We have all experienced moments where we felt unheard. Perhaps it was when you were a young child or teenager and tried expressing your emotions, but your parents didn't fully understand you. Maybe you had a significant other who you felt never truly listened to what you had to say. Maybe its your best friend or teacher who tries to give you advice, but doesn't fully engage with and respond to what you're saying.
It's funny that we say we feel "unheard", because the truth is our words are being heard. They are literally heard, but they aren't completely understood. Our words all have emotions, context and circumstances attached that are unique to the speaker. That's why so often we feel "unheard"; not because those around us aren't listening, but because they cannot fully grasp all the nuances we feel. I know that I have certainly experience this feeling of being unheard by those around me.
Recently, it's been heavy on my heart that I don't feel like I'm fully using all of my gifts and passions. I have had numerous conversations with people about this desire and all of these conversations have left me feeling unheard to some degree. As I'm sure you have felt before, I want to be heard in a deep and meaningful way. For a long time I have felt like I wasn't being heard by anyone, including God. I have been wanting God to give me an answer and an obvious path to take. I've learned over the years though, that He hears me even when I don't hear an answer right away. He hears me even when I feel like I'm not heard. He shows me in subtle ways through scripture, music, or sometimes other people, that He hears my words and knows my heart.
The beauty in all of this is that we see throughout scripture the Lord hearing words and desires, spoken or unspoken. This is evident in Luke 19. The chapter describes a short tax collector named Zacchaeus who hears that Jesus is passing through and wants to see who Jesus is. "He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. so he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly." (Luke 19:3-6) I can't imagine that Zacchaeus was the first person to climb a tree or get to a high place to see Jesus. But Jesus heard the desire of Zacchaeus' heart to know more about him. Though that desire wasn't spoken outloud, but Jesus called Zacchaeus down to see him up close and know him personally.
We too can hold to the truth that God hears our words and knows the deeper context. 1 Peter 3:12 says "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer" If we're believing in Him, walking in obedience with Him and trusting in Him, he is hearing us. We have all felt unheard, but there is a precious God who desires to be our listening ear. Of course there will be moments of struggle to believe that He hears us, as the devil attempts to sow doubt in our hearts. But Jesus grasps the meanings behind our words deeper than we could ever express them. God hears the whispers and unspoken hurts (Psalm 56:8) and responds with love (even when we don't see it or feel it immediately). He hears the desires of our hearts before we have even discovered them. He understands our pain, sorrow and joy more than we ever could. He has seen and heard us before we were a speck in our mother's womb because He created us and loves us.
More verses about God hearing us:
Psalm 66:18-19 NIV "If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer."
1 John 5:14-15 NIV "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him."
Hebrews 4:13,16 NIV "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him whom we must give account.; Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
John 9:31 NIV "We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will." Psalm 145:18-19 NIV "The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them."