Seen and Known

“So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” – Genesis 16:13

I used to say I would never live in Houston…I’m a fall/winter kind of girl and let’s be honest, Houston is a summer/hotter summer kind of place.  But then, 7 years ago, God divinely took me there. I would end up staying for 4 years.  At the time, it didn’t feel divine.

A year of living in a borrowed RV, with two cats, a part-time job that required a one-way hour commute, no family or church home, and a whole lot of heartbreak doesn’t paint a divine picture.  It was the most difficult and soul-searching year I’d ever experienced.  When the school year ended along with my part-time music therapy contract, I moved home for the summer…but….

I moved with the intention of only staying the summer.  I left all of my things in a Houston storage unit.  I applied for a full-time Music Therapy position with the same school district.  What made me want to move back there?  I wondered that to myself, even as I searched for apartments online from my family’s home.  I could have sought out jobs anywhere else.  I had previously lived in Ft. Worth and loved it – why not move back? Divinely, I was drawn back to Houston.  Back away from family.  Back to where the heartbreak had occurred and still had no resolution.

I spent 3 more years in Houston, before moving once again to seek resolution in a relationship.  So much had happened, but I didn’t fully realize what God had done until I visited Houston a month ago for the first time in an additional 3 years.

“Come and see what God has done; He is awesome in His deeds toward the children of men.” – Psalm 66:5

I drove around my old stomping grounds, I saw the streets I loved, the schools I poured my heart into, the small group and church that had become my lifeline and family.  I saw the tall trees I’d fallen in love with as I drove to work, tears of heartbreak and grief and confusion streaming from my heart.  And I realized that I had been seen.  I had been known.  That I felt misunderstood and confused, but God understood and knew the path.

Oh how He shaped me in those Houston years….how He used that humid place to mold my heart.  I had nowhere to turn but to Him.  I had no one that fully knew me, save Him.  I had no family to hold, so I fell on my knees before Him.  I learned how to grieve loss, how to trust completely, how to let Him be my daily bread and all-sustaining life.  And I didn’t even realize He was doing it.  He knew the road I would need to walk later, so He taught me how to live and breathe His life then.

I wouldn’t trade those years.  I would happily live in Houston the rest of my life if He were in it.  I would move across the world if He asked, because He sees me.  There’s no place I can go where He cannot find me, love me, pull me up.  When I felt the most lost, I was actually the most found.

So take heart.  You are seen and you are known by the one true God.

Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song.

The joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue.

Thy free grace alone from the first to the last, hath won my affection and bound my soul fast.