I am Hagar
We each have our own story, our own idea of how we expect things should or will go; a plan for our lives, dreams we hope play out as we’ve imagined. ….This is NOT what I imagined. I didn’t choose this; any of it.
For years I saw myself as insignificant, weighed down by a legacy of rejection and lacking value.
I was once apart of Pharaoh’s court; knowing nothing of want or what it was to be a servant. The life I knew was one of privilege. I was lavished on and wore fine clothes and jewelry. I came from wealth and power, which guaranteed respect. I had attendants and servants who saw to my every desire, and I would spend hours pampering myself with beauty oils and treatments, in preparation for suitors who’s pursuit I excitedly anticipated. I remember dreaming of the nobleman that my hand would be presented to who would be so deserving. From there I would be the mother of a new dynasty who’s legacy would be known throughout the world for ages to come. Such ambitions were the results of the world I thrived in.
I remember the day those dreams died. The day Pharaoh gave me away to a hebrew woman; his former concubine, no less! He just gave me to her as if I were a possession and not a person; like I was just another gift of livestock as not to anger their hebrew God! My life was nothing of consequence, nor my dreams. I wasn’t asked if I wished to go. Rather, I was forced to leave everything I knew and every dream; stripped of it all.
I didn’t know how to be a servant, nor did I want to be. Still, my mistress, Sarai was kind to me, as she was known to be, and I took refuge in her kindness as I adapted to this new life that was now mine by default. I’d gone from a palace to a tent. She sensed my disdain, and empathized with me, as it echoed her own sorrow. It didn’t take long to understand her empathy; neither of us were experiencing the lives we imagined.
Sarai, was barren. Yet, her God had promised her husband more descendants than the stars. I would see the sorrow in her eyes, as with each passing year, this promise became more intangible. One night, she had the thought to give me to her husband to try and realize this promise. My disdain once again fresh. I had no choice, and once again, I was given away, as a possession.
Conceive I did, and as I carried the child, I began to feel as if my dream of a great legacy was possible. Perhaps not as I had imagined, but I was carrying the only child of Abram, to whom his God had promised to make a great nation. This made me special, didn’t it? I was once again superior and deserving of respect, wasn’t I? So I decided I’d demand that respect of the one who gave me no choice. I was ignorant of the repercussions that would be a result.
Sarai, who was once so kind to me, now despised me. Every day I reminded her that I was doing something she couldn’t. And I enjoyed it. But her retaliation became unbearable and she treated me as if I were nothing. I was nothing; that was my truth.
So I ran away. My very name means to flee.
“The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied. The angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count.” And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the LORD has heard your cry of distress.” Genesis 16:8-11
But it was here, as I ran from my circumstances and crying out in anguish, the hebrew God, saw ME. He heard my cry and met me there in the desert of my misery.
Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the LORD, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?” Genesis 16:13
The Living God of the universe spoke to and cared for me. Me; the one of no value, the one who was nothing; and He restored my significance. He made me a promise that I would have a legacy of which I’d dreamed. It wouldn’t be the last time He would meet me in my desert of misery, either. Again, reminding of MY significance.
He’s the God who sees me….and I am significant.
Read more on Hagar with us on our Learning from Their Examples series:
- Would You Rather Be Right or Be Happy? – Cindy
- Hagar, Attitude is Everything – Tonya
Heather Whidden loves Jesus, is married to her best friend and is mother of 3 blessings. She is a professional photographer and has a heart for ministry. She loves spending time with her family and friends, writing, reading, and traveling. Time and people is what she values most. You can read more about her here.