Are you there, God? I feel so alone.
You’d think I was used to being the new kid. By the time I entered third grade, I had attended three different schools and lived in four different states. The last move was the second in eighteen months. I struggled to make friends because all my eight-year-old mind wondered was, What if we move again? I hated good-byes almost as much as I hated new hellos.
Being the new kid was tough. By third grade, groups were established and grounded with a sense of history. Remember what happened to Patrick in Mrs. Olsen’s kindergarten class? Remember when Cathy broke her arm after she jumped off the high slide in second grade?
Me? Nothing. No shared experiences. No memories. No friends.
Lunchtime was the worst. Everyone else had someone to sit with as I searched out a quiet corner in which to eat. Munching on my meal, thoughts raced through my mind. Does anyone see me? Does anyone want to be my friend? Does anyone even care I’m here?
Funny how those same thoughts swirl about my mind when I experience a new situation. Perhaps it’s a memory tickling my old insecurities of sitting alone, longing for a friend. Perhaps you have the same tickle.
Walking into a new job, not knowing a single person. Will they like me? Checking out a new Bible study group. Will I make a friend? A move to a new neighborhood. Will someone know me? Or maybe, like me, your mind races through those same questions as you walk through the end of your marriage, your relationships, your expectations, entering an entirely different, and difficult, season of life.
Does anyone see the unshed tears threatening to cascade down my cheeks?
Does anyone notice the broken pieces of my heart, scattered about me?
Does anyone care that I feel lost and alone and so unsure of the journey ahead?
Does anyone just see me?
Hagar wondered about this, too. Hagar, an Egyptian servant, given to Abram by his wife in order to produce an heir. Hagar, used, abused and rejected, reacted in brokenness toward Sarai once Hagar became pregnant. Scripture says it got so bad, she was treated so harshly, that she finally ran away (Genesis 16:6).
Have you ever felt so overwhelmed and unsure that escape felt like the only answer? So fearful and broken that you were convinced nothing good would come your way? Yeah? Me, too. But there’s good news for us, just as there was good news for Hagar.
“The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wildness along the road to Shur.” (Genesis 16:7, NLT)
Dear friend, read that again. The angel of the Lord FOUND Hagar…she thought she had run away, but God still found her. He saw her, and He sees you, too.
“I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!” (Psalm 139:7, NLT)
God not only saw her, He had a word for her, too.
“Then the angel of the Lord said to her, ‘Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.’” (Genesis 16:9, NLT)
I wonder how she must have felt. Go back? Are you kidding? Yet before doubt crept in, God blessed her with a promise: “I will give you more descendants than you can count.” (Genesis 16:10, NLT) She would have a son and his name would be Ishmael, meaning “God hears.” Every day as she looked into her little boy’s eyes, she’d remember that God found her. Every time she spoke his name, she would remember that God heard her cry and answered.
God hears you, too.
“But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears.” (Psalm 18:6, NLT)
Hagar experienced God’s presence so powerfully that she spoke a different name for Him: You are the God who sees me.
“Therefore, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, ‘You are the God who sees me.’ She also said, ‘Have I truly seen the One who sees me?’ So that well was named Beer-lahai-roi, which means ‘well of the Living One who sees me.’” (Genesis 16:13, NLT)
Unsure of what your future holds?
God sees you.
Feeling abandoned, neglected, forgotten?
God knows you.
Longing to be known, fully accepted, warts and wrinkles and all?
God calls you His own. His promises are for you. Every. single. one.
As for eight-year-old me? It took a little while but I eventually made friends, good friends with whom I ate lunch and built lifelong memories, but I learned a valuable lesson, beginning that day.
I am never alone.
Was there ever a time in your life when you felt alone?
Feel free to share with us in the comments.
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