An angel of God found her beside a spring in the desert; it was the spring on the road to Shur. He said, “Hagar, maid of Sarai, what are you doing here?” She answered God by name, praying to the God who spoke to her, “You’re the God who sees me! Yes! He saw me; and then I saw Him!” (Genesis 16:7-8, 13)
For most people, desert seasons have represented the places of preparation or testing… places where we don’t want to linger. Hagar, a single mom, was desperate to leave what she felt like was a hopeless situation. Rather than remain in an abusive environment, she chose her only option: a risky journey on the desert road. Hagar was helpless, broken, and alone, or so she thought. At just the moment when it seemed that all hope was lost, God broke through. Even though she was not looking for Him, God found Hagar in the midst of her messy life. El Roi, the God Who Sees me, came to her rescue and called her by name.
I have wondered if Hagar ever thought, “How did I get here, in this condition, alone in this desert place?” When I became a single mom over six years ago, I desperately needed to know that God was with me. As with Hagar, my story was unfolding in a way that I had never dreamed it would. At that very place, in the rubble of my brokenness, I faced an unexpected encounter with God. When confronted by my inability to hold together my fractured life in my own strength, I arrived at the point of complete surrender to God, His love, and His plan for my life. As I finally hit rock bottom, I realized that I was never, never, never alone. God had always been with me. And there, in the middle of my desert journey, I was changed. Suddenly, my eyes were opened and I could see. I became a new creation and began to transform into the woman that He had always intended for me to be. He had seen every tear and heartache. He cared for me with an infinite love that I previously did not truly believe existed. With open eyes, I recognized Truth, His love changed me, and deep soul healing began. I was never the same.