She [Hagar] gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi [the “well of the Living One who sees me”]. — Genesis 16:13–14
Three years ago I wrote this letter for two friends of mine with special needs children. Today I post it for children who struggle with mental illness, for those struggling with hurting themselves or others, for the ones who feel overlooked, unfortunate, forgotten, marginalized: for the many young among us who seem to be fighting on the slopes of an uphill battle. And I speak this letter over the mothers who care about, pray over, fight for, and cherish them day in and day out of every season.
Like Hannah and Ishmael,
YOU are not forgotten. The God who sees- El ROI- sees you.
To the ones who say “no”; those who don’t believe; the ones who have doubted; all those who have ceased along the way to pray- I say NO:
The mere fact I pulled you from a womb and you stand here today is belief.
The fact that things in this life meant to harm and kill you have not succeeded is belief.
The fact that ashes can have life and beauty can be found in their rubble is belief.
The fact you stood on death’s pins and came back is belief there was more.
How you are not beaten, shaken, or put aside;
how the resurrection of your mind comes daily;
how the word “no” has not won;
how rebirth happens over and over again;
how you continue to reach for my hand and yet you have not stood on your own;
how your very heart is not beating on its own;
how the fire in your eyes is yet to be extinguished;
how it keeps finding a way to glow;
how you keep getting up, over and over, fighting still;
If despair were stronger, it would have certainly won. It has not. You are the very proof I have overcome because you keep getting up. You keep trying to stand. You keep believing. You keep reaching for my hand.
You are my very proof of life overcoming. Vita vinceres.
Recognize the constant close beat you hear, fighting for you. My heartbeat around you since day one.
My heartbeat still beating in yours, always and forever,
Your Abba Father
But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.