Tuesday, 10 August 2010

I See You

Jake Sully," I see you." Neytiri:,"I see you."~Avatar (2009)

Ever walked into a crowded room and felt invisible? I have, many times.  Ever been in a small group with polite chit-chat and it seems that you aren't being heard, and inside you are screaming, "Can't you see me?"  I have. We have a need to feel connected. God made us to connect with Him and with others. And when we feel that we are invisible and aren't seen, it can make us feel, worthless. It makes us feel lonely and small. It hurts to feel invisible. 

A few months ago I attended a White Butterfly Reflection Service,and was surprised by the emotions that surfaced from reflecting on losing a child to miscarriage. The next day at church, my emotions were still raw and as I spoke to a lady, tears welled up in my eyes. I apologised to her for my tears, and explained why I was feeling a bit teary due to the day before, and her response surprised me. She said, "Oh that's good to know you've have had a miscarriage." As I wiped tears from my eyes I asked, "Why?" And she responded, "Because it's good to know who to direct people to if someone has a miscarriage in the church." Shocked by her insensitivity, I excused myself and went to the bathroom and cried. All I really wanted to hear from her at the time was, "I see you."

Last month I met with a pastoral care pastor from the church that my family and I had attended for the last 10 months. I shared with her how I felt very out of place in the church, and I was lonely and had found it hard to connect with people. I also shared with her about my Hashimoto's Disease and that I had had a rough few months with low energy levels. I told her how it was hard to get through the day sometimes. Her response was flattering, but not what I wanted to hear. She said, "When you are feeling better I'd love to have you serve on the women's leadership. Oh and I am planning in the future to do an outreach in the community to women who suffer from depression and I'd love you to share. Are you coming to the women's meeting on Friday night?" I felt like all she saw was my potential to serve in the church. All I wanted to hear from her was, "I see you."

God saw me in my loneliness and knew I needed help to get through this season. He saw me every Sunday morning crying after I left church. He planted me amongst a group of women that I would meet with weekly. The majority of these women were from another church. Some were homeschoolers, some weren't. We met in the park so our kids could play and we could chat over a cup of tea. As I got to know the group I noticed that I was accepted as I was. There were no expectations on me, only grace.

One day I arrived to the park in tears, I was unable to hold it together and I shared how I was frustrated by the fact that my health was preventing me form living life as I should. I shared how I was frustrated that I had to walk this path and frustrated that I wasn't healed. I shared that I was going to a church where I felt like I was invisible, Everyone encouraged me and I left feeling uplifted. When I arrived home, I received a message in my inbox from one of the women asking me if I would like her to mind my boys for a few hours tomorrow so I could have a break. Her message really said, "I see you."

My family and I made the decision to go to the church where the majority of my 'park' friends go. Where instead of feeling lonely each week, I now go and I feel people say, "I see you." Where I am no longer invisible. Where there is grace. By placing me amongst these women, God was also saying to me, "I see you." He knows my need to connect with people. We are meant to do life with Him and with others, not alone.

I read a great post today on this subject. It got me thinking. We are always seen by God. When we are hurting He says, "I see you." and wraps us in His love. Hagar had this revelation when she ran away from Sarai's jealous outbursts. God sent her an angel and it says in Genesis 16: 13-14:

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." That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi [means well of the Living One who sees me] ; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.

God saw what Hagar was going through and He sees what I am going through. I now take extra care to see past the idle chit chat and make sure I say to people, "I see you" with a kind word and acknowledgement that I hear what they are saying. I don't want anyone to feel invisible around me. I want them to hear, "I see you" with my words and my actions. This is exactly what Jesus did to everyone He came in contact with while He was here on earth. And this is what I will endeavour to do with everyone I come in contact with while I am here on earth.

 I see you.

