Have you ever longed to really feel loved? Wondered if everyone accepted you? Wanted to belong someplace? Life is complete of ups and downs that can make us really feel like we are invisible or overlooked. It is challenging to know that God is there by means of the trials and at times additional tricky to think He knows us in the midst of them. However in all of it, God is at our side—even when He feels far away. Jill Eileen Smith knows what it feels like to face the valleys of life. To really feel overlooked and unnoticed. It is a grace to welcome Jill to the farm’s front porch today…
guest post by Jill Eileen Smith
Often in my childhood I’d face questioning if I belonged—wanting to really feel like I was accepted by other individuals.
The quiet introvert, I wasn’t very good at sports, only academics. Added to that, I was not thin like the quite girls.
By today’s requirements, I do not know why weight became such an challenge for me. When I appear back at images, I see I wasn’t as overweight as I believed.
But thin mattered, in particular if you weren’t athletic. I was neither.
So I walked to and from college largely alone. I pretended to be Marcia Brady as I swung on the swing set throughout recess, and I studiously did my operate.
To say I had a very good self-image would be a lie.
I didn’t like myself or dislike myself. I just preferred to escape into fiction or fantasy. I knew my parents loved me, but I didn’t really feel liked by numerous of my peers.
All of us are searching for a person to appreciate us, to see us, to appreciate us, yes?
That girl on the playground with the Marcia Brady complicated got a tiny older, and 1 day as she sat in her sixth grade class, her teacher, Mr. Murrell, announced that his wife was going to have a child.
He stated that if it was a girl, they have been going to name her just after 1 of the girls in the class. We all looked at each and every other, questioning who that girl would be. He was a favourite teacher in the college, and any girl would have been honored. Of course, I knew that the child would likely be named Antoinette. Antoinette had such a stunning, roll-off-your-tongue, exclusive name.
Not extended just after that announcement, Mr. Murrell stood in front of the class and told us that his wife did give birth to a child girl. I doodled on my notebook and half listened till I heard my name. Jill. Jill?
I looked about. Due to the fact I was the only Jill in that elementary college at the time, I couldn’t point to everyone else.
Me? He picked my name? I didn’t even like my name! But possibly that was additional since I didn’t like myself all that a lot.
I wonder when I study Hagar’s story in Genesis if she liked who she was. The Bible does not inform us a lot about her, although there are ideas that she came from Egyptian royalty.
Regardless of her background, we do know that she was Sarai’s servant and she bore Abram a son. We also know that she is the only lady who named God! In fact, she was the only person who named God.
Every single other time, God revealed His name to these He visited. To Abram He was Adonai El Elyon, Lord God Most Higher. To Moses, I Am. He wouldn’t inform Jacob His name but rather named Jacob Israel. But Hagar named Him The God Who Sees Me.
As Mr. Murrell named his daughter just after me—though I admit, the comparison might appear flimsy—so Hagar named God in a way that honored Him, the way she saw Him. As my teacher took notice of a lonely, introverted, overweight girl and liked her name, so God took notice of a frightened slave and cared for her.
I cannot support but consider that Hagar was changed when she realized the God of Abram saw her, known as her by name, gave her guidelines, and produced her a guarantee.
I have generally struggled to really feel accepted all through my life, but like Hagar I cannot overlook that there is 1 who knows me. Who sees me. And He knows my name.
We are all going to face occasions in our lives when we really feel overlooked or even ignored, and that is going to hurt if we let it.
We can run away like Hagar did and hold our hurts close to our hearts.
We can prevent relationships that could possibly wound us.
Or we can go back, think what God says about us—He sees us—wait on Him to do the operate only He can do, and forgive the points that are ours to forgive.
Scripture and history inform us that Hagar’s life in Abraham’s camp didn’t final extended. Significantly less than twenty years later, she was walking away once more, this time with her son into a future she couldn’t fathom. I can envision how all of the memories of that very first trip toward Egypt came rushing back, only this time she feared for the life of her son.
And God met her once more. Hagar. A lady. An outcast.
Not 1 amongst the lineage of the men and women God had selected.
But 1 amongst the lineage of men and women God wanted to save.
God saw her. And He viewed as her life valuable to Him.
He sees us also, my buddy. In contrast to any other god the globe has identified, He loves us.
We are valuable in His eyes.
And no quantity of hurt in the globe can ever take that information from us.
Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling and award-winning author of the biblical fiction series The Wives of King David, Wives of the Patriarchs, The Loves of King Solomon, and Daughters of the Promised Land. Her analysis into the lives of biblical females has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she especially enjoys studying how females lived in Old Testament occasions.
In her new book When Life Does not Match Your Dreams: Hope for Currently from 12 Girls of the Bible, she draws on her in depth analysis into females of the Old Testament and turns her pen to what we can find out about trusting God from females like Eve, Noah’s wife, Sarai, Hagar, Lot’s wife, Rebekah, Rachel, and additional. Jill assists us learn what these ancient females did right—and what they did wrong—when faced with dashed expectations and deferred dreams.
She guides you toward the truth that God loves you and is forming you by means of your trials into the lady He longs for you to be.
[ Our humble thanks to Baker for their partnership in today’s devotion ]