Over the weekend, a sister in Christ shared that she felt like God had forgotten her. As she narrated her struggles, her pain ladened words pierced my heart. It hurt me to know that she was hurting in that way, and the more she wrote, the more it became increasingly clear that she truly believed the lie that God had forgotten her. I could not invalidate her lived experiences because as we all know, the struggle is real. But, I also know this to be true- so is God, and I couldn’t help but think how much more hurt by her words He would be.
It really is a thing of grief to walk through life feeling abandoned, unloved and alone. I hated that this beautiful soul; one whose very existence is sustained by the breath of God, did not feel near to the same God who holds it all together. If you let it, the world will swallow you up, spit you back out, leave you in your messy state, blame you for the mess, and watch and laugh as you drag your feet trying to piece back the shattered, sometimes disintegrated and unrecognizable pieces of your life. But here is the good news, God is not man, and what He says to all of us is, I am always with you. The key word here is always, but I am also jumps out at me. Always, transcends the boundaries of time. “I am”, means His presence is relevant, and available in every situation; in the valley, the trek between, and on the mountain top. But also in the stumbles, struggles and falls. In the highs, and lows. In the mess, and message. In the tests, and testimonies. In the laughter, and tears. In the back scene, and on the stage. In the grind, and in the harvest. In the births, and losses. In all of it, He is near, as close to you as your very breath, but even closer. Our experience of God the Father, and the manifestation of His promises in our lives is heavily dependent on how far into the deep end (of Him) we are willing to go.
Unfortunately, we have the tendency to superimpose our experiences on God. We lay it on thick, placing our problems/struggles above God, almost to the point of idolatry. Maybe it is easier to digest God is too busy for me because then we have somewhere to place the blame. But the thing is, if His every thought about you isn’t good, it wouldn’t be in the Bible. He just would not have said it at all. Believing is the deep end and if this year has shown us anything, it is that the human condition is all the more reason we need refuge in Him.
I could have read her words, and remained silent. I could have bit my tongue and waited for the other women in the group to say something more spiritual or profound (and I considered this. God is still working on me re: boldness 🙂 ). But it mattered more to me that she knew that she was seen, and heard. I cared that she knew she mattered. And so I found myself writing these words, sans her name…
Thank you for being so open and vulnerable with what you are going through. I want you to know that you are not alone. God sees you. You matter to Him. There is no wilderness he cannot provide a well in. No dead place he cannot breathe life into. No mountain that He cannot give you the strength to overcome. He is with you in the valley, and He will be your sustenance in every season. He is with you right there in the middle of every struggle. He catches your tears in the palms of His hands. He hears the groaning of your heart. He sees you! I pray that He softens your heart as you study His word, so that the life that it holds seeps into every corner, filling you with hope, and the joy that only He can give. I pray that He opens your eyes to see yourself as worthy of His promises. He has not forgotten you. That is a BIG lie. He loves you so dearly. He delights in you. Every thing that you have lost, He is faithful to restore. I pray that He blesses you with abundantly more than you can ever ask or think, and that you experience Him in a real and revealing way!
For the one that is feeling abandoned, forgotten, unseen and unloved, I hope these words are a healing balm to you. I pray that as you read these words, faith rises up in you. I want you to know that the vast oceans are a drop in the bucket to God’s love for you. Yes, I know that so much can make us feel hopeless, I have been there. But hope is alive in the heart of the one who seeks the Father. I pray that “God, the source of all hope will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. I pray that you overflow with confident hope by the power of the Holy Spirit!” He is El Roi, and contrary to what your circumstances may have you think, He sees you. Stand on this truth!
photo/art:- @pinterest, by KierstenOlsen