It certainly wasn’t a coincidence; No, God placed me in a place where I didn’t feel loved to break me of my need for affirmation.
If you’re familiar with love languages (http://www.5lovelanguages.com), you’d know that there are 5 ways that people give and receive love: quality time, acts of service, physical touch, receiving gifts, and words of affirmation.
I love truth, whether it’s speaking it about others or hearing it about myself, or reminding me of the truth of the gospel; I absolutely love affirmation, not to inflate my ego, but because it’s the way I feel most loved. And it just so happens that I’m surrounded by people that use their words to remind me that I am loved, cherished, valuable, capable, and the list goes on and on. I’ve kept every sweet note I’ve ever gotten since probably senior year of high school. Each one actually means a lot to me.
Yet, I didn’t realize until this past season in Nicaragua, how much this is a beautiful constant in my life, with people who love me so well. That being said, I found myself on a team where not many people shared or truly appreciated this form of love.
For me, that meant that my love tank often ran pretty low.
It meant that I had to rely on the truth of the Lord’s love more than ever and it meant that when my heart really felt lonely or completely unseen, the Lord would provide a timely word of affirmation from dear friends.
But still, it was trying.
In those moments that I previously relied on my friends speaking truth over me, there was only me and Scripture.
In the times where my heart longed for someone to tell me a simple I love you, I had to rest in the knowledge that I am loved by my heavenly Father.
After coming home, I spent time digging into my heart, asking myself what lie I was feeding throughout those three months in those moments that I didn’t feel loved well. God showed me it was the lie that I wasn’t enough and what I was doing would never be enough.
But I am thankful for life-giving friends that exhort me with scripture and call me back into the reality of being a daughter of the Kings of kings, reminding me that by the blood of his Son we are made enough.
You see, I did not come to the realization that affirmation is bad. No, quite the contrary. Affirmation (along with speaking difficult truth) is beautiful and in my opinion, a necessary part of true community, but what the Lord needed to do in my heart required that he be the only one to give me that truth when I needed it. It meant that I had to trust in him for that sustenance.
And it was so good.
One of my hardest moments allowed me to say, “I’ve never felt so loved by my Father in heaven.” That time without verbal affirmation allowed me to take joy in a God who loves me in a way I understand and cherish the community I get to journey through life with.
So I trust that when no one understands my heart, he does and calls it beautiful.
I believe that he takes the miniscule works of my hands and makes it more than enough for his glory.
And so much more I appreciate a God who loves us deeply when we cannot possibly come close to loving him in a comparable manner.
Believe it or not, feel it or not, through Jesus, Father God accepts, affirms , and delights in his children.
…We remind ourselves that honoring God’s ways and living for man’s awe are mutually incompatible goals. Then we anchor ourselves in God’s Word and reposition our it-is-not-enough feelings behind God’s it-is-enough truth (from Anonymous by Alicia Britt Chole).
Amen to truth.
Amen to community.
Amen to growth.
Amen to love.
Amen y Amen.
-A World Changer