As life wove itself around the undergirding story of my barrenness, I couldn’t always tell what might send me right back to the dull ache or sharp pain of my lack, though baby showers seemed consistently to take me to that place.
Why do I do this to myself? I wondered again, smiling for the camera, sitting next to the guest of honor as she opened gifts.
She spoke, candidly, among friends—sisters, some with wombs opened and many who hadn’t yet borne children—of the moment of her first baby’s birth when weeping ensued and her body released new life. They leaned in, some curious, others knowing.
I distanced myself as I listened, knowing that if I engaged with what she was saying I might just break, right there on the couch beside her. I hid, inside, working my face so that it didn’t reveal the bleeding I felt internally. She knew something so glorious that my years of asking still hadn’t given me, and at this stage, it wasn’t the cuddles and baby-fresh skin and monumental “firsts” that allured me. It was the experience of having a body that did what it was supposed to do.
Hers was apparently majestic—holy, other—and mine damaged.
Morning hadn’t yet broken, but I had.
This friend’s story, shared the night before, had wearied me. Again. Not just the story, but that she didn’t seem aware of how much her words might pierce my heart. The shower was about her, not me, but I felt so deeply unknown in my pain amid her descriptions of childbirth.
Loneliness beckoned me that black-sky morning. It was a familiar place to go. But this time, I had new words to remember.
Last night, in the midst of her story and the murmurs of others and the pull of my mind beyond that room, He whispered to me: I see you.
In a world of voices and faces and experiences where I don’t fit in, in a season of motherhood that forgot me, Someone sees me.
He knows me.
On other mornings, I often slid into a line of thinking that wrapped itself around me like a noose. I’d made a habit out of going there, like pressing on a bruise to gauge its pain. But that day His pull was stronger. His words were louder than those of my child-rich friend. More, His words would use hers not to crush me but to transform me.
I opened my Bible to an account I’d read more than a hundred times:
She saw Him in a crowd and stretched out a desperate reach. She didn’t see herself worthy of a chosen moment, but she dove for an accidental healing. Forget touching Him; I’ll take just a brush with His clothes.
She bore up under the weight of being unhealed. Jesus was her lottery, her only chance.
The crowd that often lost her, that overlooked her, that misunderstood the person underneath, was not one she could blend in with this day.
The Father, the Son, and the Spirit knew her.
He saw her.
A life of blood spilled out and the God-man who was not far from spilling His own blood told her to have good cheer. She was once broken and neglected, but this day she was noticed.
He saw her.
He looked beyond the years of shame she wore as a veil—she didn’t know herself without it—and into her heart.
She lived reproach, but He saw faith. He declared over her what He saw in her, which was, of course, who she truly was. She walked away from that moment new, not just because her body was healed but because He spoke, deep calling to deep.
I know her road.
Her hour is my hour.
I am hunched, ashamed, buried in the crowd, but reaching out a desperate hand toward Him.
Over and over I learn that I don’t need a physical healing to receive a heart healing.
I see you.
He spoke to me that morning of the strength in my heart though my body failed me. He reminded me of the underground healing that the past decade had witnessed, though it had not yet surfaced in the form of a burgeoning belly. He whispered truth that began to mend parts of me I didn’t know were broken.
He is not thrown, as I am, by my loneliness. He isn’t sidelined here. His heart leans in where mine retreats, because these moments aren’t stolen. They are purposed for a different kind of receiving.
I don’t need to duck. I need to reach. To be desperate.
The night I felt, again, cursed among the blessed was the night I caught His eye. The night I knew His comfort, His power, more deeply.
In that place of rest, head against His chest, is where I realized that knowing that God sees me frees me actually to see Him. Feeling misunderstood turned into the revelation that I am fully understood. All along, I had been. My discomfort with not fitting in, with missing out on my gender’s best, becomes the moment when I am crowned.
I see you, He said. I was both exposed and safe because I was fully loved, relished.
And now I want to show you more of Me.
Sara Hagerty is the author of Every Bitter Thing is Sweet, which you can preorder here today to recieve a FREE set of 7 themed printables and a 16-day adoration devotional!