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LIE #4: You Are Invisible

 

So I just turned 40 a few weeks ago. 


It was a grand affair that my incredible girlfriends put together for me in Santa Barbara - to include a giant slumber party in an "AirBnB," a sunset whale watching tour sipping champagne, dinner downtown at one of my favorite restaurants, the best chocolate peanut butter cake of my life, being spoiled rotten with gifts and pretty things, a homemade brunch on the patio the next morning, and then LOADS of shopping before our road trip home - when we ate leftover cake in the back seat with plastic forks and had the time of our lives. 40 is okay so far. I'm embracing it. I just still can't believe how fast 20-40 went. You 20 year olds, hold on to your seats! It's quite a ride! 


Just a few days ago also marked seven years since my divorce was final. I always thought I'd re-marry, and sooner than later, at that. I'm honestly kind of shocked I'm not re-married yet. I mean, I'm a catch, right?!? ;) It's sure not for lack of trying. Let's just say in seven years I have gone out on a lot of dates. Mostly *first* dates, mind you because they have rarely led to a second or third date. Some by my decision, some theirs, some mutual.


I've probably tried almost every dating site or app out there, trying to be open to the universe to potentially bring an incredible man into my life in a way I may never have expected (or even wanted). Then I'll get frustrated and cancel all my memberships and delete all the apps for a while and I just decide to embrace my singleness.


Sure enough, about 4-6 weeks later (or 3 days, it depends on my mood), the apps are back and the memberships renewed (anybody else relating here...it's not just me, right?). Reality is I have not lost hope altogether that there is one man in the universe who will find me lovable...and will have the guts to pursue me and tell me he wants to be with me. That's not so crazy to think right? Right now it feels less likely than seeing a real unicorn in my living room...but I'm still a believer!


Unfortunately, I also am the queen of having "guy friends"  - not typical, normal ones - but the kind who pop in and out of your life every few weeks (or months) as they please, usually for YEARS at a time. They always say I'm "awesome" and "super cool" and that they "love hanging out with me...." but my assessment is they never really SEE me. I might as well be invisible. They never really pursue dating me, much less really KNOWING me. It's super confusing. And super painful.


They treat me like a brother, which is nice...but the not-so-nice part is they also flirt sometimes, tell me I smell good, text me when they're lonely (or drunk), cook me dinner and pour me wine, call me late at night on a holiday to wish me "Happy New Year," email every 6 months to thank me for being so thoughtful and amazing, "like" all my selfies on Instagram, apologize for holding me at arm's length all the time because I "mean so much to them..." and my favorite is when they mostly give me no attention but tell me to please not stop reaching out to them. Sighhhhhhhh. #confusioncentral #alwaysthebackupgirl #imightaswellbeinvisible #itsliketorture

 

I have this incredibly compassionate heart (to a fault) that constantly tries to protect myself, but then caves in to their charm, and I get sucked in over and over again. I then feel ashamed for caving and usually end up blocking them on social media or more (for the 5th time) to try and distance myself, move on, not need them or care who they're out with or what they're doing.

 

For a while, I also don't want them to to have a window into my world or know what is going on with me, either...but then I usually miss connecting with them (even if it was just a few measly social media crumbs they gave me, it was still something, right?!?). Worse, sometimes I just want them to see the "amazing, happy, full life I am living" in spite of their rejection. Most pathetically, I suppose sometimes I think if they see my smiling face in their feed they might actually realize they miss me. But usually, regardless the reason, at some point...I end up UNblocking them...I suppose because at the core, again: I want to be SEEN.  #whenwillieverlearn #iampowerlessagainsttheircharm


If that's not real enough (talk about journal entry here and let's hope none of the guys I've gone out with are reading this post! LOL) I've had these moments, out for dinner or drinks with them (that they usually buy for me), and we're laughing and sharing stories...when I have this voice in my head saying what I wish I was brave enough to say out loud, "You're such an idiot. You have an amazing girl sitting here right in front of you...and you're blowing it. You don't see me at all."


But then, after my internally silent rant, I'm like, "I'm fine, this is all good, I can totally be 'friend Sherilyn.' Besides, it's good for me to have guy friends, right?" But I usually go home feeling totally unlovable, repulsive, rejected, and confused. And the pattern repeats. For seven years it has repeated.


Well let's not forget that this is my second bout of dating. The first bout was in my twenties before I got married. But honestly, over all, the stories from back then are pretty much all the same. Which should not be surprising, I suppose.


We all have something in us that wants to be seen. "Daddy, look at me twirl!" "Mommy, did you see that?!" And even little 5-year-old me, dressed in ruffly dresses and black patent leather Mary Jane shoes on Sunday mornings, resorted to kicking little boys in the shin so they would notice me.

 

I wonder sometimes if I started singing and doing music because I felt so invisible and unheard so much of the time. Singing songs and playing music made me feel somewhat more seen & heard, I suppose - recognized for having a gift, at the least. It's a good thing that God weaves all things together for good. I know He has used a lot of the pain, trials, and struggles in my story to bring about beautiful things in my life! Have you seen that happen in yours, too?


I remember vividly a few precious nights when I was living in Brazil. It was late and actually crazy hot out, and the only relief I could get was go down to pool at midnight and float on my back in the pool. I would float in the silence and look up at the stars and the moon. The world was dark and I was floating there all alone...but I suddenly felt "seen" by God. No one else was around, no one else was looking. But I felt seen. What a beautiful mystery.


I will always cherish those nights in Brazil. I thought God had taken me there to live a long time - maybe forever - but He had other plans for me and I ended up back home in the U.S. after 5 months or so. I learned so much there, even through feeling isolated (mostly from the language barrier) and being so far from home, family, and friends.


I remember getting to this place, a few years post-divorce, where I got back to "me and Jesus." And I felt good with that. Complete. Whole. Healed. Seen. I have always loved this verse from 2 Chronicles 16:


"The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him..."


I am human and desire a partner, companion, friend, & lover to share life with - maybe have a family with - but I know that I don't need a partner to complete me or to be seen. The enemy may tell me over and over, "You are invisible. Why try; nothing will ever change; no one will ever see you..."

 

But I will continue to combat the father of lies with Truth of Jesus...that He SEES me, He hears me, that HE is really what my soul longs for, and that He will strengthen my heart.


Marriage is a beautiful thing that I hope to enjoy again one day this side of heaven, but ultimately, having Jesus is an even better gift - and I will do all I can to embrace it. I will do my best at embracing the years - 40, 50, 60 - as they come, as long as God allows me to breathe. It's a choice to keep embracing life, just "me and Jesus." Even now, I tilt my head back, the moonlight in my eyes, and just remember that He sees me. Right here. Right now. And I smile.

 

Wherever you are right this moment....know that He loves you with an everlasting love, a love that went to the cross and rose back to life again. He did the unthinkable to spend eternity...with YOU. You are the apple of His eye, the object of His affection.

 

YOU ARE NOT INVISIBLE. He sees you more clearly than you even see yourself.

 

And that is a pure, deep, irrevocable truth to soak in with head tilted back and sun or moonlight on your face, today and every day.

 

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Click the links below to read other blogs in the series "Fat Girls Don't Deserve Love [And other lies I believed for way too long]"

Preface: No More Stalling: It's Time to Be Brave

Lie #1: Fat Girls Don't Deserve Love

Lie #2: It's All Your Fault

Lie # 3: You're Just too Much but Never Quite Enough

Lie #4: You Are Invisible 

Lie #5: Divorced = Disqualified

Lie #6: You Are Broken & Useless

 

 

 

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