Devotional | Shannon Miller.

Have you ever felt alone in a crowd? I’ve felt this many times, in both secular and church settings–usually when I was in pain and no one perceived it.  The distance between me and a friend at the same table can feel like miles.

Satan pounces on such moments, to pull me further into isolation, as he whispers that I’m invisible to people, and to God. He tells me that I am overlooked and forgotten. But there is another voice I’m learning to hear in those moments–one that says, “I see you.”

Sarah Hagerty writes in her book Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet, of hearing that voice in an isolating moment, as she took part in a friend’s baby shower while enduring years of infertility herself. “The night I felt, again, cursed among the blessed was the night I caught His eye. The night I knew His comfort, His power, more deeply. In that place of rest, head against His chest, is where I realized that knowing that God sees me frees me actually to see Him. Feeling misunderstood turned into the revelation that I am fully understood. All along, I had been.”

Next time you feel alone in a crowd, let that loneliness drive you to the Father’s arms. He sees you (Psalm 33:18), remembers you (Isaiah 49:14-16), understands your pain (Hebrews 4:15), knows your every thought (Psalm 139:2), and loves you with steadfast love (Jeremiah 31:3). You can say with the Psalmist, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!” (Psalm 139: 16-18, NLT).

And once you’ve received comfort, look around for the one on the edge of the circle, the one whose face is solemn when others are laughing, and offer her the love and understanding you’ve experienced.