I originally thought to post this picture on Instagram with a caption something along the lines of, "My Mother-In-Law knows me so well, she gave me perfume and a purse for my birthday," and I may still do so. However I started to ask myself why I hadn't yet. Why am I so excited to share this little tidbit of my life in the first place? It's not so much about bragging that I got a new purse or a new perfume for my birthday, or even that I have an abnormally healthy and enjoyable relationship with my Mother-In-Law. I do so appreciate that my relationship with her is such she would give me a birthday gift I would not only enjoy but be thoroughly excited about, but I think part of the reason I hesitated to post this may have been because it seemed petty to me to share such a seemingly small thing with the world. Then during a conversation with my MIL about something else entirely yet eerily related, I realized that most of the time it's the small things that make us feel known by others and by God. It was the experience of feeling known I was excited to share, and still I found myself not quite knowing how to translate it into social media speak. How do you fully express how much such a small thing made you feel so fully known in 140 characters or less? Hence, my frustration and my pause. I feared maybe they will think it's just a silly rolly stick of perfume; and yet to me, it's an unconscious outpouring of love reflecting a deep relationship making me feel seen, heard, and loved.
To be known is such an incredible feeling that sneaks up on you in unexpected yet simple ways. We search for it, strive for it, contrive it, and manipulate it to make it happen, yet it is one of those things which the more you force, the less genuine it becomes. The lesson comes in the giving-in to the giving-up, in the letting go to simply letting it be. Letting others know you. Letting others express their love for you in their own way, in their own time. And to think that when others do it, it is simply a reflection, a mere shadow, of how God loves you, sees you, and knows you.
So today, I offer you this picture of a perfume stick because it's the only visual I can display (for the moment) of what it means to be known. And I share this because I hope it may show that it’s possible, this thing we yearn for, to simply be known.