Still taking lessons from the King,


20 comments:

  1. As always your blog has encouraged me. I have had a realisation this week that I am not just tired and a bit overwhelmed after having number 3, I in fact have postnatal depression. You would think that knowing there's a reason I feel this way would help but it just makes me feel like a complete failure and so weak and I know that doesn't make any rational sense, as if being a stronger person would make me immune to something like this. I feel lost and alone right now, something I know you understand and you have reminded me that God sees me. :-)

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  2. Beautiful, Jo. I can see what a blessing you must be to those around you. You certainly bless me with sharing your inner self. I know exactly what you are talking about with feeling invisible. I feel like this a lot at my church but then I know that God has me there for a reason and I have to work extra hard to form these relationships with people that just don't get it. But I am blessed to have formed friends online and in other areas in my life. Love you. xx

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  3. Jo I love your writing. You know, Jessica means "God sees me" and at first I was a little bummed about her name meaning but just lately I have been thinking about her name meaning and how wonderful it is to have a name that means "God sees me". Everyone wants to be noticed and seen by God. And I so agree with you... Just wanting people to see you, where you're at, no strings attached, no ulterior motives.... So important. :-) Katrina

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  4. I relate to the desire to be "seen"... Thank you for sharing this post :)

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  5. What a wonderful post..And I can some what relate to how you feel..I have not had a miscarriage,but i do suffer from a physical disease as well(Colitis) which now has limited me on things that i can do in life..Not always feeling up to par.. even though me mind says why cant you do that , you used to be able to run circles around people.. but not any more..
    Thank you Jo for sharing your thoughts.
    And though the people of the world may not be considerate enough to see you God Does!
    And in time he may lead you to speak to other woman , to help them get through their tough time too.
    God Bless your day.. cya soon

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  6. Sometimes people don't even know how cruel they can be. Sometimes it's the very people who are suppose to be there to comfort us and offer God's Words of encouragement that end up wounding us the most.

    I am so glad that you have found sisters in Christ who can truly lift you up and encourage you!

    Will be praying for you, Jo! I may not be able to physically "see" you, but that doesn't stop the heart vision!

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  7. Wow. Just...wow. That was an incredible post that really struck me. You are so right. God made us to be with people and when we don't feel connected it is so lonely. We want people to see us...not just see what we can do for them. I am praising God that He sees each one of us...He sees into our hearts. I am also so glad that He brought people into your life who see you, Jo! What a blessing!

    Also, I love your new layout and design of your blog. It is beautiful and so professional!!

    Living for Him, Joan

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  8. Hi Jo, what a poignant post!!! It resonates deep with my heart. I have posted a link on my blog to this post of yours, I hope that is ok, I just wanted to share it!!

    Praise God that he has brought you to friends and a church where you are now seen!

    Luv donna

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  9. I see you, my friend.

    You know because of the things I have shared with you that I understand your words here... I too have felt invisible. It hurts really bad when you are placed in that place, especially when you see others being singled out.

    I am so blessed to see how Papa God has provided for you.

    I have to tell you I can't wait for my home school co-op to start. Though it's a 40 mile drive and I'm there all day and exhausted by the end of the day.. I love the friends God has given me there.

    Rejoicing with you over where He has placed you.

    xoxoxo

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  10. As always you have spoken straight from your heart. Keep those truths coming xx

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  11. Jo, once again you've shared from the depths of your heart! Thank you for trusting us to share your thoughts with:)
    Unfortunately the church is filled with broken people and some just don't know how to relate or connect in the way we would like.
    But, I am glad that you are now in a church where you feel accepted and belong to rather than leaving altogether (which has happened to people I know) :(

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  12. Hello Jo, thank you for the lovely comment you left on my blog, I love visiting your blog as well, so encouraging and insightful. This post is so true today, to be really seen is a treasure and something to hold and treasure.

    I see you, my friend.

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  13. I'm sorry you've had that invisible feeling, Jo. ..But you have encouraged me, to know that I am not the only one who feels that. My whole church experience has been pretty difficult and I know that invisible feeling all too well. I never know how to talk about it, so hearing you bring it up is really a blessing.

