Sometimes God gives me specific words that I am supposed to speak to someone or about something. I cannot ignore the words...I try sometimes because I am not sure if I can speak or write them the way they need to be presented. I doubt if I am capable or worthy to deliver a message. Then the words just marinate in my brain...they come to life...I can see them, and that is when I know that if I do not share them I will miss the moment. Someone needs to hear them, so here they are...
You are Seen
You are Known
A few years ago at a women's Bible study, I listened as a grandmother shared that she is sad because her daughter doesn't truly know her. She felt like her daughter did not know her...see her. These words marked a moment in time for me. I don't want to look up in 30 years and my daughters not know me. My thoughts. My heart. My beliefs. My hurt. My story. I did not want to look up in 30 years and not have a relationship with my daughters that was based on knowing and being known. I came home and shared with Emma Grace what I felt and what I worried about, and her response was simple. "Mom. I know you. I know you too well. Please stop sharing so much." She laughed at me and reminded me that instead of worrying about what might be, I should just live my authentic life today. (God's gift in the shape of a petite, blonde child will always be one of my favorites. One day she will be my very best friend and I cannot wait!)
A few months ago, I watched from the distance as a marriage fell apart. The husband worked long hours and was often away. He was working in order to provide a certain lifestyle for his family. But his absence caused his wife to feel unseen...unknown. When she decided she was done, she was done. No turning the relationship clock back to the time when she felt fully seen my this amazing man of her dreams. The damage was done and she was tired. She wanted desperately to be known. I don't want to wake up one morning and feel like Scott doesn't know me.
A few weeks ago, I had two conversations with two different teenage girls. They were struggling to find their place at school. They explained that they felt like no one truly knew who they were and if they did know, they didn't feel like they would be accepted. Two amazing, young ladies who struggle with forming close friendships because they either couldn't or chose not to play the part of the American Teenage Girl. Was there a guide on what to wear, what to say, and how to act? Were there other girls who felt the same way, but just didn't let their guards down in order to allow truth to prevail? Truth of how desperately they just wanted to be known and to be seen. I don't want to walk into a room of "friends" and feel like I am putting on a show. I don't want to go through life playing a part. And I certainly don't want that for these young ladies!
After my conversation with these sweet girls, I just couldn't shake this feeling that we are desperately failing the next generation of women.
If women were able and willing to be totally transparent and honest
If women were able to share their failures
If women were able to be free to live their life authentically
If women modeled to the next generation that their self worth came only from God
If women believed that God created us perfectly
If women understood that they were truly loveable
If women were kind to other women without judgment
If women would stop comparing
If women spoke words of truth
If women encouraged other women
If women loved God above all else...above husbands, children, family, friends, possessions, power, status, etc.
Maybe then women would feel seen because they would know with every ounce of their being that they are seen by the One who created them. When we begin to feel known by an all knowing God who does not need us to explain who are or what we think, then we can live our lives being known by others. When we agree to live our lives in truth and to act courageously, then the next generation will have a much better chance of becoming all that God designed them to be.
We ALL want to feel connected to someone. We seek this connection through people, service, work, success, and various other ways. This sense of connection is part of us. God created us to want this connection because this connection is what draws us to Him. As we connect to God, we will no longer try to fill the void with people and stuff of this world. As we connect to God, we begin to feel known and seen. Because God sees us and knows, we are then able to live our authentic lives. As we live authentic lives, we are able to be truthful with other people and share our hearts. When we share our hearts, we begin to feel connected to others.
Oh sweet friends, that feeling of not being known...we have all felt it. So many of us still feel it. You are not alone.
I don't want to be unknown or unseen by my daughters, my son, my husband, the church, or the world. I don't want to waste one more second living a lie. I choose to see and know others and to be seen and known. It starts with me.