He sees you

There are days (and nights, lots of nights) when mothers feel as if they are toiling in obscurity. Who sees the things that require all our time and attention? Who hears us begging a baby to go to sleep because the clock is ticking into the wee hours of the morning and our sleep time before the other child awakes is becoming increasingly shorter? Who understands the inner-workings of our minds as we drive toward the school clinic in the middle of the day, all the while trying to figure out how we are going to complete the work left behind on the desk before its deadline? Who knows the thought process that went into planning, budgeting, shopping and cooking every meal on a family's table, all while trying to pay tuition bills? More importantly, does anyone know or care who cleans the kitchen?

Motherhood is, by its very nature, isolating. Life twists and turns and challenges, and mothers meet the new day knowing one thing with certainty: There will be trials. Sometimes the trials are small and easily navigated. Sometimes they are brimming with disappointment and lonely anguish. Quiet and hidden, most mothers will endure at least a season of invisible suffering.

That's when we need to lean in and listen hard. That's when God says, "I see you." Just as He saw Hagar in the desert, sitting apart, too bereft to watch her son die of dehydration, He is watching, looking, noticing. And you can cast your eyes heavenward and say with confidence, as she did, "You are the God who sees me." You can reach out in shy but powerful faith and touch His garment as did the woman in Luke 8, and He will know you are there. He will heal you. You might have thought you were all alone, but Jesus stops and notices.

He has heard every plea you've ever uttered. He has counted every hair on your head. But even more than that, He has seen every tear you've ever shed. He has heard every hurtful word ever said to you. And He's heard every prayer you've ever prayed. He knows them and He treasures them and He will spend your lifetime and then eternity answering every one of them.

God sees you. He hears you. He knows you.

The biblical examples are ones of tormented women. Hagar was a mother who was suffering desperately. The woman in Luke had been bleeding profusely for years. Chances are, the challenges of our daily lives are not nearly so dire. Still, we want to be seen. We want to receive, from the Lover of our souls, the blessed gift of attention.

And He wants to give it. The beautiful thing about knowing that God sees us? It makes it so that we are more inclined to seek Him.

When we awaken in the morning, whether after a sleepless night with a fussy baby or a vigil beside a deathbed or even (miracle of miracles) a good night's sleep, He sees us. And He is waiting. He wants to hold captive the first thoughts of our day. He wants us to find Him, to see Him, to know that His mercies are new every morning.

Give God the first moments of your day. Awaken to the truth that He sees you and then open your eyes to the splendor that is Him. Before social media and that quick check of email, before morning news, even before a shower, check in with God. He's waiting and watching. He sees you and He wants your attention. You've already got His.

Foss, whose website is elizabethfoss.com, is a freelance writer from Northern Virginia.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015

@elizabethfoss