Have you ever had one of those days when your faith and trust in God is seriously challenged? You’re normally certain in Him and rest in how He has guided you through highs and lows. But then some days come where that assurance seems to come under fire and you weakly feel so vulnerable, desperately needing a sign that He is there…that He sees you. Today was one of those days.
Since learning that we were pregnant again, there has been a low rumbling of fears on the outskirts of my mind. Once you’ve had a child born with severe difficulties, you’re keenly aware that the unlikely is possible. After all, nothing is ever guaranteed. I’ve been able to fend off the fears and worries for the most part, but for whatever reason, today they came on like gale force winds. Jordan and I were at Integrity’s Glorious worship conference all day. One would think that in an environment with other Christians, fully focused on worshiping God, the day would be incredible! But from the first song’s downbeat, a tsunami of anxiety washed over me. It flooded my being and its waters did not recede. Rather as the day went on, my worry moved to fear, fear opened the door to anger, anger gave way to hardness – a hardness that I could not shake.
Where was this coming from? Why could I not break its weight? In the past 3 years, God has healed so much of my heart that had broken after Isaac died. His peace has enveloped me, opening my eyes to see His love and provision every step of the way. But today, dark clouds skewed my perspective. All I could see was the hurt, the loss, the pain. Why was this all coming back?!
By 4 o’clock, I felt genuinely stuck. The Integrity team began a Soaking worship session – a time for people to sit, meditate and rest as worship to God was sung over and around them. It was to be a time of reflection and peace. But there I sat: stuck and not knowing how to move. “Lord, I’m angry. I’m afraid. And I feel like You are a million miles away right now. Why did you not heal my son? Why did you let him die? You’re going to have to do something. I know all the right things to do and say in the midst of this, but frankly, I just don’t want to! If You really care, You’re going to have to make the first move.” Man, I was in a dark place.
Over the course of the next hour, Kathryn Scott and Brian Doerksen sang beautiful songs of brokenness, surrender and the majestic love of God who hears and heals. Tears kept flooding my eyes as I felt caught between the two worlds – the reality of how I felt and the reality of who God is. “Lord, You’re going to have to make the first move. I can’t and I won’t.” As the session drew to a close, I just wanted to leave. I was so weary from the day’s weight and could not see a reprieve in sight. I simply wanted to run away and hide.
And that’s when it happened. A stranger walked up to Jordan and I, smiling sweetly. This young woman reached out her hands to shake ours. “Hello, I’m Jenna. You don’t know me. I followed your journey with Isaac and recognized you from a picture on your blog. Ever since I saw you earlier this morning, I just had to come meet you both and let you know that you are being prayed for. I prayed for you all while Isaac was here and I’ve been praying for you ever since.” And with another smile, this precious stranger walked away.
As she turned to leave, I crumbled to a pile of sobbing cries at Jordan’s side. I could not contain my tears! In that moment, God spoke clearly and gently to my heart. “I see you. I’m with you. I will not let you go.” In the depths of my anger and wallowing self-pity, the almighty God of the universe reached out again just to let me know that He saw me. He had already shown me time and again of His love, His grace, His provision. But in my fallen, broken state – needing yet another reminder of what I already should have fully known – God moved on my behalf to show His care for me. He did not judge or condemn my weakness but rather met me in it. The King of the universe stooped down low to lift my head. He saw me as I was and loved me in the midst.
Lord, Your love endures forever. You are slow to anger and greatly abounding in love. Though I fall a thousand times, a thousand times more You will pick me up again. I don’t deserve it. I’m overwhelmed by it. Thank You for seeing me and for taking the first step to bring Light into my darkness. Where would I be without You? While I don’t know what the future holds, I know You will always be there with me. I love you, Lord.
27 responses to “He Saw Me”
This brought me to tears. Thank you for being vulnerable and writing. It will touch so many as He is touching You! …the power of our testimony. I am praying for you guys!! I love you!
Pai, I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing this. I have actually been struggling with a similar feeling about life and future, your story is a huge encouragement to me. I love you, am so proud of you, and can’t wait to see you in a few weeks.
I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing this. I have actually been struggling with a similar feeling about life and future, your story is a huge encouragement to me. I love you, am so proud of you, and can’t wait to see you in a few weeks.
Tears filled my eyes when I read this. I have also been struggling with these kinds of feelings. I am so happy you shared this. I’ll keep you and Jordan in my prayers.
I absolutely love this! Love it, Patience! Thank you for sharing it!
