard. Maybe we were rejected in the past, made to think that our true selves is not good enough, or we just feel useless. One of the greatest comforts that I constantly need to remind myself of is that the Lord both sees me and knows me. He created me and put me here for a reason. Not in some abstract way. But he put me in this city, in this neighborhood, in this group of people, for a specific reason.
When we struggle with a fear of really being known, or we have a desire to be seen, maybe one solution might be to go to Adoration. Ask the Lord, “how do you see me? Who am I to you?” Because, God really did put you where you are for a reason. He sees you and actually knows you.
I was in prayer once, trying to figure out why God put me in a certain ministry. I felt kind of useless in it but I came up (or the Holy Spirit came up with!) one person I was helping. I asked the Lord, “Is that it?” I felt the Lord telling me., “If I sent you here for that one person, is that not enough? If that one person sees and knows you, is that not enough? Did I not leave the 99 for the one sheep?”
God sees you and he knows you. And really, that’s all that matter. God is constantly doing something. In fact, it’s impossible for God to do nothing–he’s pure act. If you are working with the Lord, he is always using you. It is impossible for you to be useless when you are a tool of the Lord.
So today, if you’re feeling invisible or useless, just know that it’s a lie. It’s the biggest lie that the devil will tell you. Because God sees you, knows you, uses you, and loves you. It’s not for anything you did or did not do–its just because you are his child.
But maybe your problem is the people around you. Maybe you’re afraid that they won’t accept yo, or you are afraid that no one will love you if they knew the real you. Maybe it’s just easier to hide behind our social media profiles and get excited by the 100 likes we have on facebook.
I’ll admit it–the 17 likes on facebook on that status really did affirm me in the fact that I must be hilarious!
But really–God puts people in our lives for a reason. If you see a potential friendship, intentionally seek it out. Let that person see your woundedness. Within reason, if God puts someone trustworthy and good in your path–let them know you. The more I learn about people, the more I realize that we are all pretty broken 🙂
And don’t be afraid to get to really know someone else. We were created to be known but also know others. It’s easy to get comfortable with your partner or group of friends, but I know that you have an a that could really use a friend.
It’s scary because rejection flat out sucks. And when we put ourselves out there, we are basically asking for someone to reject us. And let’s be honest–you and I will probably be rejected. But so was Jesus. And he knows you and loves you, not just in spite of yourself, but because of you. Find your empowerment in that.
Of course, you’ll be lonely. That person you wanted to be your friend may never notice you exist. And your ex will continue to be an ass. It’s okay to feel rejected and sad when others don’t accept who we really are. It’s okay to want that human connection. We were made for it. But don’t give into despair. Because that sadness will bring you to Christ. It doesn’t make the pain go away–but it makes it a bit easier.
The Lord sees you and knows you even when others don’t. And others see and know you–even when you don’t see it.
It’s hard but if Christ–God–can be wounded and naked on a Cross, we can be open too.
Never believe you are useless. If you let God use you, He will. You are known. You are important. You are needed. You are loved.
Rest in that God knows you and loves you. Let yourself be known, and go and know someone else because they probably feel exactly like you 🙂