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When God Sees You {Believing in His Promises}

Recently I went to a women’s retreat with the new, smaller church my family has been attending. For 10 years we were at our old church when we felt the Lord recently call us to a smaller community, and I knew going on the women’s retreat would help me get to know some of the women and get connected to this new community. Only–I don’t do well with new places and new people–and getting over that hump is PAINFUL for me.

Enochlophopia: a social phobia that includes fear of crowds–often leading to feeling insignficant.

Y’all. I might have to diagnose myself with that phobia. The crowd was only 40 or so folks. But 40 that didn’t know me–so when the opportunity presented itself on the 2nd day of the 3 day retreat–I hauled it. Yes, I know. I failed retreat going although I help  coordinate retreats where 450 moms are in attendance for each one. But y’all–I’m a retreat failure;). (I have a deep appreciation for every mom who comes to our retreats so bravely–it’s not something I do easily! And I didn’t last 24 hours at this one!) I packed my bags. Left one of my roommates I had connected with a note–and HAULED it to my car running as fast as I could with my luggage hitting my side as I ran. The only thing I left besides my favorite pillow was dust and gravel spinning off my tires as I skidded out of that place.

For whatever reason, in that environment I felt so unseen. And having to retell who I was…even who I see myself in Christ as–just felt too overwhelming.


He sees me.


And He sees you.

Right now.

Where you are. No matter how unseen you might feel.

He sees you.

In Genesis 16, Sarai and Abram (later renamed Sarah and Abraham) forget God’s promises and His promise to them. They LONGED to be parents. They lived a life of infertility without adoption agencies or fertility options. But God saw them–and in chapter 15 the Lord had spoken to them promising them that one day they would have children (Not a child–but CHILDREN).

Sarai forgot God’s promise and convinced Abram to sleep with their helper Hagar so they could have a family through her. Hagar conceived, but was then mistreated by Sarai. And it felt SO…unfair.

Have you ever felt that? Tired? Done? Used?

Let’s leave Sarai’s feelings for a bit and jump to Hagar.

Hagar had gone above and beyond her duties as a helper. And to be frank–she was used. She was mistreated. She was forced to sleep with her boss Abram so Sarai could have a baby for her. Then Sarai was just mean to Hagar. SISTERS–you know the one thing that cuts our hearts in two is a mean girl. While things weren’t working out for Sarai, Hagar was just taken down with her–for no reason other than to try and make Sarai’s life better–and it just felt so wrong. She felt unappreciated. She felt used. She felt unseen. And not because of Abram–but because of Sarai…another woman not appreciating or loving her well.

Hagar felt more unseen because of the treatment of Sarai than the treatment of Abram. She ran and fleed to another country hauling it on her heels as fast as she could–certainly leaving her pillow if she had one. And then–as she ran…God showed up and reminded her, “I SEE YOU.”

I really believe as a woman that it is more often our very own that we feel the most insignificance, under appreciated and even hurt from. It is also our very kind that we can also receive the most healing through when we walk together–which requires dying to ourselves, vulnerability and taking risks. I know this is one of the reasons the Lord called me to serving women through retreats–it’s my very place of DISCOMFORT AND WEAKNESS—but it is also through these that I have been challenged, strengthened in and seen the power of Jesus in my own heart and hands in. I find myself drawn to the woman in the back of the room with her bags contemplating running–and it’s often that very mom that becomes my new VBFF in life–running beside me.

And Hagar–she also felt unseen. God saw her–deeply. She just needed reminding.

Instead of getting to build a new life away from the uncomfortable–God tells her to GO BACK. And He also discloses a little bit about what her son will be like. And that–wasn’t pretty either. A wild donkey of a son who will always live in hostility with his brothers. Good times Hagar…good times. Does the story for Hagar ever get better? Does your story every get better? Some times you don’t see it–and Hagar at the time didn’t either!

But Hagar says to the Lord, “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (Genesis 16:13).

And that–is ENOUGH.

It is enough to leave there and return to serve. To serve without appreciation. To serve without being written more about. Her life isn’t written about more–but there’s no doubt that it continued and hopefully got better. What we do know–is she was SEEN and that was ENOUGH.

Her problems were deep. Her problems were heavy.

But she was seen–and being seen by Him was ENOUGH.

She was in a situation where she was now unclean and might never be accepted by the world.

But she was seen–and being seen by Him was ENOUGH.

She was serving her heart and soul out–being mistreated, having eyes rolled at her, being asked to do things that were not fair. She was looked from head to toe with a hateful glare by another woman that she would continue to serve.

But she was seen–and being seen by Him was ENOUGH.

Hagar didn’t have an iPhone to text her friend how unappreciated she felt. She didn’t have Facebook to gripe on…or a blog to vent through. She couldn’t call someone to just tell how rude and unkind Sarai was…

She was seen–and being seen by Him was ENOUGH.

And He saw Sarai too.

God is so gracious and merciful like that.

He answered Sarai’s prayer and life time longing in the chapters that follow by making her a mommy. Although she messed up. Although she didn’t trust Him. Although she took matters in her own hand. Although she sinned. Although she mistreated her staff. Although she rolled her eyes. Although she didn’t love others. Although she didn’t do the right thing. Although she griped. GOD SAW HER…TOO.

Where ever you are today–God sees.

He sees you right where you are–and He also has promises for you–just like He did for Sarai…and Hagar.

I think about His promises to me–and oh how FAITHFUL He is.

We must recount and remember His faithfulness…and share it with those who are waiting…feeling unseen—feeling forgotten…so they may be encouraged.

Fourteen years ago I was living in China and prayed that one day I would have a child from China. I wanted to be a mommy more than anything. God would later answer that prayer–after walking through Lyme disease, miscarriage and a whole lot of crazy. On the 10th anniversary of our wedding–we would be in China for the first time together completing our family.

Remembering back to Lyme disease, I remember thinking I would never run or have energy again. My rheumatologist diagnosed me with Sjogren’s Syndrome. The fatigue that came with this seemed too much for also homeschooling yet we felt called to this through dyslexia and other needs. I see now that God had me go through these things to know Him deeper and experience His glory in new ways. This week I got another year of great CLEAR results on my blood work–perfectly normal results. Those months and months of struggling were holy and sweet–although at the time they felt overwhelmed and hopeless. I feel so privileged to now be able to encourage others walking this journey with the same comfort I received from Him offering hope and encouragement on other’s journey.

This small town girl has always struggled living in the big city–and while I thought and hoped one day we would move to a really small town where I would know people and be known by people on a deeper level, God led us to a farm just outside the city…and it’s perfect. Because He sees and He knows me on the level my soul longs to be known.

And while all of Sarai and Hagar’s issues would have not been issues had Sarai just believed God’s promises in the first place–He still saw and didn’t leave either of them. Because He is good. Because He is God. And because He wants us to all know–that no matter what we do…He is ENOUGH.

He sees YOU today–right where you are. He is going to show up and show you that He is enough when you choose to open your eyes and look for Him. He, too, has promises for you. He longs for you to see Him–as He sees you. And oh sweet sister–HE SEES YOU. Feeling appreciated or not…loved or not…used or not…lonely or just out of place…HE SEES. And He has a plan. Your story is going to be beautiful as you wait on Him and rest knowing that He will always show up. He is EL ROI…the God who sees. And He is enough for you–and me.

Thankful for His faithfulness…