Known

I apologize in advance if this post seems a little poorly put together. Rest assured- it’s real. Me…in real-time. Sometimes getting these thoughts out helps me bring things back into perspective. Not mine…but, GOD’s. If you look at many of the Psalms they kinda flow the same way. Nope. I am not David- but, I MAN do I relate to him. Anyways…

I woke up this morning trying to get a grip on my “feelings”. I put that word in quotes because, while God gave us feelings….they often lie. They can be a little abstract, overwhelming, stubborn, and unruly and they certainly don’t think.

Stupid feelings.

How is it that I can be surrounded and feel alone? I suspect that I am not the only one, but it seems to be a perpetual thing here. (Especially when I dwell on it. Hmm. Maybe there’s something to that.) I think God has been using those same lonely feelings to move me toward lonely people and minister to them and I am thankful for that opportunity. THAT is a positive thing. However, I am keenly aware that Satan would love to keep me in a lonely place and make me ineffective for Christ. It’s a constant battle between truth and feeling.

Last night I was at a school function. This will be our family’s third year at this school and my second year working part-time there. It’s a super small school – so how is it that even some of the teachers don’t know that I work there? Why don’t the parents know who I am? I spend many hours in that building each week and feel invisible. It’s the same thing at church. As a matter of fact, on one particular evening someone needed help in the nursery. The woman I was speaking with introduced herself and proceeded to give me a tour of the nursery and give me a rundown of the procedures. She thought I was a new member. She was completely oblivious to the fact that I had not only taught her son for a few years in a children’s class at that church – but, worked in the nursery for three years and have been attending for eight years. Invisible. I could go on, but I would not allow my kids to wallow in mud like that so I will refrain and move on.

The truth is – I want to be known. Not like KNOWN with lights and a stage, because that is SO not my comfort zone. Not even a “look at me” known with recognition or props. (Hmm…a certain Francesca Battistelli song is coming to mind.)  Just…known. My name. The real one. Not “hey, girl!” or Joanna or Joan, but Joanne. That’s Jo..anne. Yep, just like that. I want someone to know that I have 2 kids and have lived here for 15 years. (My neighbor around the corner saw me out for a walk and asked when I moved in. Seriously.) I want people to see me and look in my eyes and acknowledge that I breathe in the same spaces they do sometimes. A little more than a smile and a nod would be nice.  Uggh…guilty and convicted… I have to be better at doing that as well.

The truth is – people don’t look up often enough. Myself included. And I am not just talking about “looking up” as in making eye contact with others but, “looking UP”…like, UP…UP. We get so wrapped up in the temporal things; the things we see, taste, touch, hear and smell.  This loneliness thing STINKS- I can smell that! It’s so easy to get wrapped up in Me, myself and I.

The truth is –  if I let those “feelings” govern me instead of God’s truth, my sinful self will end up in pretty bad shape. This morning when I Googled “What does the Bible say about feelings?”, the word FOOL was prevalent among the scriptural results. There was even one scripture in Proverbs that made me wonder if I should delete this post…”A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in til afterward.” (Proverbs 29:11). Yikes. I guess it technically IS “afterward” because I waited til morning, right?

The truth is- I am known…

Known by God (Galatians 4:9, 1 Corinthians 3:8)

And HE knows me well…

Psalm 139
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Oh, Lord….Help me to remember whose I am. And to focus on all You are and not how short I fall. When I FEEL lonely help me to lift my eyes and see others and look higher to see You. Lord, I take comfort in knowing that YOU know me and loved me so much that You sent Your son to die for me. I am known by name and You see my heart and not my outward appearance. I am known by You, LORD, and need to let YOUR light so shine before men so that they may know You, too.  

So there…take that, Stupid Feelings.

 

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4 thoughts on “Known

  1. I feel you Joanne ❤ What if you sing on stage and still feel this way ? Not known… I think approaching someone in the hallway is SO much scarier than singing a solo on stage, by the way !! How weird am I ?! I’m hard to know I guess. You’re awesome though. I must battle my feelings also with the truth of God’s word. It IS a battle.

    • Oh, Wendy…I just love your heart and honesty. I think there are many, many variations of this…seen not known…unseen and not known…and I got an email from a friend yesterday who said while her name is known by many- she doesn’t really know many. I think we all just want someone to see us…REALLY see us. My husband is a super positive dude and I loved his perspective on this. He said “You’re missing the silver lining. Think of it this way…you’re AWESOME at hiding in plain sight. You could be a spy or super assassin like Jason Bourne or something!” I just LOVE my hubby. Ha ha He rocks!

  2. Hey Joanne! I know you and I love you! And I would love the opportunity to know you even better! With all of us working, and doing family things, it is hard to get to know others the way we would like to know them. Hey, I have an idea! Let me know if you have time for a breakfast or lunch someday…..

    I think you are an amazing woman of God and I love to read your words and your thoughts, because they help me to know you more intimately. You have so many gifts and talents that you use in the Lord’s service and to minister to others. Keep writing and teaching with your words that go straight to the heart of the matter.

    Love, Marlene

    • Thank you, Marlene, for your kind words of encouragement! You are right about busy lives for sure and how that lack of time depletes the ability to form meaningful relationships. Yesterday, I was SO blessed to go to a birthday party with my kids and had the opportunity to SIT (what’s that?!) and chat with some other mothers from school. The Lord made a moment to connect- I just had to be still long enough. Let’s set a date. I’d love to catch up!

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