January 16, 2014

You Know Me

We’re in the car, traversing those same fifteen miles again. Past the window fly dispassionate pines and fields and family-owned businesses. From the pane, trying to appear just as detached, my own reflection looks back at me.
I say it again, for the hundredth time. “I just don’t feel like anyone knows me.”
My husband sighs, mutters sympathy.

The fourth person in the same day has said something with good intentions but no discretion. Her words inflict another puncture to my deflating heart. She has no idea that what’s a joke to her, an opportunity to offer cajoling advice, is my most deeply-rooted dream. It’s a dream that seems more and more impossible to me. I’ve shrugged, and looked away to hide the pain in my eyes, again. And again, I haven’t answered her, because I can’t find a gracious way to do so. Like the others, she didn’t mean to be hurtful. She just doesn't know me.

I’m caught in yet another grueling conversation about that thing I’ve become connected to but care very little about. Everyone around me cares so much. I don’t get it, and I'm terribly out of place. Yet I foolishly try to make it work, because I suspect this connection is the only reason anyone knows I even exist. If I bow out now, I’m almost afraid I will actually disappear.

From the outside, my small life probably seems like a placid ocean. Others express admiration, even envy. They see a jovial couple in a sweet little home with no television and a sunny marriage. They don’t know about the violent storms that tear through routinely. They may never know, for the storms are not my story to tell. But since the storms are part of my story, I fear they'll also never know me.

I shuffle into the bedroom, closing the door behind slow steps. There is the journal, the pen, the Bible— the things I gather when I hope to hear His words. Perched on the edge of the bed, desperation makes all my reading charts and plans seem irrelevant. I flip the beloved pages to wherever they would fall. They open near the middle of the book. In bold black I see Psalm 139 and I start reading:
"O LORD, you have searched me and known me."
Is this really where I’ve landed tonight? I start again.
“O LORD, you have searched me and known me.”
He knows me.
“You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.”
He knows the word-wounds.
“You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.”
He knows the out-of-place moments.
“You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.”
He knows the storms.
“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.”
There is more beauty to this chapter, but I need to soak in the first six verses before going further.

Beginning to re-read, I press “play” on the laptop. It’s set to shuffle. This is what fills the room:

I’m not unique in this. We all feel unknown at times, for every soul has carefully masked aches.
I have found a balm for mine.


  1. You are loved. You are treasured. You are held. You are known by the only one who CAN really know you.
    I will be praying for you today.

  2. Many years of my life I've spent wondering if anybody really acknowledges my existence or even has the decency to care. Things came to a head when I began a random research "project" - I wanted to know what my name means. I began to search hard, deep, down to the very roots of my name; I found it, the true meaning of my name: "Yahweh sees me". I was absolutely stunned, shocked to the point of tears and utter speechlessness. The Lord sees everyone and cares for us all, "red, yellow, black, and white, we are precious in His sight". What an AWESOME God we serve!