This post was written by my lovely friend, Anne Ivy-Townley. I know you’ll enjoy it and it will bless you today!
“Behind every good man is a good woman.” “Behind every great leader there is a great mother.” We love these lines, I think, because they give us a glimmer of hope that we are actually making a difference. But at the same time, it seems like a woman is at times defined by her invisibility. Like the man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz, we are directing and guiding our beloved men and children, never to really be seen…hidden out of necessity, or even out of fear. Sweet mommies, do you ever feel invisible?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the story of Hagar recently. So let’s take a second and talk about the woman who birthed Ishmael. Hagar was a servant to Abraham’s wife, Sarah. Sarah was beautiful, had a great husband, and even had kings going after her! Hagar was doomed (I dare say) to a life of serving this beautiful woman. One day, Abraham gets a promise from God that His offspring will become the greatest nation on earth. The only problem was that Sarah was barren; so she offered Hagar to Abraham. Let’s pause. We all know that Sarah will bear Isaac, the child of promise.. but they didn’t know that. Here’s Hagar, a servant, no husband, serving the “woman who has it all,” and she gets to be the one to bring forth the promised child! How amazing!
Let’s un-pause; Hagar gets pregnant and gives birth to Ishmael. Sarah can’t take the “new girl” taking her place, having her promised child. So she tells Abraham to get rid of her (he doesn’t, but lets Sarah do her own dirty work). And now Hagar and the “promised child” are in the desert, dying. What happened?? “I thought this was my big break! I thought I was going to mother the child promised to Abraham by God! And now I’m alone, cast off, and about to die!”
Then, God, our sweet Daddy, comes. He comes and comforts her, telling her that not only they will live but Ishmael will be a father to a great nation as well. And her response? “You are El Roi, the God who sees me.”
A lot of us, before we had children, might have felt a little more like a “someone.” Maybe you were great at your job, or were in charge of a women’s Bible study and had women looking up to you, or were an artist of a sort (because you actually had time to pursue art). Then, even though by choice, you have to give that up to be a mom. That’s great and wonderful! Even now I know I am in my calling. But that doesn’t stop me from feeling invisible sometimes.
When Hagar felt the most alone, the most invisible, like her whole world was fading away: that’s when God came to speak to her. And what I get from this story is that when we feel the most invisible, that’s when God sees us the most.
I wrote a song based on this revelation. It’s called You See Me.
You are the One who hears me
You are the lifter of my head
You are the One who sees me
Sees me as I am
Whoa— how You know,
How You know me
I encourage you, to not only pray to begin seeing yourselves as “someone” because God says you are someone, but to know that “John’s mom” or “Danny’s wife” has a name to God. He sees you. And He sees you as a perfect daughter, who is known to Heaven, and exactly where she’s supposed to be.