Blake came up with a new game a few weeks ago. 

Much to Hallelujah, our golden retriever’s dismay.

It’s called Hide-and-go-Halle, and as I understand it from the details Blake scrawled onto a blank sheet of paper, the rules are as follows:

1. You call the dog. “Halle! Halle!” 

2. When Halle comes, you pretend you can’t see her and keep calling her.

3. You continue walking around the house, pretending to be looking for her, even when she’s right beside you.

4. If she growls in frustration, you earn a point.

Poor Halle, right?

Apparently, feeling invisible is really frustrating, even to a dog.

I wonder if anyone has ever lived more than a few years as a believer and not, at some point, felt invisible to God.

When you’re holding onto hope, praying your heart out, and pleading for something – for a thing that’s hurting to end, for a place of suffering to cease, for something it feels like you can’t live without to show up on your doorstep.

You want to ask, “God, don’t you see me?”

Hannah Hurnard, the author of the beautiful allegory Hinds Feet On High Places, wrote:

“As Christians we know, in theory at least, that in the life of a child of God there are no second causes, that even the most unjust and cruel things, as well as all seemingly pointless and undeserved sufferings, have been permitted by God as a glorious opportunity for us to react in them in such a way that our Lord and Savior is able to produce in us, little by little, his own lovely character.

We prayed for the entirety of 2020 that our son’s left field of vision would be restored – that the visual field loss brought on by his brain aneurism would be completely healed. But January 1, 2021 came and went – and those circumstances haven’t changed.

Instead – I think maybe we have.

The experience of having a child on death’s doorstep brought out in Mark and in me an unexpected opportunity. Each of us, unbeknownst to the other, had a moment in that season where we said, “Lord, I’m going to trust you. No. Matter. What.”

Standing at the beginning of a new year with unanswered prayers, but with such a powerful experience in the rear view mirror, we are both convinced:

God uses the hard, the hurtful, and the heartache in our lives as pathways to holiness.

Do we want the path of heartache? Of course not.

But I mean every word of this ridiculously incomprehensible truth: I somehow simultaneously see what we walked through in 2019 as the hardest season of life I’ve ever faced, and the season most full of the presence of God, where I was most closely aware of His presence, goodness and gifts.

Somehow, He can and does turn sorrows into joys, in the most literal sense. And while He’s at it, He’s busy conforming us, transforming our character, helping us look a little more like Jesus on the inside.

Dear friend, if you only hear one thing today, let it be this. You are not invisible to God.

He hears your prayers, He sees your hurt, He knows the deepest longings and pains no one else in the world knows. Don’t lose heart. Keep sowing good seed with your life.

Even better news than that old saying “Every dog has his day” (although that is good news for Halle) – God’s truth promises a harvest of goodness awaits, if we don’t lose heart.

P.S. The book Hind’s Feet on High Places is such an incredible story that powerfully illustrates the truth that God can use Sorrow and Suffering as companions on our journey that strengthen us and draw us closer to the High Places He created us to walk on. I can’t recommend it highly enough! {This link is to the beautiful new edition with journaling and doodling space!}

P.P.S. Did you get the meal planner?!? I’ve heard from a few subscribers who signed up to receive the 2021 version and the magical email elves just didn’t send it! Those rascals! If you didn’t receive yours, please try the fresh link below, or use the contact form to let me know!

Don’t know what I’m talking about? You can grab my Five Step Meal Plan Guide, a meal plan strategy plus favorite recipes extravaganza, below! Add some strategy and some kid-approved new recipes to your repertoire this year!

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