Visit Melissa’s blog today and post a comment. I read Chapter 3 this weekend while on retreat, it was a very good Chapter. I related to many things Renee talked about. I will post some (not all) of the things that stood out to me:
Page 51: “You’ve been trying to earn your value in everything you’ve done. But you will never find the love you long for in anyone or anything but Me. I AM the unconditional love you are looking for.”
That statement gave me chills and brought me to tears because it sums up my life.
Page 51: I had no concept of love without conditions. It was all I had ever known.
My whole life was filled with conditional love. Looking back I can see how my mom (who was very miserable and empty) looked to us kids as a way to fill her up and when we couldn’t she reacted to the pain. She shut us out and gave us the silent treatment – essentially she put up another wall to hide her pain – to me the silent treatment was the worst thing ever, even worse than the yelling. I felt like she couldn’t even stand to be bothered with me. But know I see that somehow during a day, week or month I didn’t live up to something she NEEDED even though I didn’t know I failed b/c I didn’t know what I was supposed to do, so to save her from more pain she shut down and pulled away.
I can even see where I have done the same thing with the people I love and require to fill me up. They don’t even know it’s the job I assigned them and they aren’t sure why I am upset at them.
Page 51: The thought of God valuing me so much that His love would never fail – even if I failed Him – was inconceivable, yet something deep in my soul told me it was true.
It’s sometimes still hard for me to grasp but I remind myself how much I love my son and daughter and NOTHING could take my love away from them, absolutely nothing. I may not like their decisions, actions, behavior, friends, etc. but I could not ever stop loving them. How much greater does God love us?
Page 52: Searching for significance and trying to fill an empty place in my heart with people, places and things. I had been trying to earn my parents’ approval because I lived for their affirmation.
I have lived for anyone’s affirmation but I never believed them even when they gave it to me.
Page 52: Those who struggle with insecurity and find ourselves int he shadow of doubt often get there b/c we are seeking validation in people’s opinions, our worth in accomplishments and our identity in excessive committments….we either get tired and quit trying or we push ourselves to the point of burnout b/c we don’t know how to set boundaries.
Oh how this is me! I can see how I got here too. When I couldn’t be filled up anymore by the people in my life I tried to seek my validation and worth in what I could do for them. Perfect wife, mother, sister, employee, friend, etc. only to feel more ignored when my efforts werent’ recognized like I felt they should be. And when I tried to express my frustrations and hurt I was told “you are too sensitive.”
So I have quit trying to please other people. I have quite thinking that my responsibilities are of any importance. I have perfected the art of procrastinating – see how good I am at perfectionism. And in the process I have hated who I once was and who I came to be.
I no longer hate myself but I am not fully healed from the doubts, lies and insecurities. And I haven’t yet found the middle road between perfection and procrastination.
Page 55: Jesus helped Sam see that no person or position, such as being someone’s wife, could fill the empty places in her heart. Just like He has done with me and just like He wants to do with you, He showed Same what she was looking for and where she could find it. Same was looking for love that wouldn’t fail, even when she did, and that day she found it in Christ.
Each time I have finally received the “thing, person or position” in my life that I thought was my heart’s desire, I still felt doubtful and unsecure. I didn’t magically instantly become confident and it’s because I was looking to outward “things” to make me secure and valued. Things will never fulfill us or make us secure….only Jesus can do that.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. ~ Psalm 36:7