How Seeing Sets Us Free by Whitney Akin

by | Mar 31, 2022 | The Love Offering Guest Blog Series

For as long as I can remember I’ve struggled with self-consciousness. There was a stint, before 3rd grade when I was unashamedly confident, but mean comments, embarrassments, and my own resentment of my shy, introverted personality chipped away at that innocence until I found it easier to hide myself from a world full of standards I couldn’t live up to. My rules for survival were simple: don’t speak up and don’t stand out. 


I was in my late 20s, married with little children, still struggling with the same low self-esteem from elementary school when I heard a truth that changed my perspective. A Bible study leader pointed out that self-consciousness isn’t humility, it’s pride. I was shocked and a little offended to hear this. How could someone call me prideful? I was rarely proud of myself, never self-inflated or self-promoting (I was too busy disliking myself for that!). But, as she pointed out, even though it was negative pride, I was still focused on that little word, “self”. 


What I hadn’t factored into my rules to not speak up and not stand out, was the reality that I wasn’t just hiding myself from the world, I was hiding myself from God. Without realizing it, I had wrapped caution tape around my heart and labeled myself UNUSABLE.


Over the next few years, God invited me into the slow, painful process of unwrapping my fragile heart and entrusting it to him. He courted my trust by showing me his character through his word. He showed me he is El Roi, the God who saw Hagar in Genesis 16, he’s the God who remembered Hannah in 1 Samuel 1, he’s the God who knows me intimately in Psalm 139, he’s the God who looks far down to find me in Psalm 113, and he’s the God who was available to me when I was unavailable to him in Romans 5:8. On and on his word proved his love. 


As my hiding heart emerged into his light, I naturally began to focus less on everything that began with “self”: self-consciousness, self-esteem, self-loathing, self-deprecating. I was too enthralled with him. And this God Who Sees invited me to look with him, to notice all the overlooked women still hiding away, struggling under the weight of a world that’s hard on our hearts. 



Looking up from my own failings and hurt to see others longing to be seen gave me purpose. Seeing filled my hands with words to write and my mouth with messages to speak. It inspired me to love a world I had avoided. It emboldened me to be honest. It allowed me to notice that look in others – the glassy eyes of sorrow and the fidgeting hands of self-consciousness – to meet them where they are and remind them they aren’t forgotten. 


His holy gaze frees our hiding hearts. The gift he gave me is the gift I long to give away every day – The God Who Sees sees you.


About the Author: 

Whitney Akin is a writer, speaker, wife, and mom. Her heart is for the woman who feels overlooked because that’s how she’s felt most of her life! Whitney longs to see women embrace the life-changing power of the God Who Sees and discover the joy of living seen in him. Whitney lives with her husband, Eli, and their three young children in Fayetteville, Georgia.


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I’m Rachael Adams

I’m an author, speaker, and host of The Love Offering Podcast. My mission is to help women find significance and purpose throught Christ.

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