I’ve been hanging out with Hannah a lot these days. She and I first met in the pages of 1 Samuel two years ago. I can still remember it – I was out late at night, in a hard backed chair, staring out at the lights of San Salvador. The team was inside playing games, but my heart needed rest. I was emerging from a season of heartache. And my prayer was just like Hannah’s: God, see me. Remember me.
And just like that, God whispered to my weary heart: Think of all the ways I’ve remembered you. And I listed them, one by one, and my broken heart was watered and out sprung life again.
And here we are: two years later, and Hannah and I are still meeting. I love her persistence. I love how we’re told she went to the temple “year after year.” Her broken heart brought her to her knees. Because here’s the thing: the only way to keep your heart soft is by bringing to the Lord the things that make it hard. And for Hannah: that journey was the same, year after year.
When Hannah and I meet, I stumble over the fact that God closed her womb. The very thing she cried to God over was an act of His hand. Did she know? Did she know that God had touched her in a way that had broke her?
I think she must have. Because she also knew that the only One who had the power to close her womb was the only One who could open it.
I am wrestling with a closed womb. Not the same as Hannah – but that deep desire in your heart that keeps you up at night. The dream you’ve held so long – and deep down you know that it’s delay is from the hand of God Himself.
And I am wrestling with the God who both gives … and takes away.
I want to tell Hannah that I get it. I want my feet to be as brave and persistent as hers were, but if I’m honest: I’m weary. I don’t want to travel to the temple anymore. I don’t want to keep bringing it to Jesus. I’m weary and I’m done. My eyes are done letting tears slip by.
I pray for Him to take it away, to dig deep and create new dreams. I wonder if Hannah did. I wonder if she looked at her husband, the life built around her and kept begging God that what was in her hands would simply be enough.
But her dream kept persisting. Her heart kept pushing her down the steps, across the country, and onto her knees in the place she’d find God.
In the wrestling.
I still whisper to God that I’m done. I’m done wrestling. I’m done being on my knees.
But I want God more than what my broken heart tells me. So somehow, I keep walking those steps, slipping into the Temple, and bending close to Hannah –
I murmur the same prayer.
“See me,” I say.