I didn’t want to read this book today. I was reading another fiction book, and the kids (all three!) were finally sleeping, and I had a plate of sliced avocado and chicken and gluten-free crackers sitting in front of me.
But I couldn’t get away from the feeling that I needed to get in the Word while the house was still quiet, so I went and got my book bag.
I grabbed my Bible out of the bag, and then a little reminder went off in my head — you wanted to read today’s reading in that one book. I grabbed it, opened it, and came upon my notes from just under three years ago, the first time I started this book.
The book is called, “Lord, I Want to Know You,” and it’s over thirty years old. Kay Arthur wrote a forty-something day devotional about the names of God, and I never made it past day 12. Today, I re-read through days 10 and 11, vividly remembering the last time I read them.
I was just emerging from the fog of postpartum depression and anxiety, sorting through what I was now supposed to do with it all. Though my mind was not so hormonally overwhelmed any longer, my heart and spirit and mind were so weary.
On this particular part, I made a note about what I’d gone through, and today, when I read it, my heart moved within me. Here, at my kitchen table, God revealed another measure of the kindness he’s shown me in such abundance —
I’m in that postpartum season again, but it looks so different. Thankfully, my hormones are more carefully monitored and under control this time, but there’s more. Everything has felt like a gift — my time, my children, my husband, the presence of God, the ability to mother. It’s been gloriously sweet.
I know this because I know what walking through such a dark season was like for me. I felt overlooked, abandoned, disconnected from a God to whom I’d always known was for me before this.
I sat here today, reading my note, remembering, and it felt like a sweet covering rested over me, and I sent my thanks heavenward.
And then I got up to tend to my fussy baby. On the way back downstairs, God told me to write. I’d told him I wouldn’t write unless he moved me to write.
My baby quieted down, and despite looking for distractions, I could find none that were more important than the pressing need telling you what I read:
Today’s chapter in Kay’s book was about “El-Roi.” This is the name Hagar calls God when she is in the wilderness and encounters an angel. El-Roi means “the God who sees.”
The first time I read it, I had such a hard time. It didn’t seem to reach me in the spaces that needed healing. In fact, something in me wondered how God could see my struggle and not pluck me out of it.
But this part of the book is the one I remember most, so it must have taken root on some sort of fertile ground, though most of me felt completely dry in those days.
I read it today, and I wanted to weep with thankfulness. We got through that season, and then we got through some more tough spots.
When my heart knew I was supposed to write it all out, remind myself and tell you, I got scared. Because I don’t pretend to have answers.
I don’t know why you are where you are.
I don’t know what dreams aren’t fulfilled.
I don’t know what hurts you carry.
I don’t know if you or I will ever know the “why” for the struggle that inevitably comes.
But I know God saw me.
I know he is the God who never sleeps, never takes his eye away.
And I know God sees you.
And he wanted me to tell you that right where you are, in the middle of beauty or in the thick of the mess, he sees you.
You are not forgotten.
You are not overlooked.
You are precious.
You are seen.
And also, can I encourage you to hold on to truth? To fight for it? Even if you don’t feel it, even if it doesn’t seem like it makes a difference.
Maybe you’ll find yourself years down the road, remembering, seeing little ways God has pieced things together, thanking him for the ways his Word really doesn’t return void.
Trust the Truth of his Word and push yourself to get into it. He is good even when we don’t feel it.
And he sees you always.