When you need someone to acknowledge it happened (and it hurt!)

Originally published Tuesday, 09 February 2016.

You see all things;

    You saw me growing, changing in my mother’s womb;

Every detail of my life was already written in Your book;

    You established the length of my life before I ever tasted the sweetness of it.

Psalm 139:16 (VOICE)

My friend and I walked into the coffee shop at the same time. “Shall we sit here?” she said, pointing to a long table with a bench.

She ordered a cappuccino and I ordered water. Then my friend asked how my foot is.

And out poured this story. This story of why I didn't get stitches when I should have. How I didn't get stitches because the last time I was sick in December I was told I was dramatic. And I didn't want to be dramatic.

So instead I asked the people around me if they thought I needed stitches.

They thought I didn't. 

And I didn't want to be dramatic so I listened to them. 

I told myself, ‘the body is amazing it can heal itself.’

The cut can’t be as bad as you think. 

Four days later, my foot turned pink, started to swell, and I could no longer bend my toes. I decided it was time to be dramatic.

I told Xylon to drive me to the doctor. Where a very kind physician did not lecture me on being irresponsible or even on the importance of self-care.

He simply lifted the bandage. Asked when it happened and said, “I'd expect it to be more healed by now.” 

Then he felt my pulse and tested my blood pressure to see if the infection was systemic. Content that it wasn’t he prescribed me antibiotics and sent me home. Telling me it should start healing by Sunday. 

On the Monday, I asked to be taken to the doctor again. My foot was getting better but it didn’t seem right to me. I had learnt my lesson. The doctor took one look and prescribed heavier antibiotics.

My friend sat across the table as I told this story and said, “It hurts, hey? It wounds our hearts deeply to be told our pain isn't real, that it doesn't matter?”

I nodded and the wound in my heart throbbed. It throbbed because it was being acknowledged. My pain was being seen.

We spoke about how healing only comes when pain is acknowledged. A wound cannot be treated if the person carrying it acts like it doesn’t exist. 

My friend told me how she went to the doctor and told him she was slightly tired. He ran tests and told her, “I don't even know how you walked in here. You shouldn't have enough energy to do that.”

She spoke about how good (bad?) so many of us are at hiding how much pain we feel. And how that makes others think that we’re okay. And how because everyone thinks we are okay they don’t stop to say, “Wow, that looks sore. You were very brave but let’s get you some help now.” 

Then she told me about her little girl. Adopted shortly after birth she struggles with her presence not being acknowledged. 

The wound my friends' daughter carries isn’t visible, like the cut on my foot, but it is just as real.

My friend went onto tell how their daughters birth-mother never told anyone she was pregnancy. She hid the pregnancy - hid her daughter - shielded her from being known even while the in the womb. This little girl was unseen. Invisible.

And in then there in the coffee shop my friend quoted scripture: 

You see all things;

    You saw me growing, changing in my mother’s womb;

Every detail of my life was already written in Your book;

    You established the length of my life before I ever tasted the sweetness of it.

There was healing in her words, a reminder that the God-who-sees-me knows every detail of my life. (tweet this)


She spoke the words she prays over her daughter but they began to heal my wound of being in pain with no one to take me seriously.


The last few days I’ve cradled that verse in my heart, wrapping it round my heart wound every time I change the dressing on my foot. Reminding myself that it is only when pain is acknowledged that it can be treated and the wound can be healed. 

So I wind the bandage round-and-round and whisper: You see all things…

Ponder: As you read this what heart wound began throb? And say, “I’m real, it happened, it hurt.” What steps can you take to acknowledge the pain? Consider seeing a social worker or psychologist to chat through the pain.


Prayer: You are, the One who sees all things. You saw me growing, changing in my mother’s womb and right now you know the details of my life that causing my heart to throb with pain. God who see me show me how to acknowledge this pain I’m feeling so I can taste the sweetness of the life you’ve given me. Amen. 

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- This was orginally published on my site in November 2015. To read more devotionals like this go to ilovedevotionals.com