Love. It’s the most powerful, most sought after emotion in the world. We want love, crave it even. We value it and hold the experience of it in high regard. We write songs, pen poems, and even willingly embarrass ourselves just to claim it. Love is a universally amazing experience.
Yet something misguided and twisted happens when we begin to love the idea of love more than love itself. We can tie our happiness firmly to it and think we can’t be happy or fulfilled unless we have romantic love or experience the love of parenthood, etc. Love for us becomes an idol.
When you’re hurting, when your life is lying in pieces around you, when you lay awake at night lost in a sea of unworthiness, your need can become dangerous. You can start doubting your worth, doubting God’s timing. This sense of desperation starts creeping in along with the lie you’re not worthy of a quality relationship, and that you’re not worth enough in and of yourself. This is especially true when you’re in a position of emotional trauma and pain because hurt makes us needy.
In those moments, I have found I have some tough choices to make. I can choose to get lost in the neediness and lack of worth or I can choose to fight my way back to trust in God’s ability to work through any of my circumstances to grow me to a better place. Let me tell you, it’s hard! When I think of the times I’ve stayed in dysfunctional, unhappy relationships just to have some form of love, even if it’s detrimental for me in the long run and I knowit, I shake my head. But I know I’m not alone in that experience. My need is bigger than my faith in that moment.
I have learned, sometimes the hard way, the importance of taking my eyes off myself and my perceptions and instead fixing them on the author and perfecter of my faith, Jesus Christ. His ways are not my ways. My way tells me there may never be enough so I’d better grab the scraps I can get; God’s way tells me He will give to me in abundance and his gifts are always good. My way tells me I’m not worth enough to be valued. God’s way tells me I am worth everything; I am priceless.
With my eyes fixed on Jesus, I slowly feel the fear ebb away. I remember I am valued for who I am and where I am at this very moment – now. Not someday; not once I change this or that; not once someone loves me romantically or I’ve given birth or entered into any other relationship I’m trying to define myself by. My definition of worth comes from the King of the Universe, who loved me enough to send his son to die for me. With Him I am complete. Now that is a love worth defining myself by.
For Further Thought: “Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” (Hebrews 12:2-3, MSG) What is one way you can reconnect with God and allow Him to encourage you when you’re lost in your own neediness?