I was struggling. Recently graduated from grad school with a master’s degree in hand, I was supposed to find a job easily. I applied to teach freshman English at the university I graduated from. I was a shoo-in, I was told – a guaranteed hire. Except I wasn’t. So when I was passed over for a job that should have been easily mine, I started to doubt whether God even saw me.
This was already Plan B for me. I wanted to be a magazine editor – to write stories and edit about things I cared for. But finding such a job proved difficult. I tried Plan B – teaching in academia. When that failed too, I crumbled. I cried out to God and demanded he answer.
“You spoke directly to the prophets, to Paul and to others in biblical history. Why don’t you speak to me? What’s my direction? What’s my purpose?”
Hagar felt that way too. After conceiving Ishmael, Sarai looked down upon her and treated her harshly. Hagar ran away – alone and confused. In that place, God met her and comforted her.
“She 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’” (Genesis 16:13).
When things don’t go as planned, it’s easy to doubt. It’s easy to go through our day-to-day life and wonder if God even sees us. Does he see my struggle? Does he see my pain? Does he see my confusion? Does he even see me?
In one loud night, I literally yelled those same questions out to God. My money was running out and I was scared and confused. And in the quiet after the storm, I heard the ding of my email. It was someone from the university contacting me to do some freelance editing work. It wasn’t permanent and it wasn’t a big, fancy job, but it confirmed that God saw and he cared.
A couple of months later, I landed a job in my hometown as an editor for a national magazine. Because sometimes when you start working on Plan B or even Plan C, God still gives you Plan A. Because he is the God who sees.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans of good and not of evil, plans to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.” – Jeremiah 29:11-12