You are the God who sees me.
I recently got asked what it was like to move to five different schools as I grew up. What was it like making new friends? Wearing a new uniform? Finding the right classroom in a new building? Learning a whole new timetable?
The reality was that I just got on with it. Sometimes I preferred the new uniform and even the shorter day that my new school had. Other times I found it tiring to learn a new school layout and where to find the classroom my next lesson was in.
The hardest element of moving around were the occasions where I felt invisible.
At times, it felt like everyone around me knew where they were going and I was stood in the busy corridor completely lost and alone. It was as if I could disappear into thin air and no one would notice.
An exemplified version of this invisibility comes back to me in some of my darkest times of depression.
It can happen late at night when I quietly sob into my pillow, too tired to fight for the day anymore. Can anyone hear me and comfort me? Other times it’s when I wake up and the depression gremlins are already at work, filling my mind with hopeless and negative thoughts. Can anyone see the gremlins and stop them?
DEPRESSION LIES TO US AND TELLS US WE ARE INVISIBLE.
It’s as if we look into the mirror but there is no reflection. We open our mouths but no words come out. We listen for rescuing footsteps by no one comes for us.
In these dark times depression can leave us in despair, with the gremlins whispering lies to us –
You are misunderstood
You are abandoned
You are alone.
BUT WE ARE NOT ALONE.
It is in these darkest times, when the depression takes over and the gremlins flood my mind that I remember God sees me. He meets me in my suffering and comforts my aching soul. His presence renews my energy and does not take the depression away, but partners with me so I can continue to serve him.
The isolation I felt in those school corridors can be felt by anyone, just like the invisibility someone with a mental illness may feel. Yet it is in those times that we can join in with Hagar (read her story in Genesis 16) and proclaim, “You are the God who sees me” and take great comfort in this.
We may find ourselves in situations of disappointment, hurt and despair like Hagar. But we can take comfort in the fact that God sees us. That he is tuned into our cries. What may seem invisible to others does not seem invisible to God. As the French writer Paul Claudel wrote “Christ did not come to do away with suffering; He did not come to explain it; He came to fill it with His presence.” I pray, for you and I, that when we feel invisible we remember that God sees us.
This article was apart of ‘Little Book of Chaos’ campaign from VerseFirst in 2017.