I have been asking this question my entire life to my family, my friends, my husband and my children.
In 1997, we went to a retreat at the Haven River Inn in Comfort, Texas, less than an hour away from our hometown. It is a B&B with a deep heart for ministry and encouraging ministry leaders. Throughout the years, we became more involved through retreats, staff get-togethers, afternoon teas, romantic get-aways, weddings and many volunteer hours “sprucing up” the 14 bedroom, 100+ year old house.
Fall of 2011, the board of directors told me and my husband that they wanted to put a brick on a path down to the river in our honor with a favorite Scripture verse that described our time at the Haven as a thank you for all the support we had given throughout the years. Time passed and we forgot about the brick.
April 2012, we were leading a retreat for our Sunday school class at the Haven. Our hearts were very heavy as a meeting was coming up the next Tuesday in which we suspected my husband would be told his time as an associate pastor at our church would be ending after almost 20 years. All weekend long, God miraculously enabled us to be present with a group of our dearest friends, all the while carrying a crushing, hidden burden. My question to God was, “Do You see me?”
Saturday afternoon, we decided to take a walk down to the river. As we approached the pathway, and began to take our first step, this is what we saw:
We fell to our knees and wept. God had answered my prayer. He had seen me. Our hearts were strengthened. We didn’t know what our next step would be, but we knew God was directing our path.
The following Tuesday, our suspicions were confirmed. The leadership had decided to close the counseling department and my husband’s job at our church home had come to an end. Our hearts were broken. And yet, there was also a deep feeling of release to what God had in store for our future. I wondered, “God, do You see me?”
Two weeks later, we were contacted by the board of directors for Lamb’s Tale Ministries, the owners of the Haven. They asked my husband to become the chaplain at the Haven. Together, we would have the privilege of coming alongside ministry leaders to listen and share their struggles and their joys. Little did we know a few weeks earlier when we saw our brick at the Haven, that it would literally be our next step.
July 2013, as we began to pack for our move, I was taken by surprise at the depth of my grieving. We were leaving our home of 17 years: the place we had raised our children and had family gatherings, as well as many evenings of laughter and tears with friends. At times the grief was almost too much for my heart to bear. I gave myself permission to weep and literally wail. I wondered, “God, do You see me?”
All of our worldly belongings were taken to a storage unit, except for our chest of drawers and our clothes. We settled into a spare bedroom at our friends’ ranch near the Haven while awaiting the building of our new home. The day after our move, I packed my bag and went to Ft. Worth to help care for our 4 month old grandson. It was a delight to get away from the pain and revel in the joy of being “G”.
My stay came to a close too quickly. I found myself on a Sunday morning driving back. My soul was heavy. Tears were streaming down my face, and I asked God, “Do You see me?”
“Please, God, show me. I beg You. Speak to me. I need to hear from You. Let me see You.” About an hour into my drive, out in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, in front of a little country church, this is what I saw:
I could NOT believe my eyes! Sobbing, I turned my car around and pulled into the dirt parking lot. Then I began to worship God. I felt He was saying, “Let’s put this question to rest. I want you to know that I DO see you. I want you to trust Me in this.”
I’m not sure how long I was in the parking lot. It had become holy ground for my soul. I did not want to leave. At last, the tears subsided. A deep place of pain was released. My soul rested. I got in my car to drive home.
This was the next sign I saw:
I can go forth into my new life, into this new place of ministry, into the new temporary home, into a new place in my heart knowing He has answered my question, “God, do You see me?”
Yes, yes He does.
Kathy Ford now lives in, of all places, Comfort, Texas along with her husband and their dog. She wants to be known first of all as a follower of Jesus as she clings to Him as the anchor of her soul. Her desire is that her legacy will be that she never stopped hoping. Kathy enjoys traveling, sewing, biking, walking, but most of all, luscious, lingering conversations over delicious meals at a café with iced tea. Her greatest loves are her husband, son, daughter-in-law, grandson, daughter and her fiancé. You will often find her scheming and dreaming of her next adventure.