“I see you.” Simple words. It was these simple words, whispered to me in the midst of crisis, which breathed life into my darkness. I do not often clearly hear from God. In fact I don’t think I can remember the last time I heard Him speak to me. I wasn’t supposed to be at church on Saturday night, but I was and I encountered Jesus like I never have before.
As I sat down, I began to feel the shame that so often overwhelms me. I thought of all of the things I had gotten wrong over the last week. I began to mentally berate myself for once again not living up to the expectations I had set for myself. I reminded myself of what a failure I was. Shame hung heavy on my heart like a cloak. I sunk into my seat and found comfort in my pain.
It was about half way through the message that I began to wonder if the pastor was inside my head. He began to speak about those who feel that they need to clean themselves up and set their lives straight before they can come to God. I have always felt this way. Yes. I know that it is by grace I am saved, but in my mind, I still needed to get my act together before Jesus would want me.
But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through our weakness. So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
It was at that point that the tears began to slide down my cheeks, but God wasn’t even close to finished! You see, I have always felt unnoticed, unseen, and unimportant. I stand at the back of the room with my eyes on the floor too ashamed to look at anyone, but inside I am screaming, “Please. See me. Notice me.” I wanted so much to feel valued. I wanted to feel like I was worth notice.
I have been battling with an eating disorder off and on for a good part of my life. It has been over the last nine months that every day is a fight for life. In my head, this is another way that I was crying out for someone to see me. “See, I am slowly disappearing. Do you see?” All these thoughts were tumbling through my mind as the pastor continued to speak and the tears continued to fall.
It was at this point, I heard so clearly the whisper, “I see you.” What? God, you see me? You see me in this mess? You see me even when I feel unnoticed? You see me every time I skip a meal? You see me every time I sit in front of the toilet, ashamed, because once again I gave in and purged? Over and over again, He whispered, “I see you.”
I am seen. I am loved. I am noticed. Jesus sees me in my mess. He sees me before I get my life together. He sees me in my shame and in my pain. He sees all of it and He loves me anyway.
“I see you.”