I sat on the floor, counting the ants as they walked around yesterday’s breakfast and attempting to save one kid’s life while playing family with the other, and thought about hamster wheels. I seemed to be caught up in the fast-paced but endless monotony of life. I was 26 with two kids at home and felt like I was still waiting for my life to begin. After working to finish my degree, get married, establish a career and start a family . . . what was next? Where was I going? At what point do I “arrive”? What does arriving even mean?
Deciding to stay home with two sweet children was a difficult choice for me. My extroverted self thrives on human interaction with people who are able to have conversations in the actual English language – not just random sign language along with a series of grunts and hand gestures that usually resulted in any one of us crying. I longed for conversations beyond things such as why climbing a wobbly apparatus isn’t a great choice, why naps are so essential to everyone’s sanity today, and yes, your toast with no butter but lots of jam (which you devoured yesterday) is something you actually like.
I thought being home with kids should come naturally; this was supposed to be “it,” the peak, the arrival. It should be joy-filled. My house should be immaculate; my food should be all homemade; I should be volunteering everywhere, counting my 1,000 gifts, and raising my kids with confidence and grace. But instead it felt like I was running without knowing my destination. At least running meant I was going somewhere, right?
Called by name
In Genesis 16, Hagar runs away from Abram the first time. The Angel of the Lord finds her and asks, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” The first, most profound thing about this is that he calls her by name. How beautiful is that? When we are scared and running, God finds us and calls us by name.
It’s also interesting that God asks her questions he already knows the answers to. “Where have you come from, and where are you going?” What has happened to you? What are you running from? Do you have a destination or goal in mind?
After God speaks to Hagar about her children, she responds in such a beautiful way. She names God. She says, “You are the God who sees me.”
Sit in that for a moment.
The God who sees me. It is terrifyingly beautiful.
God sees us for who we are and who we are not. And loves us anyway. God knows what brings us joy; he knows what we struggle with and he spreads grace over everything.
Hagar goes on to say, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” There is a shift in Hagar. God has always seen her; he has always been with her, but now she has seen him. She has seen him for who he is.
I’m trying to slow my running down to a gentle walk and see the One Who Sees Me. There is nothing I can do that will impress him and I have no need to impress others. I am learning to shake off expectations. To take time to see where I have come from and to look ahead to where I am going. Being intentional in the small, seemingly mundane choices can gradually change your path. I am learning to look only to The One Who Sees Me to find my pace.
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