Faith, God, Spiritual Life, Suffering

I See You

September 20, 2016

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“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” -Tim Keller

***

The argument wasn’t even that big. I was upset that Jeff was on the phone with a friend while I was in the car with him. We had taken a day trip to Atlanta just the two of us, and I seen the four hour drive as a gift of time to be together and reconnect.

As we began to hash through our thoughts as to why we were arguing and what made me so upset, I found myself suddenly bursting into tears. “I just want you to see me.” I cried. Words began vomiting their way out of my mouth through broken sobs as I began to explain that my deepest fear was never being really seen for who I am and always living a life based on the assumptions of what everyone else thought of me to be.

***

The wilderness, it breaks us. It’s supposed to. It’s supposed to be the place where God strips away all the crap that’s holding us back to make way for a new path…a better way living.

We are meant to lose ourselves in the scarcity of it all, the surrendering and embracing of this new us we are becoming. Yet somewhere in the middle, well, we end up a little bit…lost.

It’s confusing trying to grieve our old lives while discovering this new one. To say goodbye to a life that, no matter how bad it was, was the life we knew. Can I still laugh at the same jokes? Wear the same clothes? What about my friends? Can I keep those?

The wild never lets you leave without changing you. It’s why you were meant to be there in the first place.

***

We’ve been friends a while, you know. Some of you I’ve hugged and cried with. Some of you I’ve known only in the cyber world and some of you are faceless people who live in the late night prayers I pray for your hearts. Our differences may be great, but we all hold one thing in common. We want to be seen.

We want to know that in the middle of this wild place there is someone out there who is looking out for us. A fellow traveller who is willing to hold our hand as we figure out this crazy thing called life and faith and identity. It can be so lonely at times that we wonder if anyone out there can really see and understand what’s going on inside us.

I haven’t lived your life. Nor you mine. But tonight, tonight I want you and I both to go to sleep knowing that although our paths are very different, we can still walk them together. And that even in the loneliest of moments someone sees us. So I’m here to let you know… I see you…

You the girl who quietly cries herself to sleep each night.

The girl who can only find comfort in the cut of a razor blade on her skin.

The girl whose body has wasted away from months of not eating or purging.

The girl who feels soiled and filthy because, in a moment of weakness, you gave yourself away to a man who you shouldn’t have.

I see you. 

You the girl who smiles on the outside but is screaming on the inside.

The girl who has all the friends in the world yet still feels alone.

The girl who looks in the mirror and cannot recognize the person looking back.

The girl who doubts herself and especially God.

I see you. 

You, the girl who’s suffered unspeakable acts at the hands of another.

To the broken, wounded, lost, angry, hopeless, addicted, faithless, weary, and worn girl…

I see you…..and so does He.

There are a lot of us out there, walking this holy calling into the wild. And though my light might not be a bright one, I’ll hold it high, and you do the same. And together, well hopefully we can help light a path that leads us all onto the life that awaits us on the other side.

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  • Naomy September 20, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    Thank you. From the bottom of my heart.

  • Michelle September 21, 2016 at 1:35 am

    I always feel like the one who reaches out to others and wants others to know they’re seen and known and loved, but I don’t always get it reciprocated, and I feel like people are seeing through me and not really seeing me even if it’s not true. Even if we know that it’s only God’s love that can really satisfy us, we still crave it from our people here on earth. It’s been a tension I have to fight against in my head thinking my friends don’t care about me when I know they really do. It’s a lot of lies.
    I never read a post here without being thankful of the safe, open community that is here. Thank you so, so much.

    “And to the bruised and fallen, captives bound and brokenhearted, He is the Lord, He is the Lord!”

  • Beloved September 21, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Chelsea September 21, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    I honestly thought this was an amazing piece of literature, thank you for inspiring and gracing us with your talents

  • Leah September 21, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Sweet Heather, thank you. I needed this so badly right now.
    “You the girl who smiles on the outside but is screaming on the inside.

    The girl who has all the friends in the world yet still feels alone.

    The girl who looks in the mirror and cannot recognize the person looking back.

    The girl who doubts herself and especially God.”

    That’s me.
    I just want to be seen and wanted. But I don’t feel seen or wanted or understood.
    But when I remember what Jesus did — and IS DOING– for me, everything else seems okay.
    Like Michelle, and everyone else here, I’m so thankful for the safe, loving, honest, understanding community that is here. Thank you so much.
    Michelle, I struggle with the exact same thing–knowing my friends care but feeling like they don’t. Always being the one to reach out, to make the effort. Feeling like they don’t need me as much as I need them and they don’t want me as much as I want them. But they’re such difficult lies.

    Thank you everyone for being open and loving and welcoming in the midst of the pain and chaos. I’m so thankful for everyone here. <3