I spent the two years after moving to this city feeling unseen, unknown - invisible.
It wasn't the first time in my life I'd felt that way. I can remember feeling it when I started college. After spending four years of high school as one of the best and brightest, I was surrounded by thousands who achieved the same, if not more, and suddenly I was average.
When we moved to a city larger than any I'd ever lived in, I felt my invisibility when I spent six months with no job, no friends, no real purpose it seemed. I was just another face in the crowd. I was no one special. It felt like there was no one who really knew me, or anyone who cared to find out.
And in the last couple of years I felt it when I saw the woman with the great blog; the one who sews the latest fashion accessory; the one who can perfectly decorate her home with her eyes closed; the one who creates magic in her kitchen; the one who is a better Christian, wife, woman.
But of all of this, I think I felt my invisibility the most when I could walk into a room of people and easily fade into the background because there was nothing about me that caused me to stand out.
Invisibility is feeling too small and too ordinary to be seen or noticed. It is feeling unaccomplished, unimportant, unworthy and unknown.
But as much as I hated it, my invisibility became comfortable. You see I was deathly afraid if anyone took the time to really know me - to learn my heart, to see who I really am - they would turn and head for the hills. Fear, especially fear of rejection, is a powerful motivator. And invisibility, worn like a cloak, is a safe place. One with no need for vulnerability. No need for courage.
And yet, the Lord never intended for me - or anyone - to live that way. He created us to crave community, to crave knowing and understanding and living life with others. Before I knew it that craving became too much for my invisibility.
So I invited a girl in my Bible study to my house for dinner.
Little did I know I was taking the first step to being brave.