“Children should be seen and not heard!” That was a saying that my generation was very familiar with. This didn’t bother me at all. When all the other kids would play outside, screaming and making noise, I would much rather be sitting quietly, listening to what the adults were talking about.
Even with a lot of affirmation and encouragement, I still find it hard to use my voice in public. Even when I have something important to say. I still feel like that little girl, listening to the grown ups, knowing that my place is to sit quietly in the corner.
We all have the desire to be seen and heard. I think this is why social media is having such a major impact on our culture. Everyone now has a platform, but with the added benefit of editing and filtering. We can choose what people see and hear.
There is something very validating about being seen and heard. Just before Christmas, I was invited to a live broadcast on the Unlocking your book show. They asked me to share my testimony and some insights on the book that I’m working on. I was rather nervous before the interview started, but they made me feel so comfortable, loved and valued. They affirmed me, even though I am not particularly far along in the process of publishing my first book.
Since then, I have stepped out with so much confidence. I am even writing a daily blog. Ha! I am a little more fearless in what I share, because others have seen and recognised that there is something valuable that God has put in me. I feel that the words I am writing here, doesn’t do justice to the powerful encouragement I felt in those thirty minutes of being seen and heard.
The enemy has not skipped a beat with trying to put me back in my corner. I no sooner finished that broadcast, when I started questioning my motives. Why did you enjoy that so much? You’re doing this because you want attention! As I lifted this up to the Lord, he reminded me of the reason why he gave me this mandate in the first place: “You are seen and heard, so that my lost children can follow you home to my arms. You are given a voice, so that they can find their voices.”
The Father is also showing me that there is a place where I can be safe from stepping into selfish ambition: our craving to be seen and heard will be satisfied when we get our affirmation from him. And he loves to affirm us!
“For the eyes of the Lord are [looking favourably] upon the righteous (the upright), and His ears are attentive to their prayer (eager to answer)…”
1 Peter 3:12a (AMP)
Here are just a few thoughts that I want to highlight:
You are seen.
You are seen, without any editing or filters. Truly seen, and yet deeply loved. You are the righteousness of God in Christ. The Father looks at you without judgement. He looks at you with great favour. He never, ever loses sight of you. He knows exactly where you are and he is there with you, in the middle of it all.
You are heard.
Not only does he hear your prayers, but he is paying attention to every word you say. There are many times when I listen to my kids, but I don’t really hear, because I have too much internal clutter. There is no internal clutter with the Father. He has switched his smartphone off. His gaze is fixed on you and he is paying attention to what is on your heart. He wants to hear you out, because what you have to say, is so important to him.
Eager answers await!
I love that the Amplified Bible says that He is eager to answer. Isn’t that incredible? That our Father, who has all the answers that we need is just waiting for us to ask the question. He is excited to show us what is on his heart for us. Wow.
Are you ready, to hear what he has to say?
Today, I thank you Father, for seeing me. And for paying attention to what is on my heart. Thank you, that you are eager to give me the answers that I need. Help me to not lose sight of you, the way that you never lose sight of me. Help me to really see and hear those around me, and signpost them to the greatest place of affirmation: your loving arms.
Today, I hear the Father’s heartbeat: “Beautiful Child, there is no one who can perfectly affirm you, the way I can. Let me breathe the truth of who you are upon your heart. True confidence comes from seeing yourself the way I see you. When you know how much you are loved, you will not be afraid to be seen or heard. When you are conscious of my attentive gaze upon your life, affirmation will not be the driving force. Love will be the power behind your words. For, Beloved Child, you are truly, deeply loved.” ❤