It has been taught by some of the greatest minds in counseling that the three greatest needs that humans have are to be accepted/loved, to belong, and to feel safe.
As infants, we enter this world seeking to have these needs met.
The struggle to meet these in-bred needs manifests itself in cries for attention and in beautiful smiles when attention is given.
Business journals and articles recognize this need and how it impacts the working environment. (See attached link from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecomaford/2013/03/13/the-3-things-all-humans-crave-and-how-to-motivate-anyone-anytime-anywhere.)
Even within loving families, we can still struggle to find our own sense of purpose and destiny, to feel loved no matter what we do and who we are.
So much of life is spent searching for this feeling of complete and utter acceptance — to be completely accepted and loved just the way we are — for who we are, where we are, what we are.
When we haven’t experienced this kind of love, we will be endlessly trying to please others.
We will base our feelings of worth on how successful we are in business, finance, relationships, physical attractiveness, religious activities, moral “standing”, and educational achievements.
Our calendars will be indicative of this need to prove ourselves by a ridiculously overloaded schedule that leaves us and our families exhausted, frazzled, and certainly not “abiding” in the Lord. (See my earlier blog: https://graceinthemoment.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/being-or-doing.)
We will be known by close acquaintances for our inability to relax and rest. We will forever be doing — always seeking for something… We will struggle to fully understand our own calling/destiny.
The struggle comes when we look in the wrong places.
After encountering much hurt in our attempts to find this acceptance in the wrong places, it is easy to become afraid to reach out any more towards experiencing true love. We begin to build “walls” around our hearts to keep ourselves “protected” from those and that which could hurt us more.
What we don’t know is that we have only “walled” ourselves within our selves, and the only thing we have left is our own abilities to cope. Then enter tragedies, the challenges of life, imperfect people who are insensitive, false representations of God, religious abuse, and suffering. We begin to crumble. Outwardly, we may put on “happy faces.” We may even strive harder to out-perform, out-serve, out-maneuver everyone around us. We will even say all the right words because our “worth is based on how others perceive us, including fellow “Christians”. We can live a very “godly” life, doing all the right things. We can even think the right things and therefore think we believe the right things.
What we believe though is always what we live.
If we are still struggling, still anxious, still concerned more about pleasing others than about resting in God, still devastated when others reject us or think we are less-than-perfect, then we haven’t yet experienced what it means to truly be loved, accepted, and walking in our life purpose.
This does not mean we aren’t truly being loved. It means that we aren’t personally experiencing it. Perhaps, because we aren’t allowing ourselves to because we are afraid to entrust our hearts to anyone, including God.
Perhaps a painful situation from the past, left us feeling (in our heart of hearts) that God really wasn’t there for us, really isn’t a good God.
You can say that God is a good God, but do you really accept it? Do you live it?
When we decide that God is not a good God, we rob ourselves of the opportunity to see how He will transform even life’s worst circumstances into something beautiful.
Diamonds are formed from extreme heat and pressure. It is through this process of “suffering” that a diamond is transformed into something beautiful.
Gold is also purified by heating it so that the impurities are burned away.
The process is never easy, but the outcome is always far surpassing in beauty and magnificence.
When we surrender ourselves into the hand of the One Who loves us and desires to bring us into our “destinies,” we reflect the brilliance of His own character!
God always uses the painful circumstances in our lives for something good. When we are in the middle of the circumstance, we may not be able to see the good. By faith though, we trust and know that good will come.
When we are finally able to accept that He is a good God, then we will be able to trust Him enough to receive His love.
Once we begin to experience the perfection of His love, we will know what it means to be loved perfectly, to belong unconditionally, and to thrive fully in the capacity for which we were designed.
We must first trust God to release the little girl and little boy within us to run to Abba-