Here’s my article entitled “Have You Encountered the God Who Sees” published in the Proverbs31 Everyday Blog on June 30, 2013.
“Are you a mother?”
That question tilted my world as I entered church and was greeted by a lady distributing flower corsages.
“Well, you can’t have one until you are a mother.”
I tried to brush away that remark, but those words stabbed my heart. Born to a teenage mom who was unable to nurture a healthy lifestyle, Mother’s Day was a yearly reminder of verbal and physical abuse throughout my childhood. Afraid of repeating those same mistakes, I was running away from motherhood, and sadly, I was unable to successfully take those thoughts captive.
Have you ever been haunted by bitter memories that cripple your present? Maybe you’ve asked, “Where was God? Does He see me?”
I know a woman who asked similar questions. She was an Egyptian slave of a woman called Sarah, and her name was Hagar. Since Sarah and her husband Abraham couldn’t have children, she had the brilliant idea to use her maidservant Hagar as a surrogate mother.
Although this practice was common in that day, when Hagar conceived and proudly presented her pregnancy, it was excruciating for Sarah. One day Sarah’s humiliation was so great that she sorely mistreated Hagar causing her to run away.
Genesis chapter 16 says that an angel of the Lord found this young girl by a spring of water and inquired where she was going. That angel stopped Hagar from running away with these instructions, “Go back and submit to Sarah for your descendants will be too numerous to count. You will have a son and shall name him Ishmael for the Lord has heard your misery.”
Hagar’s experience was so awesome that she gave God this name… You are the God-Who-Sees-Me for I have now seen the One-Who-Sees-Me.
So doing as she was told, Hagar returned and submitted to her mistress Sarah for her son Ishmael was Abraham’s firstborn. That slave girl probably took comfort that someday her son would be heir to Abraham’s fortune; however, when Sarah’s son Isaac was born, she and Ishmael were tossed out.
Can you imagine being abandoned after producing an heir? But God did not reject Hagar and Ishmael! Once again an angel appeared to Hagar for He wanted to bless Ishmael and make him into a great nation. Isn’t that cool? I thought His promises were just for Sarah and Abraham.
Now that makes me think of my situation that Sunday morning. Although the words of the greeter hurt, I decided not to run and stayed to worship God. And He did something amazing. The pastor stood at the pulpit making this unusual announcement, “Do we have any more corsages left? I think the Lord wants to bless every woman here today.”
I nearly fell out of my seat for I knew… that God had seen me. He was the one personally giving me that corsage. Maybe an angel hadn’t appeared speaking audible words, but God, himself, came down from heaven, and met me where I was. That day was the beginning of my healing journey for God had trumped the accuser’s plans and started His transformational work.
He alone can turn generational curses into blessings. That incident was the first fruit of many memory makeovers that God accomplished in my life. With His help, I’ve been able to replace bitter memories with sweet ones, and bad patterns with good living… step by step. Rather than pout about my past, I spend Mother’s Day with a fun activity, like a beach day or a dinner out at a nice restaurant. It’s a choice to celebrate, but like Hagar and Ishmael, He loves me and desires to bless me too.
Certainly, it’s no coincidence that after many years of struggling with inner healing and later discovering that I actually had a huge infertility problem, God blessed me into something I never thought I would be… a mother. Even Sarah, who was powerless to conceive, was blessed by God with a long awaited child because God loves to bless His people.
Galatians 4:7 says “Therefore you are no longer a slave but a daughter, and if a daughter, then an heir of God through Christ.”
Girlfriends, we are not slave girls imprisoned by our past. We are not barren women drained of dignity. We are daughters of the Most High God, seen by Him who knows every detail of our lives. He is already at work on our behalf birthing blessings.
Have you encountered the God-Who-Sees yet? He sees you.