The Invisible Woman is a guest post written by Jennifer Carnes
Grief. Loneliness. Uncertainty. Hopelessness. Resentment. Fear. Invisible. All the emotions that come when one is used, abused, and discarded because they are considered no longer useful.
In Genesis 16, Hagar was experiencing these very emotions. She had done her duty. She had been obedient. She had been a faithful servant. To Sarah, Hagar was just a means to an end: an incubator for a child. Yet, the anger, abuse, and jealousy of Sarah drove Hagar fleeing into the wilderness.
As the pregnant Hagar fled the encampment of Abraham, no one followed her. No one enquired as to why she was weeping or why she was running away. Not one person stepped up to defend or befriend her. She was alone… or was she?Hagar was alone in the wilderness… or was she? Click To Tweet
The Invisible Woman Wasn’t So Invisible
An angel from the Lord finds Hagar sitting by a spring in the harsh wilderness. He enquires as to why Hagar is alone in the wilderness. She pours her heart out to the messenger. He comforts her with the promise that her son will be great; that she is seen by God and is not alone. The Lord has plans for Hagar.
God gave Hagar what she needed in that moment: He saw her. He acknowledged her pain. The Lord assured Hagar that all her labors were not in vain. She was not invisible.
To Hagar, Jehovah was “El Roi” – The God Who Sees Me.
As a result of this encounter, Hagar decided to give the Eternal One who had spoken to her a special name because He had seen her in her misery.
Hagar: I’m going to call You the God of Seeing because in this place I have seen the One who watches over me.Genesis: 16:13, The Voice (emphasis mine)
Have you experienced a time in your life like Hagar? Like the invisible woman, sitting in a wilderness of rejection; used up, abandoned; set aside? You became persona non grata. You felt invisible. It’s a deeply painful thing to feel like you never mattered; like it was all for nothing. You were a means to an end. You were used and then discarded.
God Is Always There
A few years ago, the place I had worshipped for 17 years was no longer home. The women I had ministered with, shared with, loved and grown with for 13 years were gone. The new ministry for young families that the Holy Spirit had placed on my and my husband’s heart… evaporated. People that we had known for many years and had in our home left us. Not a word was said to us. No phone calls. No texts. Just a thundering silence.
In the midst of despair and pain, there were reminders that the Lord saw me. I call them “Holy Spirit hugs”. When I was feeling useless, the Lord sent me speaking engagements. When I felt aimless, the Lord opened up writing opportunities. When I was lonely, the Lord sent faithful friends to encourage my heart with fellowship, understanding, and love. Each time, I felt the Lord beside me, loving me, and seeing me.
Sweet friend, I want you to know today that the Lord sees you. He loves you. The Lord is not ignorant of your pain or your situation. He is right in the middle of it with you! He has a purpose for you. Even in the midst of the wilderness, God sees you.
Join the Conversation
Have you experienced a time in your life like Hagar? Or is there someone from the Bible you relate to? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.Which person from the Bible are you relating to the most right now? Click To Tweet
About the Author
Jennifer Carnes lives in northern Nevada with her husband of 29 years, Phillip. They have 4 children: Faye is 20 years old. Carl, Emma and Jennifer are 19 year old triplets. They struggled miscarriages and infertility for several years. Phillip and Jennifer have worked side by side in college ministry, small groups and young marrieds.
Jennifer has written several Bible studies for use in local churches. She has been a regular MOPS speaker and guest speaker at local women’s events. She writes a blog called Life in the Valley YennyBug.wordpress.com and has a Facebook page Facebook.com/lifeinthecarsonvalley In her free time, Jennifer enjoys reading murder mysteries, trying new recipes, and spending time with her family.