If I’m honest, I will tell you there is a hidden part of me that often screams like a two year old trying to get her parent’s attention, “Look at me! Do you see me? Are you proud of me?” I wish I didn’t have this deep-seated, self-centered, approval-seeking character flaw. Wish even more I didn’t have to share it with you. But I am nothing if not self aware. I know I am guilty of this behavior.
I long to be Seen. Heard. Known.
I’m not proud of this part of me. I fight against it. Really I do. I know that approval of others is not what matters.
I know that God’s approval is all I should seek. I know I should live for an audience of One. But sometimes I need reminding.
Enter: I Am, by Michele Cushatt.
I began reading this book before Christmas because I received an advanced copy as part of Michele’s launch team. I love her writing and who she is as a person, so I couldn’t wait to dig in. And wow! This book exceeded my expectations.
I Am is a 60 day journey to knowing who you are because of who HE is. 60 short devotional style essays, including personal, beautiful, compelling stories told by Michele (a MASTERFUL storyteller) lead you through an in-depth exploration of who God is and who He says you are, most often contrary to false messages about our worth and identity we hear in today’s world.
The truth found in these pages is life-giving! I am savoring each “day”, and trying to keep myself to one entry, although Michele’s artful mastery of words makes it difficult to stop at just one.
So many entries have given me great pause, and reflection. But the one I keep going back to is “Day 10: I am Known.” Michele openly, and vulnerably, shares how difficult it was to survive a harrowing battle with cancer for the third time, and how lonely it was when people couldn’t relate to the grief she was feeling in the aftermath—even though she was alive! People wanted her to be happy. To be grateful.
She was, but she was ALSO. Meaning, she was grateful for life, but at the same time, she mourned the life she used to have. I love her words from Day 10, “True empathy is a nearly impossible endeavor.”
It was in those dark moments, where Michele felt there were few who could really understand, empathize or understand how she was truly feeling, that she turned to the truth of God’s word. She writes, “At the broken body of Jesus, I finally feel known and understood…Jesus’ eyes meet mine, and somehow I know that He knows.”
Oh, to be Known!
As I mentioned. I have struggled with my own version of wanting to be Known. And Michele’s words remind me, I am not alone in this plight. Many of us long to be known on a deeper level. To be understood. To be acknowledged. To be seen.
And because of this book—and God’s word and truth found in it— I am walking out what it looks like to trust in these words,
Begin each day with a powerful reminder not only of who you are, but whose you are.
Question: Have you struggled with truly being known by others? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
(I have a huge place in my heart for helping people love well in the face of another’s struggles. Which is why Michele’s experience as both the recipient of help, and the helper, made her the perfect person to write the Foreward of my book, Alongside. I’m honored that her wisdom graces its pages! )