God’s heart says, “I see you”

Published 9:28 pm Thursday, February 23, 2017

By Tonya S. Swindell

“Heartbeat” was the theme for the 2017 women’s conference at New Life Church of Virginia Beach. LaTaunja Johnson, Pastor Kathy Peaks, Christina McBride and Dr. Sonya Austin discussed God’s heart for women. Singer/songwriter Demetria Stallings led worship and former 700 Club co-host, singer and author Sheila Walsh provided the message.

Johnson taught about journaling our intimate conversations with God. Peaks discussed having a strong and healthy heart toward Him.

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McBride discussed balancing roles as wife, mother, employee and church worker. She admitted to “striving at the expense of her peace” when feeling anxious about getting things done. Austin addressed practical ways to handle stress.

During Friday night’s worship service, women sang a prophetic song to the Lord proclaiming: “I am not ashamed. I feel Your heartbeat bringing me back to life.” And Stallings informed women that when Isaiah 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God,” it really means: “Let go.”

Walsh shared about personal struggles from childhood. She also told how emotional wounds led to her psychiatric hospitalization in adulthood.

On Jan. 27, Walsh said God’s message to women is: “I see you.” One week later, “I See You,” was also the title of the Feb. 3 entry for Our Daily Bread devotional. It highlighted the biblical story of Hagar, an Egyptian slave.

Amy Boucher Pye explained, “After many years of Sarai and Abram still longing for an heir, Sarai followed the custom of the culture and told her husband to conceive through Hagar. But when Hagar became pregnant, she treated Sarai with contempt. When Sarai mistreated her in return, Hagar fled far away to the desert. After the encounter, Hagar called the Lord ‘El Roi’, which means ‘the God who sees me’ (Gen. 16:13), for she knew she wasn’t alone or abandoned…”

“Jesus Calling” devotional by Sarah Young referenced the same passage on Feb. 3, saying: “I AM WITH YOU AND FOR YOU. You face nothing alone-nothing! When you feel anxious, know that you are focusing on the visible world and leaving Me out of the picture. The remedy is simple: Fix your eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. Verbalize your trust in Me, the Living One who sees you always…”

Knowing that God sees and cares about His children reminds me of my friend Yolanda. She organized this year’s women’s conference, and our sons play basketball together. Yolanda cheers loudly at games, letting players know she’s aware of their efforts by saying, “I see you!”

Some people fear knowing that God sees them. However, 1 John 4:8 says, “God is love.” And 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

So we can be confident that when God says, “I see you,” He knows what we’re experiencing and has compassion.

Tonya Swindell writes a blog for www.inspirenewlife.org and a teacher for Kingdom Building Equipping School (KBES.com). She can be reached at 1brightot@gmail.com.