One of my dearest friends, who adores animals, always says, “Everything needs to be loved,” as she ruffles up the facial whiskers of any furry creature who will allow it. Those words are so much more profound than they sound in her puckery little baby voice.
Considering my aversion to social activities, my distrust of anyone I haven’t met (as well as a few that I have), and my ongoing affair with self-sufficiency, it’s kind of surprising—or maybe not surprising at all—that I also struggle with love-starvation.
It’s never enough.
There’s no amount of attention, praise, adulation, romance, validation, or camaraderie in the world that could satisfy me.
Here’s another ugly story about myself. Some years ago a friend of mine gave the message at church on Sunday morning. I could barely pay attention to her words, I was so eaten up with jealousy. I knew it was wrong to feel like that, and I hated to even admit my angst, but I told the hubs about it when we got home. “I’m older than she is, I’ve been at the church longer, I’ve got the same level of education. Why did they ask her instead of me?!?”
Hubs cut right to the heart of the issue. “So you want to speak at church?”
“No!” I responded without hesitation. Preparing a talk is a lot of work, I’m not a theologian, and I don’t long to give a sermon one tiny little bit. “But I want to be asked to!”
Love me. Please, everybody, validate me. Tell me I’m worthwhile. Convince me that I’m special and valuable and important and beautiful and adored.
Now, before anyone goes blaming any of the people in my life for not caring well enough for my emotional needs, remember that I’m broken. The love-starvation is simply one more by-product of that hole in my roof, called “unimportant”.
Yes, I need to forgive others for not doing the impossible job of filling up the black hole of need inside me. But more importantly, I need to let Jesus both fix me and fill me. Only he can definitively answer my most down-to-the-brass-tacks question: Am I loved?
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I am like a desert owl of the wilderness, like an owl of the waste places;
I lie awake; I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop.
-- Psalm 102:6-7
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With questions for personal meditation and space for journaling, this 40-day devotional series offers a deeper look at Christ's command that we forgive. For a personal pilgrimage, or as a resource for group Bible study,40 Graces for Forgiveness: a Healing Journey invites seekers of forgiveness and healing to the path on which God longs to meet us all. $6.49 at Amazon.com. Find out more about 40 Graces for Forgiveness: a Healing Journey.