by Leah Sargent
Do you ever feel invisible as a single person? I do. It’s easy to feel forgotten when churches are gearing ministry toward families, all of your friends are married or getting married, and it seems like everyone is involved with their spouses and children. Single adults are left feeling like we’re watching life through a window: always on the outside.
Worse than feeling forgotten by the church is feeling forgotten by God. Why does it seem like everyone else is getting married? People much younger than I am are dating, getting married, and having kids. I feel like the invisible person trying to get God to remember that, “Oh, by the way, I’m still here and still single.” One of my biggest struggles as a single woman is feeling forgotten by God. Unimportant. Invisible.
I’m not the first person to be in this place. Hagar, an Egyptian servant to Abram and Sarai, also felt forgotten and invisible to God. She ran from Sarai after being mistreated. She couldn’t take it anymore. She felt forgotten. But in Genesis 16, it says, “The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness.” Water is life in the desert. Even before she saw God, He protected and provided for her. So God met her at the well and said, “’Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?’ She said, ‘I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.’ The angel of the Lord said to her, ‘Return to your mistress and submit to her’” (Genesis 16:7-9).
The first thing the Lord does is tell her to go back to Sarai. I think when we’re feeling forgotten by God in our circumstances, a lot of times He won’t take us out of them. He wants us to see Him in the trial, not just escape the trial. Personally, I’d just like my single years to be over. But God, thankfully, has more vision than I do, and He wants me to stay in this season for now. The answer isn’t necessarily the hard season being over. It’s God in the hard times.
After the Lord meets Hagar at the well, she names the place Beerlahairoi, which means “the well of Him that sees and knows me.” She calls God “the God who sees me.” Hagar had to go back to her hard season. There was no easy out. I’m sure, like me, she just wanted it to be over. But her comfort was not in the trial ending. Her comfort was in knowing that God knew and saw her. She was not invisible or forgotten. Neither am I. Neither are you. Isaiah 49:15 is a promise. He will never forget you.
I love to run outside. One of the ways runners make sure they’re seen near the road is to face traffic. We want to be seen, so we turn our faces toward the driver. I’m trying, in my singleness, in my struggle of feeling unseen, to turn my face toward Christ. He always sees me. But maybe the point is that as I turn toward Him, I see Him. I want to invite you to turn with me toward Christ in your hard season of singleness. I’m not telling you I’ve got this all together. I struggle with it every single day. But keep coming back. Keep turning your face toward Christ. He is the God who sees. Let’s believe that together.
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