You Were Made to Be Seen: God’s Message to Those in Isolation
You Were Made to Be Seen: God’s Message to Those in Isolation
Susan Aken iBelieve Contributing Writer
If you find yourself in a place where isolation seems impossible to overcome, regardless of whatever separates us from relationships, this was never God’s intention for humanity. He created us for community.
By choice, circumstances, or physical limitations.
Like a remote island.
Or unnoticed in a crowd.
Unseen or unwanted?
Invisible or rejected?
The heart cries out:
Every soul longs to be noticed. We each desire to be fully known yet fully loved. Many of us choose to hide because we feel inadequate or fear rejection. Circumstances leave some people in solitary living conditions. Others find their social connections are limited by sickness, paralysis, injury, or age. Regardless of whatever separates us from relationships, this was never God’s intention for humanity. He created us for community. Research shows loneliness and isolation contribute to sickness and early death.
Here are four messages God gives to those who feel disconnected:
Photo Credit: © Unsplash/Jordan Steranka
1. I Created You for Relationship
The idea of total seclusion is terrifying — the feeling that no one recognizes or cares what’s happening to you. There’s a reason why solitary confinement is a punishment in prison and why statistics show social detachment is associated with early death, as stated above. God designed us for connection with others.
When God created the first man, Adam, He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18). God has always intended for us to bond with others.
In early Bible days, King Solomon, who was reputed for his wisdom, wrote: “Pity anyone who falls and has no one to pick them up” (Ecclesiastes 4:10). Because God formed us for community, we will always long for intimacy.
Among believers in Jesus Christ, the bond is stronger. The Apostle Paul, early church leader, compared Christians to a body. Just as our whole being hurts if one part is in pain, Paul wrote concerning believers, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices” (1 Corinthians 12:26).
How does learning you’re created for relationship help when you feel you’re cut off by circumstances? Maybe you believe you’re blocked from receiving such love? If God wants us experience the joy of friendship, He will enable us to move forward.
I would suggest these actions:
Ask God to give you a confidante. Scripture teaches us to, “Pray about everything” (Philippians 4:6).
A few years before we adopted our son, I was writing prayer requests in a journal and wrote this:
“Father, please send me at least one close friend.”
I lacked intimate friends. I would work, come home, rest and then repeat. I held myself back and didn’t open up to others. Not long after, God opened the door for us to adopt our son. About 2 weeks into my maternity leave, I needed to arrange for childcare. Grieving, I realized I’d soon return to work and refused to enroll him into a childcare center. I placed an announcement in the church bulletin asking for someone who was willing to come to our home to babysit.
One woman responded who wanted the job but insisted he must come to her house. My husband and I visited her and her children and decided to hire her. With much trepidation, I left our newborn in a stranger’s care.
God in His graciousness, developed our friendship into one I cherish. Later, I ran across the prayer request I’d written. Thankfulness filled my soul for the abundant way God answered. Our son is now grown and married, and though she and I live in different states, we’re still close.
Pour out your heart to God and tell Him what you need. Ask Him for close relationships and the ability to reach out to others.
Second: Take a Risk
Be willing to make yourself vulnerable and be the first to say hi, send a message, make a phone call, or issue an invitation. Relationships are worth taking a chance. Remember, others need you as much as you need them.
Theresa and I wouldn’t have become bosom buddies if I hadn’t been willing to respond to her invitations and to open up to her as she did to me. There comes a point when one must trust others enough to get real with them if you want them to reciprocate.
Third: Develop a Genuine Interest in Others
Ask questions, listen, and remember names and details. Intimacy works two ways. Make friends by talking to someone new. Be curious about their life, and keep seeking them out.
Fourth: Get Help if Needed
If you’re genuinely unable to reach out, consider visiting a counselor. Maybe you’re trapped in depression, have a chemical imbalance, or have trauma to work through. Find a recommended professional who can intervene.
Before we adopted our son, I visited a counselor for depression. It was one of the best decisions I could have made. The therapy I received prepared me for opportunities ahead and gave me some tools for dealing with mental health challenges.
I created you for connection with others. Trust Me and reach out. Love others as I have loved you.
2. I See You
Hagar, who lived in Bible times, experienced painful mistreatment. Abused and used by her mistress, Sarah, she was the lowest in society: a slave. Powerless, Hagar fled into the wilderness. While by herself in the desert, feeling desperate, God sent an angel of the Lord to help her and give her a promising prophecy concerning the child she was carrying.
Renewed with hope, Scripture tells us, “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).
Aware that God was with her and had observed and understood her pain, she returned and submitted to her mistress.
God is always watching. King David, from Old Testament times, expressed this beautifully:
“You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue You, LORD, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and You lay your hand upon me...Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there... Your right hand will hold me fast." (Psalm 139:2-10)
You’re never out of My sight. I notice those moments when it seems like you’re invisible and your heart feels neglected. You wonder if anyone discerns your secret pain and struggle. I love you, my child. I’m aware of every thought and hurt. Reach out to Me in faith. Tell Me your troubles and your heart’s desires. Receive My love. You’re never alone.
3. I Understand
Perceiving that our sin would separate us from Him forever, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live and die for us. He then rose from the grave, conquering death forever. He did this by taking the punishment we deserved upon Himself. He became sin for us. While on the cross, He was distanced from the Father and their timeless unity. In agony, Jesus cried out:
“My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” ( Matthew 27:46)
Jesus felt painful isolation beyond our ability to comprehend. He experienced true estrangement from God as He became the object of His wrath. We can be assured then that Christ identifies with us when we feel abandoned.
I can empathize with how you feel. I was rejected so you don’t have to be forsaken. I was abandoned so you could be accepted. Receive my love and you will experience it forever.
4. Nothing Can Separate You from My Love — I Will Never Leave You
God keeps His word. One of His sweetest promises is: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
Paul expounded on this truth when he wrote, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
Rest in my love my beloved child. No one can take you away from me. You’re never deserted or without hope.
Remember: You are seen, known, understood, and loved. Ask God to give you the confidence you need to build relationships with others.
If you find yourself in a situation where isolation seems inevitable and impossible to overcome, believe God loves you and can meet your need. He wants to have a loving, personal relationship with you. Talk to Him as you would a friend. If you don’t already do so, speak to God out loud — have a conversation with Him. A friend recently shared how life-changing it was for her when she began talking to God aloud in her alone times. Now, she’s praying all the time! Love and trust Him. He’s always listening.
Believe this truth taught in Scripture, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing” (Psalm 23:1).
Susan Aken writes devotions and articles for Wholly Loved Ministries, is an Oklahoma native who’s lived in Nebraska since 1987 and has been in public education for over thirty years. She and her husband have one son and a wonderful daughter-in-law. Besides writing she has a passion for special needs and prayer ministries. She enjoys time with family, reading, photography, movies, walking in nature, and a nice cup of tea. She believes life is a journey and we’re all in different places. Jesus is everything to her and it’s all about grace. Visit her at susanaken53.wordpress.com or on Facebook.
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