A Letter to the Woman Who Feels Unseen

Jen Jabbour

Contributing Writer
Published: Mar 30, 2023
A Letter to the Woman Who Feels Unseen

The enemy’s greatest desire is that God’s children never know who they truly are in Him and what they are truly capable of. He is so afraid for us to know how God sees us because when we finally know this truth and believe it, the enemy knows he has lost his grip on us. 

To the Woman Who Doesn’t Feel Seen, 

Sometimes, I don’t feel seen. Can you relate? 

I tend to work quietly, keeping to myself, not purposely trying to attract attention, yet secretly hoping someone might notice me. 

I guess I just want someone to finally see me for who I really am, and all that I do; I just want to be seen by people whose opinions matter to me. 

If I’m not mistaken, you probably feel this way, too. I can’t be alone. I’ve talked with a lot of other women, and throughout my observations, I’ve come to the conclusion that we aren’t all that different, despite our various backgrounds and experiences. 

This desire to be seen is a pandemic of the heart. It’s only natural to want to be seen.

From the time we are little, we want our parents and teachers to see us. Children try so hard to impress them. “Look at me!” they say as they do a silly dance. “Do you see me?” If you have been around children, you know what I’m talking about. 

This craving to be noticed, to be acknowledged, doesn’t just go away. For most of us, even if we try to bury it, the desire only intensifies. We learn to either increase what we’re willing to do for attention, or we shrivel into ourselves, hiding the very essence of who we are. 

In a world where the loudest and proudest seem to receive all the attention, it’s common to feel unseen, invisible even. There are so many people out there vying for attention that it’s easier to take a back seat and let the most visible be seen. 

I don’t know if this has ever happened to you: Someone waves at you from across the room. Excited that someone actually recognized you, you wave back. They walk toward you and then continue past you. Your heart sinks, and your cheeks flush from embarrassment as you realize they were waving at the person standing behind you. Or, worse, you stand there while everyone walks around you; they bump into you and then apologize, “Sorry, I didn’t see you,” confirming your thoughts. 

You would think that it’s in these busy, chaotic, and crowded places that I feel the least seen, the most invisible. Yet, I even find myself feeling this way in places I should feel the most seen, the most comfortable, the safest, and the most included, like in my own home, with friends, or at church. I get this overwhelming feeling that I just don’t belong. 

Do you ever feel this way? If so, I’ve got news for you. It's perfectly normal to feel like this, but you should definitely not allow yourself to wallow in self-pity or self-loathing or develop resentment towards others because of how you feel. 

It’s vital to your mental and spiritual health that you take the time to get your facts straight and discover the truth. The Bible is my guide for knowing the truth about who I really am. In John 8:32, Jesus says, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (ESV)

A key word to note in this verse is "abide," which means to remain. So this is what I do each and every day—the good ones and, especially, the bad ones. I daily remain in God’s word. And I highly recommend you do the same. It is life-changing. 

When my emotions overwhelm me or when it seems like the whole world is against me, before I open my Bible, I ask God to show me the truth. 

My prayer usually goes like this: 

“God, I don’t know what I’m doing; I’m scared, I’m insecure, and I don’t think I can do this anymore. Please give me answers, clarity, and direction. Please speak to me, right now, in this moment, and tell me what I need to do.”

I’ve discovered that there are at least two reasons why I don’t feel seen, and that there’s just one answer or solution to this problem. 

The first reason why I don’t feel seen is because I’m not being seen the way I want to be seen, the way I believe others should see me. You aren’t getting attention for something you feel should be noticed. Consider that maybe, just maybe, these feelings of not being seen come from a more self-centered place. 

The other reason I discovered is that everybody else is too busy trying to be seen that they don’t see me. If everyone in the room is singing their loudest, then nobody’s individual voice can be heard. The same goes for being seen. 

Also, you must ask yourself, what lengths are you willing to go to be seen?

Sometimes we desire attention so badly that we're willing to do anything to be noticed. I think of Cain, who desired to be seen by God and, out of jealousy, killed his own brother (Genesis 4:1-8). His half-hearted sacrifice didn’t quite make the cut for God, but rather than examining his heart and trying again, he blame-shifted his inadequacies to others. Cain turned something very temporary (a feeling) into something permanent (the loss of life). 

