Those words, those four words, make up my son’s favorite sentence. And if you are unfamiliar with the phrase, just know it comes from a guy named John Cena who is in fact... a wrestler. Now, I’m not talking the real stuff. I’m talking WWE, and yes, I am praying for him also, but there is no swaying him. Believe me, I have tried!
I am not sure what is most appealing to a six year old; the grown men in spandex, the crazy costumes they parade themselves in, or the pretend fighting that looks like a bad high school war scene reenactment. Whatever it is, it has enraptured him and there is no going back now. This is my life. A boy running around the house waving his hand in front of his face smiling as he taunts his brother- “you can’t see me”.
Just the mention of those words and Michael feels on top of the world. Like he can conquer anything. Like he is a superhero. And he is right. He has found the one thing that we have all at one time or another stumbled upon, our super power (so to speak) and it is to just simply be… invisible.
To be in a crowded room and feel like you are utterly alone.
To be in conversation and feel completely unheard.
You can’t see me.
YOU CAN’T SEE ME.
How is it that we can be around the same people for years and still feel unknown? Unwanted? Or unneeded? I don’t like this super hero business. I don’t like this super power. I’m a girl; I just want to paint my nails and play with makeup. Can’t we leave the play acting to the boys? If only, sweet girls, if only.
I have been the last picked for teams and the first picked to be picked on. I have been asked my name by the same people countless times. I have been the one to be left out of the parties and the one forgotten about when my birthday has come around. I get it. I feel it too.
So to the invisible girl, the one screaming “you can’t see me”, listen up… you are not alone! Even David has felt like this before, just read what he says in Psalm 31:12- “I am forgotten like a dead man, and out of mind; like a broken vessel am I.” We have all gone through seasons of loneliness but know this- you are visible to a loving God, and you are more important than you’ll ever know. Don’t give up when you think no one is watching because chances are someone is.
If I could give you two things to remember in such a time as this it would be that...
1. DISTANCE ALWAYS CAUSES DISTORTION
The further we get from others the more the truth becomes blurred. We tend to exaggerate things that have really happened when we choose to be out of contact with people. It is just human nature; to make others into villains and ourselves into victims. But the answer to any problem is not more distance. There is no conversation, no confronting, no healing to be found in more distance. So don’t retreat. Fight the instinct to flight. Now is the time to be more involved, more connected with others. It’s painful at first, yes, but so is stitching up a wound. But if you are looking for healing you must take the first step. So close the gap.
James 5:16 “Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins)and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored.”
And when you choose to stick it out and be around the same people who have made you feel so alone, remind yourself of this…
2. FEELINGS ARE ALWAYS ONE-SIDED
Your feelings are valid, they are reactions. There is no way to conjure up a feeling of any kind albeit love or hate without a cause. So do not feel judged for how you feel. But in the midst of those very real feelings, don’t forget that they are also not telling the full story. They are only telling your side of it. When we feel forgotten we tend to push blame on to others for not noticing us. I mean, we are awesome so how dare they right? But what if, just what if, they are going through their own battles and it isn’t that they don’t think of you but that they are so consumed with their own troubles and struggles to go out of their way to notice if you are feeling welcome or comfortable. Sometimes our feelings can be screaming so loudly “you can’t see me” that we don’t hear the quiet responses of, “yes we can”. So take the time to stop and listen.
Psalm 73:15-17 “Had I spoken thus [and given expression to my feelings], I would have been untrue and have dealt treacherously against the generation of Your children. But when I considered how to understand this, it was too great an effort for me and too painful. Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood [for I considered] their end."
From one girl longing to stifle her super power from time to time, to another-
Be strong, my friend.
You may feel invisible but you are not alone. I can see you.