Thank you for sharing. It must be one of those weeks for doubting. I, too, had a day like that of which you speak. Friday. It feels so lonely to be in that place in which you feel that no one cares including the One that we know cares the most.
Still praying and loving you guys. 🙂
Thanks for sharing. Your faith is amazing and reading this makes me a stronger believer. We are keeping you Leino’s in our prayers!
Thank you Patience for sharing. Much love sweet sister in Christ.
Thanks for sharing that beautiful moment.
You speak from every mother’s heart. Thank you for reminding us of God’s faithfulness and for sharing Isaac’s life and healing.
You write so beautifully and you are humble and honest with your struggles and revelations with the Lord. Like all of your readers, I am wiping away the tears from my eyes. I am crying for the darkness that you and Jordan fight often, followed by tears of joy when you realize the Jesus is with you and loves you. I am also crying because I frequently feel that lost and doubt about my relationship with the Lord. But today, you gave me a gift and reminded me “He did not judge or condemn my weakness but rather met me in it. He saw me as I was and loved me in the midst of it” (because I could not have said it better myself).
I love you Patience. Your family is in my prayers.
WOW!!! Thank-you is not enough for what your faith has done for my own life and my own faith. Patience, your heart is so beautiful and I thank-you for sharing a part of it with all of us. I can’t wait to someday meet your beautiful family:)
Patience, thank you for sharing this moment, and this day, in this very well written blog. I had to stop reading several times cause I couldn’t see through my tears. When we share stories like this, when we are honest and bear what we are going through, it brings Him glory. This story brings Him glory. How awesome that He showed you that He sees you in just the way you needed today. Thanks for being transparent.
God is faithful. Your story is such a shunning example of this. Thank you for sharing. So many people are so blessed to have such an honest, strong and humble women as a friend and I am one of them! We continue to pray that this life you are carrying if healthy and safe and that God may ease your worries!
A lady of a child with special needs once told me something that has stuck with me for year: “The saying that ‘God does not give us anything we can’t handle’ isn’t true. But when He does give us something we can’t handle…He gives us help, hope and faith.”
Shinning not shunning.. Sill IPad!
I am so proud of you and Jordan. God is so faithful to take the first step and answer your prayer by sending someone in your path at that very moment. I can’t count the people who have been blessed by your journey through the gift God gave you to journal your time with sweet Isaac. Your faithfulness to Him shows others that God is Love!
I love you, Mom
My dear Patience. You and Jordan are still showing everyone what true faith is all about. Mom & I are so in awe of the life lessons that you both have presented to all that have been following your walk with our Great God. Your transparency to express your true feelings, while at the same time keeping your eyes on, and your love for the Lord, is the model for all to learn from. We love you so much. Dad L.
Pai, thanks for making yourself so vulnerable. You really spoke what God wanted me to hear. Thanks. Praying for you guys and the new baby.
Thank you for sharing. You are such an inspiration to other people. My heart has been blessed by this message.
Patience, Your willingness to be so real with God and so openly candid with the world about your journey is a blessing that has and will continue to transform the heart and lives of so many more than you will ever know this side of Heaven.
I sense in my spirit that mighty Isaac is sitting on Jesus lap proudly declaring ‘That’s my Mom!’
We all surround you, Jordan, Eliana and Baby Leino3 with our prayers and love!
“He did not judge or condemn my weakness but rather met me in it!”
A powerful truth spoken with such candor and grace and may God Bless with continual hope and blessed assurance.
What I have experienced in my personal walk with Our Father is that when He reveals such profound truths to us and we truly get to a point of understanding His great love and grace for us, He then expects us to extend the same to others. Only then do we release ourselves from a self imposed place of bondage.
I’m sitting at my desk at work, trying tog hold back the tears that want to stream down my face. Happy tears! God-love tears! I haven’t read your blog in awhile, but I was moved to open today’s blog and read. OUR GOD IS GREAT! He loves us SOOO much! Thank you for sharing so honestly and opening. God bless you and your family.
darling thanks for letting the Father meet you..you are an amazing woman!!!
Thank you for being so open and sharing what God is doing in your life. I had to hold back tears as I read this at work today. As this week has been a great struggle for me, it was a blessing to be able to read about your own personal struggle this week. I’m thankful to God who we both serve and the blessing He bestowed upon me through you.
moments ago I was wondering about the same question that you’ve asked…
moments later, after reading what you have wrote…relieved! He is right here with us… praise the Lord!
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Wow. Thank you for such a powerful reminder of our Gid who stabds with us in our pain. and thank you for opening up so much of your heart and life for everyone to see. Miss you guys.