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My friend told me “God is saying to you ‘This is Me. I am seeing you.’”
Sunday morning I woke up to a deep sadness. It was our last day in the ward we had lived in for 20 years, and no one knew but my husband and me. We were called to serve in our young adult branch, and while we knew a week in advance, no one else in our ward knew of our assignment.
I regretted being out of town the previous week, when I would have taught Relief Society. Over the years I had taught hundreds of lessons in Sunday School and Relief Society lessons. I yearned for one more opportunity to teach and testify of Jesus Christ to these sisters I love so much.
As I dressed, I thought of all the families whose children I taught in early morning seminary and the many women with whom I had exchanged service; I longed to hug them and say goodbye. I wanted to thank ministering brothers who had remembered my children’s birthdays and continued to ask about them long after they left home. Most of all, I felt gratitude for the network of love that had supported me from afar while I cared for my children through health crises, knowing that there were fervent prayers being offered by friends back home.
Today was going to be our last day, and the only way I could communicate that would be to hug a little longer.
We are Never Alone and Unseen
But I was wrong. It wasn’t just my husband and me who knew. God knew. The Lord knows and cares about our sorrows. Some sorrows are not relieved immediately; there is too much to be gained, too much growth to achieve, and He won’t cheat us of those mortal experiences. He may not relieve our pain, but in those moments He sits with us and shares it.
Other times He can and does lift our burdens. This happened for me. On the way to church, the Relief Society president called to say she had to stay home, and she asked if I could teach for her. My opportunity came to teach and testify one more time to a room full of dear friends!
During Sacrament Meeting we heard humble and heart-felt talks about sustaining and serving. The messages felt directed to us as we prepared to leave and serve. One of the brothers my husband was praying about as a counselor sat directly in front of us and seemed to glow. We sang “Called to Serve” and “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go”—by the meeting’s end my husband leaned over and said “It seems too choreographed to be real.” But it was real. It was real evidence of God knowing the feelings in our hearts and sending comfort and reassurance.
I would have been all right if none of this had happened. The sadness would have passed, to be replaced by excitement for our new assignment. But God knew I was hurting in that moment, and He gave me sweet reassurance and comfort. As I told my friend about this experience, she told me “God was saying to you ‘This is Me. I am seeing you.’” The day was still tinged with melancholy, but I didn’t feel alone with it. I didn’t have to look hard to see the evidence of His awareness of me.
What Am I Missing?
How many times do I miss His awareness, when it is less obvious? Do I feel I am facing difficulties alone, missing His presence and support? Am I trying to do too much on my own, when God is eager to have me turn to Him and share my burdens? Elder Richard G. Scott encourages us to “Choose to converse with your Father in Heaven often. Make time every day to share your thoughts and feelings with Him. Tell Him everything that concerns you. He is interested in the most important as well as the most mundane facets of your life. Share with Him your full range of feelings and experiences.”[i]
If He wants me to share, it’s because He wants to see me. He
wants to respond to those feelings and experiences. As I share the details of
my life, I begin to recognize that He sees and responds to that openness. I
look for His tender mercies, so I can say in return “This is me. I am seeing
[i] Scott, R. G. (2014, October). Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority. Retrieved from https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2014/10/make-the-exercise-of-faith-your-first-priority?lang=eng.