A note from Kelly King: I had a pastor who often reminded our congregation that our past regrets and decisions can be redeemed. We don’t live in God’s plan “B,” but everything works together for His plan “A.” Kaye’s article today may encourage you personally or encourage you as you minister to women who are hurting. She mentions Beth Moore’s newest study, The Quest, which is now being offered as LifeWay’s online Bible study and in stores. I encourage you to check it out.
Pain can be extremely isolating. Women who are hurting often feel alone, isolated, unheard, and unseen. I grew up feeling unseen and invisible. A limited word count does not allow me to go into detail, but it is part of the landscape of my story and my past. How that affected my present went unnoticed by me for the first 30 years of my life. The death of my mother many years ago prompted me to look at my past and the hurt caused by feeling unseen.
I’m often asked, “Why do I have to look at my past when I can’t go back and change it anyway?” To which I say, “That is correct. However, we are linear; God is not. We can’t go back and change anything, but when we give His Spirit access to those painful, wounded places, He can!”
His healing of our past wounds and pain is mysterious to me. I have come to learn that it is a process of being healed and continually healing. Genesis 16:1-13 tells the story of Hagar. She was a servant of Sarah and mother to Abraham’s first son, Ishmael. She was treated poorly and eventually Sarah forced her to take her son and leave. She felt unseen. I resonate with that part of Hagar’s story. I love that God found her near a spring in the desert (how odd for there to be a spring in a desert)! God came to her in her pain and said, “I see you.”
I wonder…do you feel unseen? Could you need the reminder today that He sees you?
I love God’s question to Hagar in Genesis 16:8 and her response back. It sounds like something I have written in my own journal.
God: “Kaye, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
Kaye: “I’m running away from…”
Is there something you are running away from?
Is there pain you are withholding from Him?
Is this true of the women you are ministering to?
In verse 9 of that chapter, God tells Hagar to go back. That has always bothered me.
Recently I read something by Beth Moore in her study, The Quest, that was an “Ah Ha” moment for me. She writes, “God sent Hagar back to the same location but not as the same hopeless woman. She carried the promise of propagation in her future. God may keep you indefinitely in the same place, but if you walk with Him you cannot remain the same person” (The Quest, page 52).
Friend, He sees you. He sees the pain you endured, the pain you are in, and He has found you right where you are in that desert. In that encounter with Him, He changes you with a promise. Maybe your situation won’t change, but you will. He hasn’t promised that we would be without pain in this life, but He has promised His peace, His presence, and His power in the pain. Ask Him for them now!
Kaye Hurta has a Masters Degree in counseling from Liberty University and is a crisis counselor for Women’s Events through LifeWay Christian Resources. Whether speaking, singing, or listening, Kaye’s passion is to help others find intimacy with Christ and soul transformation through the living pages of His Word. Kaye met and married her husband Chris in Austin, Texas in 1987. They have two daughters through the miracle of adoption, Madison and Cami. They live in the Chicago burbs where they are both on staff at Willow Creek Community Church. Kaye is also a contributing author for the LifeWay resource, Women Reaching Women in Crisis.