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When we feel invisible
the hope within us begins to fade …
Our family is not unfamiliar with doctor’s appointments. Over the years it has become a way of life for us. But I remember when it was new, both for us and for those in our circle of family and friends. I remember feeling lonely and invisible.
When she came home to us from her orphanage halfway around the world, everything was new for her. Her thoughts were controlled by fear and anxiety. The constant doctor’s appointments only increased that anxiety.
Imagine the waiting room with it’s anticipation of what was to come. Imagine it when appointments would run late. Anxiety would increase and the stress would mount.
The driving. Waiting. Paperwork.
The tough news. New treatment plans. Medications.
And the many dead ends.
Day after day.
And often lonely.
Lonely because there is something about the trials of life that create a divide in human connection. Each journey is remarkably unique and this makes it difficult to fully empathize with the reality of another. There is no fault assigned. It is simply a part of our human experience.
Lonely is always found in the hard places of life …
And in the lonely, we often feel invisible.
I’m not sure where you are today and what you are dealing with.
A relationship falling apart.
A confusing friendship.
An unexpected or terrifying diagnosis.
Or maybe a heart wrenching loss.
Whatever it is, chances are you feel a bit invisible. As though no one sees you nor understands your pain.
Friend, can I offer you hope? A hope that is found in the hard places? In the invisible?
It’s a hope I’ve held onto myself in those seasons.
It’s the hope of the One who sees.
You see, when the rest of our world seems to have disappeared and we feel all alone, there isalways One who remains. One who understands. One who sees us right in the middle of our loneliness.
So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen Him who looks after me.” -Genesis 16:13
It was a woman in a very confusing situation, named Hagar, who said this. She was the servant of Sarah, Abraham’s wife. For years, they had waited for children of their own.
Infertility is a difficult journey to walk, but in their situation, God had promised them she would bear Abraham’s child. Many years passed and Sarah believed she was beyond her childbearing years.
God’s promise lost its anchored truth and her faith faltered. She was desperate and just as we often do in our lives, she ran ahead of God.
With a desire to please her husband at the forefront of her mind, she took the situation into her own hands and brought her servant, Hagar, to her husband to conceive a child.
It worked and Hagar conceived Abraham’s son.
But just as it happens with us when we run ahead of God, so it happened to her. Their world began falling apart.
Sarah became resentful.
Hagar became boastful.
The situation became dreadful (as you can well imagine) and Sarah took her increasing resentment out on Hagar.
A pregnant, lonely, and confused Hagar ran away.
Can you imagine the stress? The confusion? The hurt? The loneliness? The feeling as though no one could possibly understand? Or know her heart?
She was a hurting Mother wondering what could be next? Shunned by society and worried about her son. Hurt, confused, and feeling unjustly treated. If anyone could understand loneliness, it would be Hagar.
But right in the middle of this loneliness,
hope stepped in.
A hope for her, but also a hope for us.
She was resting by a spring of water in the wilderness when an angel appeared to her. He told her three things.
1) Go home and submit to the authority of your mistress
2) You will be given uncountable descendants
3) The baby you are carrying is a son and his name will be Ishmael which means “God hears”.
In that moment she saw the truth and she was filled with hope. She recognized the God who sees her. The God who cares for her and sees the depths of her pain.
She went back home facing her troubled situation with a renewed hope and faith, believing she would make it through to the happy days that would most certainly come again.
She knew that even when the world misunderstands her, there is One Who knows her.
Her truth gives us hope.
For me, it meant that when the doctor appointments did not seem to have an end in sight and no one could promise healing for my daughter, God saw me in the middle of it all and understood every single emotion that pummeled my heart. He understood every thought racing through my mind.
He reminded me I was not invisible. It gave me strength to put the next foot in front of the other.
I pray that you, too, know that He sees you in the middle of right where you are. He knows your every thought. Your every feeling.
You are not invisible.
He is the God who sees you.
When we feel known and understood our hope thrives. But when we feel invisible our strength in facing the difficulties of tomorrow wears away. Looking to the One and only who says, “I see you”, combats the invisible.
It is our true source of hope. He is our true source of hope.
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