Today my awesome IRL friend, Stacy Williams, has a guest post as part of our “Hope for Hurting Hearts” series. I know it’s not Monday, but isn’t this a great surprise? I knew you’d love her.
Stacy lives in Central Ohio. She loves Jesus, traveling, the ocean, ice cream, seeing God answer prayer and encouraging others! She has a Bachelor’s degree in sociology and a Master’s degree in journalism and communications. She briefly worked in public relations before a chronic health condition since childhood forced her to change her plans and yield to God’s plan. She is the Creator of Finding Purpose in the Pain. Check her out on Twitter and Facebook!
As the old saying goes, you can’t judge a book by its cover. And that would certainly be true in my life. If you saw me at the post office today you would never know I almost didn’t make it there because my body was so overwhelmed with fatigue it took me 2 hours to get off the couch.
If you saw me this past summer at the pool with the 4 girls I nanny for you would never know I spent every weekend from January to April laying on the couch crying in overwhelming pain.
If you saw me out and about hanging out with friends you would think I’m a normal, healthy, happy 29 year old. You would never know that I’ve spent last the 18 years dealing with a chronic debilitating health condition-fibromyalgia.
I, like millions of people, have an invisible illness. One you can’t see just by looking at me. And while God in His mercy is starting to bring healing into my life, there are still many rough days. And the hard part of any health condition, invisible or not, is the sense of isolation it breeds. That nagging feeling that no one really knows what you go through.
I remember clearly this past winter during a particularly brutal season of pain feeling these exact emotions-invisible and isolated. That is until I read this passage of scripture in Genesis 16. It recounts the story of Hagar who was pregnant with Abram’s son. She fled after being mistreated by Abram’s wife Sarai. While in her lowest point out in the middle of the desert, the angel of the Lord visits her. And after this she says:
She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13
These words have stayed with me for months-He is the God who sees me.
When I feel all alone and overwhelmed by life-He sees me.
When I’m sad and mad and confused over these years of suffering-He sees me.
When everything in me wants for purpose to come from this pain-He sees me.
Maybe you are in the midst of a struggle right now. Perhaps it’s physical like mine? Or maybe emotional or a really challenging set of circumstances? Can I remind you today friend that He sees you right where you are? You are not invisible to Him. He hasn’t left you alone in your pain. He is the God who makes beauty rise from ashes and if today you find yourself in a dark valley call out to Him! Some of the most beautiful blessings in my life have come from the deepest pain. And while it’s not a road I would have willingly taken, it’s a road I’m thankful for. And today I encourage you to seek out those blessings in your life. To choose praise in the midst of your storm and remember there is a plan and purpose for your life and this is not the end of your story.
But most of all remember you are not alone, He sees you!
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121: 1-2
Thank you, Stacy, for your wonderful gift of words!
One more awesome treat for you today, I have a special introductory post at The Better Mom for the book, Everything- What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus, by Mary DeMuth. You will not want to miss this book; there is one up for grabs on the giveaway!
Take a sneak peek HERE. (Post goes live 10/11)