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The innermost desire of my heart is to be known and to have my battle seen, truly seen. Longing that everyone I love, and who loves me, and even those who don’t love me, and I don’t love, but still know me, would somehow understand what I’m going through.
Yet, that desire hasn’t been met.
No single soul could understand my path, my journey, my walk through the thorns.
Because no one else lives in this body, no one wakes up in these bones, wrapped in this skin but me.
And so it is too much to ask that anyone would know me, really know me, inside out and out, pain and all.
Oh yes, they try.
And I appreciate them trying but they get it wrong a lot – they use words that downplay my pain, their energy directed toward my battle feels off, and their actions speak words I wish not to hear.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate their attempts so much.
When they show up and try, I see that they mean well. They do. But their well-meaningness (ya, not a word) ends up cutting through my heart like a sword and that sword pierces my soul with its disappointment and sadness.
Disappointed that they don’t see me the way I long to be seen.
Sadness that they will never really understand, a pain of what living in a chronic body feels like. They don’t get it. They probably never will.
Even if they have the same exactly chronic illness, they are still them and I am still me and they won’t know me and I won’t know them in the ways I wish we could.
He sees me, He knows me, He understands me.
— He’s been there on the night I was up laid on our old couch back in Missouri holding my head as tears streamed down my face, as yet another brain-shattering migraine wrecked me.
— He was there when I sat in my bathtub feeling like I was losing my mind from all the bacteria swimming around in my brain.
— He was there with me when my body began convulsing daily and I fought hard to fight it but it only made things worse.
He’s been there all along.
And He will be there until I meet Him face to face.
I imagine He will cup my brokenness in His hands and smile a knowing smile. The tears I cried all along released from the jar He kept them, freeing me from a life of bitter tasting fruit, from the sting of pain.
And I will melt into His embrace finally feeling what I longed for all along.
I will melt into the essence of being seen, being known, and being held.
I will finally be with the One who didn’t watch from afar the pain that ravaged my every cell, organ, gland and being, but rather the One who held me closely while He rocked me to sleep and I didn’t even know it.
He was there all along, loving, caring, knowing what I was going through – everything I was going through.
He was the One who could give me what I longed for my whole life – being truly known. Seen in a way only He could do.
So, if you ever feel like me, if you ever long to truly be seen and known in your battle, I hope you too know the Jesus I know. The one who loves you more than He loved his own life and took to the cross for you. The One who has been there even if you haven’t known it. The One who will hold you one day, too, and your tears will wiped away forever.
He is good.
I think it’s human to long for our fellow humans to know us in the same way Jesus knows us but I am coming to terms with the reality that I may never be known how I wish by man.
I rest easy that I’m being seen by the One who slung stars in the sky and breathed dust into man.
I am truly seen.
My battle is known.
My pain has been paid for.
And one day I will be set free from the bondage I’ve carried in my physical body 14 years.1
Hi, I’m Nell. First, I’m a wife and mother, and a believer in Jesus. I’m also a writer of words, maker of art, and chronically ill warrior. This space is where I document this one big beautiful and flawed life. Essays and diary entries, poetry and art, and peaks into my heart. Welcome.