We absolutely cannot allow our need to be seen to supersede our morals and values. 

Take heart! Remember, I also said I discovered a solution. In my moments of feeling unseen, I cried out to God, and I asked Him what to do. I urge you to do the same. Cry out to Him because He will answer you (Jeremiah 33:3).

What if I told you that in all of my studying, I came to realize that it's not about us? It's not up to us to try to be seen. It’s quite the opposite. 

Matthew 26:25 says, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” You see, we must give up what we think we need, give up our thirst to be seen, and start chasing after Jesus.

Whatever the reason that makes you feel unseen—that feeling that you’re just not good enough, smart enough, whatever enough—it’s a lie!

The enemy’s greatest desire is that God’s children never know who they truly are in Him and what they are truly capable of. He is so afraid for us to know how God sees us because when we finally know this truth and believe it, the enemy knows he has lost his grip on us. 

The truth is that we are seen! And not only are we seen, but we are seen by the only One who matters! (Genesis 16:13)

I’ve come to realize that the times I feel the most seen is when I’m alone with God. 

If you don’t feel seen, perhaps it’s time that you schedule a date to be alone with God. Let Him show you all the ways that He sees you (Psalm 33:13-14).

It is in these quiet moments with God that He will teach you the truth about who you are in Him. 

How others make you feel will no longer have an effect on you. You’ll realize most people only see what’s on the outside, whereas God looks at what matters most, that is, what’s in your heart.

“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b (ESV)

Nowadays, when I’m alone in a crowded room, I no longer feel invisible or alone. Jesus is with me everywhere I go. He’s always by my side. He is my friend “who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24 (ESV) 

I have developed a newfound confidence that allows God’s light to shine brightly through me; and amazingly enough, others see me now more than they ever did! 

Not only am I seen by God, but I am no longer invisible to those around me.

So you see, it starts with first understanding and accepting that God sees you; then the next step is to draw near to Him, allowing Him to fill you with His light and His love. 

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” James 4:8 (ESV)

Of course, sometimes, I fall back into my old ways. I start to focus on my insecurities, my loneliness, and I gradually start to alienate myself. The voice of the enemy tries to drown out the only Voice I long to hear. I become acutely aware of how invisible I am to the world. Thankfully, God pulls me back to Him each and every time. 

In addition to seeing myself as God sees me, I have started to see others the way God sees them. It’s like a veil has been removed from my eyes (2 Corinthians 3:16). When I look at others through God’s eyes, I can’t help but love them the way He loves them. 

My desire is to be like John the Baptist, who Jesus called a “burning and shining lamp.” John 5:35 (ESV) 

When we focus on our relationship with God, we shine His light to the world! People can’t help but notice us! After all, who can keep from looking at a bright light, especially in the dark? Our eyes are drawn to the light (Matthew 5:14-15).

This, my friend, is how to be seen!

“For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6 (ESV)

I don’t know about you, but I care far more about how God sees me than how others do. I look forward to the day when I get to hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Matthew 25:23 (ESV)

Life is so hard, but we can take comfort in knowing that one day we will cross that finish line. In the meantime, do not lose hope, do not lose heart, and do not give up (Galatians 6:9). 

I pray that you'll open your heart to be seen by God today and that God will make Himself known to you, that He will let you know that He sees you. I pray that His light shines so bright and beautiful in you that others can’t help but see you.

Photo Credit: ©Getty/Marjan_Apostolovic

Jennifer Jabbour resides in the scenic San Diego countryside with her husband, teenage son and daughter, and their hilarious English Bulldog. Jennifer has a B.A. in Integrated Business Communications and a life-long desire to share her faith with others so they can also experience the joy of having a relationship with God. She has finally decided it's time to go after her lifelong dream of writing and publishing her first book, and hopefully many, many more thereafter. Besides being a writer, Jennifer is also a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a photographer, and an avid outdoors-woman. She loves camping, hiking, running, and playing the piano in her free time. 

You can keep up with Jennifer on her website https://www.jenniferjabbour.com.

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