Who believes in you?
Who really SEES you as you really are, both the good and the bad…. and BELIEVES IN YOU…DEEPLY?
We are made, MADE, to be seen.… and BELIEVED IN. WE NEED THIS!
We all have strengths, and we need our gifts and talents to be seen, to be witnessed by others. We don’t need everyone to see us, but we do need some key people in our lives, in our true tribe, to see us.
For those of us who were not adequately seen and adored as children, the need to be seen can be felt even more keenly. Ashley* never felt seen in childhood. Her younger sister was always the prettier, more gifted, smarter child, and Ashley felt she paled in comparison. Her parents were always busy and overwhelmed with their restaurant business, and they parented Ashley with the crumbs of left over energy they happened to have. Ashley grew up feeling that neither who she was, nor her accomplishments were celebrated. She also felt alone in dealing with her struggles. As an adult who is a mother and nurse, she longs for the validation she never had as a child.
Imagine training for the Olympics, but never having anyone see your talents or believe in you. It is unlikely that you would ever get to a high level of development without others seeing the potential in you and shaping it. Like the Olympic dreamer, we need others to see deep into us, with eyes of the Spirit, and see the substance of what could be, what God wants to bring forth and mold within us. We need others to join with us in our dream, and pull out of us that greatness that God put within us, His “greater than we could ask or imagine.” In truly being seen with eyes of faith, both by ourselves and by others, we can become the exquisite mom, writer, CEO, wife, friend, entrepreneur, etc. that we long to be.
We also need those same safe tribe members to see our faults and challenges, and to love us radically, wildly, and without judgement, as they believe in us and encourage us on in the way that is best for us.
We, (that is them, us, and everyone else), are all a glorious mixture of that which is amazingly inspiring and that which is still incomplete, faulty, and flawed. In all our blemishes and in all our glorious passions and callings, we need to be seen, heard, loved without judgement, and believed in.
Several years ago, I was helping many parents, children, and adolescents to improve family functioning, and child behavior and mental health. Many families were being helped. On an ordinary Thursday, I was notified by friends that one of my children had been featured in a local magazine as “a child to watch.” After purchasing a copy of the magazine, I realized that one of my children had been featured in a full-page article! My parental pride sored!
Later, that same day, I received a phone call from my children’s school. I answered the phone, thinking that the school personnel would be congratulating our family on the article. After all, our child was “a child to watch!”
No….that was not why they were calling…. Sigh….I received the news that one of my children had been caught drawing genitalia on the middle school bathroom stalls! To be real here, he was drawing penises in permanent marker on the stall walls!!
What did I do? I addressed the situation with my son’s behavior, certainly, but then I pasted an image on my Facebook wall which summarized my feelings exactly, “WORLD’S OKEST MOM.”
Here is the beauty though: God was using me, a psychologist who was also an ordinary mom, from an ordinary family, to heal other families! In all my flaws and fabulousness, I was a healing agent of God for others.
God sees our flaws and our glorious potential! We see this in the way Jesus’ handled Peter. Jesus saw Peter’s impulsiveness in the many times Peter was quick to speak or act out of turn, including when Jesus predicted Peter’s denial of Christ that would occur as Jesus was being taken to be crucified. But Jesus also saw who Peter was called to be, even changing his name from Simon, which can mean “a waverer” to Peter, which can mean “a [large, solid] stone.” After the resurrection, we see Jesus seeking time with Peter in particular, to encourage him after denying Christ and to send him forth in his calling. Jesus saw all of Peter, sought and loved him, all of him, wildly, and believed in him unendingly.
The Lord sees you too. He believes in you. He has a good plan for you.
Sometimes it can be scary to really let people see us. What if they see our faults and failures and judge us as terminally unfit? We sometimes forget that those around us are also a mixture of greatness and failures. Healthier people can own both their flaws and fabulous parts and move forward in life without being bogged down in a cloud of shame. We all feel shame at times, but the key is to move forward in our passions while seeing ourselves realistically and as the uniquely gifted individuals that we are.
Let those around you who are “more safe than not” see you. Share your dreams with those who believe in you. If no one around you can do so, find a new tribe. And begin to listen more keenly to the voice of the Spirit. God has a lot to say about his awesome, fulfilling, and perfectly designed for you plans! Moreover, as you are truly seen, you will begin to believe both in yourself and in others. You will naturally, authentically, and with faith, see and invest in yourself and others!
– Dr. Barbara