The Invisible Woman

No one notices when she walks into the room. No one asks her how things are going. Someone may offer up the obligatory “how are you?”

“I’m good, things are good”, she smiles and answers plainly.

Satisfied with her “I’m good” answer they walk away, they’ve done their part.

Our Invisible Woman doesn’t have a special person like that young lady over there with a mentor friend who not only asks, but also invests in and checks in on that young woman. Invisible Woman thinks to herself, “Maybe it’s her mom or something. I wish I had someone like that.” It is so sad how much the Invisible Woman notices that no one to notices her.

Could this be you today? Lonely and unnoticed.

Before I was a mom I had a really great career in Human Resources. I was recognized and praised and it felt so good. Even so, it was not hard for me to leave my satisfying job to care for my baby boy when he arrived. Baby-raising is intense and good and sweet. I was so busy being vigilant about my boy and soon after, my baby girl, that I didn’t even notice that I was going unnoticed. I was too focused on my babies and potty training. But soon my babies began to grow into kids. Then my kids both went off to school. That’s when I realized how unnoticed I was. For the stay at home mom, it is very lonely. There is not a team of people around you to say, “Great job! We know we can always count on you!” At jobs you even get recognized for years of service. So hey mom, when was the last time you were noticed and recognized for your accomplishments? Hopefully it was on Mother’s Day. My heart yearns for you to be built up more than once a year.

In a world where you can connect with hundreds of people on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Tumbler, we are still so hungry for a deeper connection that somehow Facebook cannot offer.  Our hearts cry out, “Notice me! See me! Like me! Get to know me!” Maybe you’ve seen some attention seeking behavior on social media that made you want to roll your eyes and ask them how old they were. Sometimes we just feel needy. Is that bad? Is it a weakness to be in need of encouragement? It is a bad idea to depend on Facebook “likes” and Twitter “favorites” as a measure of how liked and noticed we are because many of us would draw a dangerous conclusion that we are not worth much at all.

This is not about being the center of attention, the center of the universe, or having the world revolve around us. This is not narcissism. This is about a desperate need for sincere community.   For women who cannot count on work friends, church friends, close family or neighbors they need to know they are not invisible and they do belong.

I recall a time when three weeks went by without a call or email or text from anyone. During that time I tried reaching out. Friends and family were too busy to get together or it was just inconvenient. It was a lonely time that drew me to my knees in tears. We were made to connect with people. I would say that if you are in tears because you haven’t been able to connect, that makes you very normal.

I have often thought that the best cure for this was to be what you wish you could get from others – a kind of give-to-get mentality. You want people to take an interest in your life? –then show interest in theirs. You want others to remember you and notice you? –then remember them and notice them.   Sometimes this works, but it takes time. And sometimes it never comes back. You find yourself being the interested encourager in others and no one is interested in encouraging you.

From this well-meaning yet flawed approach we see our need for an alternate source of deep love in our life. Jesus is the only Person that will not let you down in the care and concern department. How awesome it is to feel His love and strength welling up inside so that even when no one loves back I can still extend genuine life-giving love. Whether its to my husband, sister, brother or friend, I can only love them if I have the love of God flowing from me -God’s kind, patient and not self-seeking love. Something amazing happens when you open your heart to receive His love. It is a fountain. The love flows one direction from an eternal source. A fountain does not expect or even conceive of ever seeing anything make its way back up. A fountain just wants the water to flow out.

It is this kind of love that helps you dial your phone when it hasn’t rung or send a text when you haven’t received one. This love helps you press the send button while your inbox remains empty.

pray with me

Lord help us to love like this even when we feel invisible. Please remind us how valuable we are to You. I pray that we would wake up everyday seeking You to find our value and place in this world so that we can share it with others who feel invisible.

your thoughts

What do you think about neediness? Do you think it is a weakness or personality flaw?

When have you felt invisible?

Older women – What advice or encouragement would you give to an invisible mom?

your actions

Did you ever stop and think that you could be the noticer that a lonely mom needs? Tell God you are ready for Him to use you to reach out to a lonely mom today. Show His interest in your eyes and His care in your words.

If you are lonely, please don’t stop trying to connect.  Send that email, send that text and make that call.

Let me know how it goes!

I have so much more I’d like to give you today but fear it would exhaust the proper length of a blog post! We will continue this Invisible Woman topic tomorrow as we learn about God: El Roi, the God who sees. Such comfort for The Invisible Woman!


9 Comments on “The Invisible Woman”

  1. Karey Koehn says:

    A great and important reminder! Thanks for another meaningful post.

  2. This is what I struggle with now. Being SEEN. I do a lot,even though I don’t “work”. I was working since the age of 16 until my son was born. It took me awhile to accept that I’m still doing something productive. Love this.

    • bowdino says:

      When I decided to stay home with babies my dad said to me, “I just don’t want you to get dull.” 😦
      How discouraging his comments were! We really need the fellowship of other women to help bring out the best in us whether we work or not. Mothering any way you slice it is a long term investment isn’t it. We don’t see the rewards until much later. Some will see us just staring at a stick in the ground while us moms see a towering Oak Tree that will be there one day. Until then, someone has to water it and protect it- and that is mom! Mothering is very productive. So great to connect with you Kelsey! God bless you Sister!

  3. Tracy says:

    Good words. Thank you.
    I’ve struggled with this my whole life. It seemed every time I’d make a friend they’d move away. I never seemed to fit in so I stood alone. That drove me to the Lord. I could always count on Him to be there. Sometimes I ponder the thought that He knew that if I were seen by others, if I had those close friendships I desired, that I would not have “seen” the Lord. That being “unseen” was actually a gift to draw me close to Him.

    • bowdino says:

      Amen Tracy! Very wise words. He really does use our suffering to bring us closer to Him. If only we remember that more often 😉
      I have cried out to God for a Samwise Gamgee to go with me on this journey. Or to have my very own Hopeful like Christian did to encourage him in the book Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (retold by James H. Thomas in today’s english). Very encouraging work of literature for anyone familiar with the struggles of Christian life. I read it at least once a year! God bless you Sister!

  4. Heather says:

    You are a wonderful writer! I think it’s very easy in this day and age to be invisible, and I know for me it’s an area God is stretching me in because I could easily sit back and be invisible by choice, but I know we are called to support and minister to others in the body of Christmas and out in the world. Like Pastor said yesterday, what’s a few minutes in your day for those that we should love like Christmas love’s us, that’s where I get hung up, in my day to day busyness. We just need to take the time 🙂

    • bowdino says:

      Thank you Heather! So wonderful to connect with you here! You are so right. It is much easier to sit back and hide sometimes. And that kind of “checking-out” is how we dig ourselves into a deep lonely pit. It’s hard for people to see us if we are hiding in the dark. Thanks for your encouraging words to love like Christ! 🙂

  5. Sara says:

    I can relate to this Briana! Not exactly as being invisible so much as feeling isolated. Some of it was (is) my own fault because I find it hard to reach out in a real way. Thank you for your words!

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