Monday, March 23, 2015
I used to be invisible when I was obese. Maybe not to everyone, but to most people I was. At my former church, the pastor's wife who taught my Sunday school class that I attended for a couple of years, she never addressed me or acknowledged me.
I would be at their home to pick up my son from small groups, and the pastor and his wife wouldn't even acknowledge me even though I was inside their home.
People at the same church, wouldn't bother to learn my name. I was only known as "the mom of all those Johnson boys".
Being obese will make you like that. Then, I started losing weight. I didn't tell anyone what I was doing since they didn't see me anyway. But, the more I "disappeared", the more they noticed. I remember very clearly one Wednesday night, I was among several of the church ladies, and the pastor's wife asked me how I was losing weight. This was the probably one of the first times she's addressed me at this point. I eagerly say, "Well, I'm working out, I'm counting my calories, and I'm seeing a weight loss doctor." The pastor's wife laughs and says, "Oh I tried that. It doesn't work. You'll gain it all back." As her mean girl clique agreed with her and laughed. I stood there, hurt, embarrassed and feeling like I was back in high school, trying to fit in and failing.
I looked her in the eye and said, "It’s a good thing I'm not you." And that was the moment that set me on fire.
I was invisible, but strong and brave. I am still human though, and I bleed just like everyone else. But I turned what she said to me into something that burned within me.
I got mad. I got mad at her. I got mad at all of them who laughed at me, who made me feel invisible, who thought I was nothing. I took that anger out in my workouts.
I kept losing weight and getting stronger. And I became less, and less invisible. The young men would ask me out on dates, not knowing that I was the mother of the boys they attended youth with.
The women of the church started seeing me now. And they didn't like that either. "Who does she think she is? She's lost too much weight, she must be addicted to those pills. Look at how the men look at her?"
You see, I was still invisible to them. They never wanted to get to know ME while I was obese or thin, even after being in their church for years and years. And when I was successful at something that they were failures at trying and failing at themselves, they resented me for it.
Today, if I see any of them at the stores, I see their glares, that look of "who does she think she is?" I smile at them, hold my head full of blue hair high, and thank God that I'm not like them. He created me exactly how He wanted me. I was never invisible to Him.
I just want you to know, whoever you are that needed to read this...you are not alone, and you are not invisible!!!
I eventually left that church once God gave me the release I so desperately prayed for. But I knew who I was in Christ and I didn't need anyone to be my friend, or acknowledge me, or see me. I only needed Him to sit next to me and to be my friend there, and He was enough. I stayed because my boys needed to be there, and maybe so did I. I needed to know what it was like to be invisible, and to maybe share this story with someone else.)