I have often felt lonely as a mom. It’s a weird feeling when you are always surrounded by little people to also feel so alone, but I’m rarely really alone. Sometimes the depth of my loneliness as a parent feels suffocating.
Who could possibly understand this feeling? Truly, I am not alone. In Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:22-23 we are introduced to the idea of God being Immanuel, God with us. This idea of God being with us is an idea I quickly took comfort in. Knowing I was seen by God in my struggles brings me deep comfort for my loneliness. God is so many things, but having God with me is a place to take shelter.
THE DEPTH OF GOD’S DESIRE TO BE WITH US IS SO STRONG THAT HE HAS SACRIFICED HIS SON TO BRING US CLOSER TO HIM. GOD IS OUR SHELTER, PROTECTOR, HEALER, COMFORTER, LOVING FATHER, HE IS WISE, LOVING, FAITHFUL, UNCHANGING, MERCIFUL, GRACIOUS, CREATIVE AND HE IS ALL THESE THINGS WITH US.
There are so many times my children want me with them. They want me to protect them and comfort them, show them affection, give them affirmation and remind them that they are loved. Even though I am an adult I still long for those same things.
God with me, Immanuel, is where I can find the love, affirmation, protection, healing and strength to be filled and continue to pour out to my children. My oldest daughter struggled to learn how to ride her bike without the training wheels. She worked tirelessly for 2 years to be able to ride successfully. The entire time she was working on mastering this new skill she did not want me to let go of her.
Having my hand on the back of her bike was a comfort she needed. My hand gave her the physical stability she needed, increased her confidence, and was a huge comfort to her. Sometimes I want to have someone’s hand on my back as I walk through scary or new situations. I want to have God’s hand on me to increase my confidence as I interact with my child’s educational team at her school and ask for accommodations that will benefit her. It can feel so lonely to navigate the series of waiting rooms and overwhelming to read the educational and behavioral reports on my daughter.
In these challenging situations I am not alone. I have God with me, offering similar comforts to the familiar hand that guides my daughter on her shaky bike. When the Israelites were wandering in the desert for 40 years, God guided them. God led them as a pillar of fire and a cloud of smoke (Exodus 13:21). Wandering. For 40 years. And God was with them as a visible presence. Do you ever feel like you might be wandering in a desert?
I remember before we began our process of getting our daughter identified, I felt lost, wandering, disoriented. I would move from one failed parenting attempt to another. Reading blogs, books and anything that could help me feel like I had a handle on how to connect with my daughter. I was not lost, nor was I wandering, I was being guided. Do you know what the Israelites did as they wandered following this mystical cloud and fire? They doubted, they complained and they felt that they were never going to make it out of it. I have been there, complaining, doubting and feeling like I would never make it out. Although my daughter’s challenges are quite mild, to see your child struggle in any way is painful. Navigating this with God is a huge comfort.
God deeply desires intimacy with us. He wants to be with us in all situations. God wants us to go to Him for our needs before we go elsewhere. God wants to sit with me in the unknowns and the frustrations and also wants to celebrate with me when we have success. We are his beloved children and he would rather we spend time with him then be busy, worried or distracted. God with us, Immanuel, is an unending relationship with our creator. Immanuel is seeking us, waiting for us and guiding us into a deeper relationship with him. This relational time brings joy, peace, comfort, strength and more. We just have to be willing to be with Him.
TO GROW CLOSER TO GOD WE SHOULD GO TO GOD IN PRAYER, WALK WITH GOD, SIT QUIETLY AND LEARN HIS LOVING, GUIDING CORRECTIVE VOICE. STUDYING HIS WORD IS HOW WE GROW CLOSER TO THE GOD IN US, THE GOD WITH US, THE GOD WHO SEES US, THE GOD WHO LOVES US AND THE GOD WHO DEEPLY WANTS TO BE IN AN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH US ALWAYS.
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Written by Naomi Brubaker