Pulling back the blinds from my third floor apartment, I looked out longingly at the young girls talking and laughing as they were walking back to their apartments. In just three years, I had gone from a young Bible college girl to a young married woman expecting her third child and resettling after a fifth move. Even this place was temporary as we were waiting for our new house to be built in the city where I had grown up.Most of my childhood friends had moved away and our church had changed so much in the seven years I had been gone that I recognized few people. I loved being home with my kids, but sometimes the inner loneliness of being home with few connections overtook me. Not only that, but now that life was slower, all of my heart issues that a busy life had masked began coming to the surface. I had the distinct feeling that life was going on without me as I stood there looking out the third floor window.
Sometimes there is something internally that God needs to heal that no amount of outer connections will fix. I remember often feeling as if I were in a glass box in a crowded room. I used to think that because of my introverted nature, I was doomed to the confines of my box, but as God has begun to free my heart, I am finding that little box isn’t where I live anymore. Surprisingly, as I have talked to other women about that box, others have said they felt the exact same way. No one wants to admit that they are lonely or chaotic inside, but I think we all know that loneliness is prevalent even in crowded rooms, and a chaotic heart is no respecter of persons.
This is why I love the story of Hagar in Genesis 16. She is the hated servant of Sarah, Abraham’s wife. She is the lady who was given to Abraham by Sarah to have the baby God had promised to Sarah and Abraham. Her son was man’s failed attempt at fulfilling God’s promise. Through no fault of her own, she was despised and mistreated by Sarah, and so she ultimately ran away into the desert, alone and pregnant. In Genesis 16:7, it says that the angel of the Lord FOUND her by a spring of water in the wilderness. She was not in a beautiful place. Her place in the unfolding story was not beautiful. Through no fault of her own, she was the antagonist in the story. She was heartbroken, alone, afraid, angry, disappointed, running, mistreated, dirty, hopeless, and depressed. God saw her and came to her rescue.
Can I just say that no matter where you are in your life, or in your stage of motherhood, or in your walk with God, or whether your life is going as planned or going every other way than you had hoped, God can find you. He is not aloof or far off. The question Hagar was asked in verse 16 was, “Where have you come from and where are you going?” What’s your story, Hagar?
What’s YOUR story? If you find yourself in a lonely or chaotic spot, friend, where have you come from and where are you going? You may not be running on the outside, but are you running on the inside? Are you drowning yourself in TV, Pinterest, Facebook, your job, or in other things? Where are you hiding?
Thank you that my life is not hidden from You. You know the deepest parts of my heart, and You know how to find me. I thank You that I can trust You and Your love for me. Show me where I am running or hiding out and please deal with those places in me that I keep safely hidden and tucked away. Thank You that even in my loneliness, You have not left me. I trust You. I will look to You for help. I wait confidently for You to save me, and you will certainly hear me (Micah 7:7).
Author: Wendy Gerdes