    Also, I am so sorry for the insensive response you got about your grief over losing a precious child. I can only imagine how hard that must be. Not that it's the same, but we've faced a lot of insensitive comments in the past about infertility and I know that having to deal with that on top of the deep grief is not easy.

    I'm always so thankful to be able to come here and read your thoughts and what you are learning from our King. And I want to learn to do what you said too, and be someone that makes others feel seen.

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  14. If I weren't up way past my bedtime (and thus half-asleep) I would be totally crying right now - once again (it's almost getting creepy ;) you speak my heart. This has been my prayer recently... to connect with some people (ladies) who are in a season where they can truly open their hearts to know me and to connect with me. But then, Mike and I were talking about the fact that we're both somewhat lacking in the bossom buddy department and it made us wonder just what God might be preparing us for. Not what we want - because we want what we want and we want it now - but still brings hope. Praying for you my friend!

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  15. awww Jo... I know how superficial alot of Christians can be. I have experienced a lot of the same insensitivity in churches. Fortunately, the Lord has a lot of genuine, caring ones that He has placed around my life from the beginning to help overshadow the negative experiences.

    I felt your pain as I read this post. You have such a beautiful transparency which allows you to be in the vulnerable position of sharing your true heart. I love that...

    I am glad you and your family have found a better fellowship to belong to. Still imperfect no doubt, but genuine.

    Many of us should be ashamed of ourselves when we can be so unfeeling and immune to another's grief and loneliness. You have to wonder if they are truly filled with the Holy Spirit.

    By the way, I really love your new blog design. It is so homey and lovely.

    Bless you and have a wonderful Monday...

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  16. Wow....those are some crazy powerful stories. Thanks for sharing it here and the link on my blog. I felt breathless when I read that the lady said she was glad that the miscarriage happened, so that then she'd know who to send people to. Whew.

    I'm glad you found a place of grace and caring, which is what a church is really supposed to be. Blessings.

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  17. Hi Jo - You know what I love the most about you? Its your willingness to share even the hurts in your life. Your openness and the frustrations that sometimes comes your way. That, that my dear friend is relatable and that is what being in Christ is all about. The reason He came down to walk this world as man, that we can relate with Him. Guess what dear? Your faith is not in vain, your declaration for healing are not in vain. Keep shouting to the top of your voice healing, even when you don't feel like healing. It is your portion in the name of Jesus, and no matter what state you might be in healing is present. Again dear you might not feel it but God will bring you peace and help you through it. And dear, just to let you know you are NOT invisible in His eyes, nor are you in my eyes. You are very much visible, and needed for a greater purpose that is yet to be revealed. Continue trusting in Him, you are going to grab your blessings and no one can stop you. Love you always

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  18. Hi Jo, I've just discovered your blog and wow.. it speaks so much to my heart and what God is doing in me too! Your sincerity jumps out of the screen...'I don't want anyone to feel invisible around me. I want them to hear, "I see you" with my words and my actions. This is exactly what Jesus did to everyone He came in contact with while He was here on earth' This brought me to tears. It's exactly what I want to do for others too. Thank you for putting it in words!

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  19. Thankyou so much i have been feeling exactly like wat you are describing in your blogg. Its a word in season for me. I'm going thru a bit of a ruff patch with my car broken down, my washing machine broke and so glad i now have one ( a washing machine). Sometimes its hard for other people to know how you are feeling and you can end up feeling a little bit hurt buy there reactions, you feel like they dont see you like you said in your blogg. I need to be sensitive to other people and make sure i realy see them. Thankyou so much once again jo. x

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  20. Yes, I know this feeling unfortunately too well. We have been in our church for 16 years now and sometimes I feel like "part of the furniture" - ie, invisible. Yet it is where God wants us (we did go elsewhere for a while at the 10 year point), so I continue to try to meet people and make those connections we all need ...

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my lessons!

I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

Love,
Jo Princess Warrior xo