Unseen: The Quiet Honor of Humble Obedience
Motherhood is often a thankless job. We aren't thanked for sacrificing our bodies, our sleep, our desires, our dreams, our personal space. We don't receive awards for the record number of bums and noses we wipe in our lifetime. We'll likely never be publicly acknowledged for the time we mended a favorite teddy bear or prepared a healthy meal. Most of what we do as moms will go quietly unnoticed, our sacrifices unseen.
As I write this, I am stretched out on my living room couch with my oldest daughter in a feverish slumber on the couch adjacent to me. She'll never know the prayers of healing I prayed over her, the extra time I took to make her chicken soup just the way she likes it, or the care I took to tiptoe past her so as not to wake her.
Motherhood is a sacrifice, yet it is a holy sacrifice. To accept the sacrifice of motherhood is to accept that what we do will be mostly unseen.
We will feel unseen.
The Gift of Unseen
When all the world seems not to notice us, God notices. When our families seem not to appreciate us, God appreciates us. When we feel unseen in the mundane routine of our day, God sees.
In the moments of our lives when no one else seems to truly know us, God knows.
When we seek first to be seen by the world, we miss the true audience for whom we live. We end up striving to prove our worth, or value, or our position by the world's standards. But no matter how hard we work, we will always be left feeling inadequate.
The gift of being unseen by the world is that our acceptance and fulfillment must come from God. When we seek first to be seen by Him, we start from a position of worth and value. There is no striving to prove ourselves when we live only to please God.
The Acceptance of Unseen
Even if living a life unnoticed and unacclaimed is a gift, it is still difficult for our human nature to accept. We naturally and instinctively desire to be known and recognized by the people around us. We want to show people our strengths, our gifts, our talents. We want to give people reasons to love and praise us. We want to be judged fairly--not just by our mistakes, but by what we do right.
The challenge of this mentality is that we're all trying to do the same thing. When everyone is living their lives trying to be noticed by the people around them, we fail to notice the people in our own lives. We're so busy trying to get attention that we have no attention to give to others.
When we accept ourselves as worthy in God's eyes, we can let go of the need to be noticed and celebrated by others. We can live freely and love freely. Instead of focusing on being seen, we can focus on seeing the needs of others around us.
The Honor of Unseen
God honors the unseen. Whether in this life or in heaven, God will acknowledge our lives and the work we have done. He will judge the goodness of our hearts, the love we showed to others, how we served our families, and how we did our best to be obedient.
Whether or not others notice and appreciate our sacrifices, God honors our obedience.
When we live in obedience to God, seeking His approval instead of the admiration of the world, we live humble lives that bring honor to God in this life and honor for ourselves in the next.
It's okay to feel unseen in this world. Remember that you are always seen, known, and loved by your Heavenly Father.