But I Know Someone Who Is

I recently watched the movie “He’s Just Not That Into You.” I’m not a chick flick kind of girl, but I liked this movie. I could relate to the main character’s overwhelming sense of neediness. She was constantly being rejected by guys, and she was clueless as to why she couldn’t snag one.

I used to be boy crazy. I don’t know when this actually started, but I was pretty little. I recently came across a note I had written in the first grade telling Tim Crane I loved him and asking him to marry me. When I hit puberty, I would try to get boys’ attention by being loud and doing stupid things. During this time, I acquired a camera and started taking pictures of guys that I liked when they weren’t looking. Sometimes they would give me dirty looks because I wasn’t quite as subtle as I thought I was, and they got tired of me stalking them with my camera. I recently read part of my old diary where I wrote this, “I broke up with *Kyle today. I feel bad about that. But now I think I like *Bobby, and I wouldn’t mind getting with *Ryan.” I was so needy that one boy didn’t seem to satisfy. After tenth grade, when one of my boyfriends broke up with me, I stalked him and would just happen to appear different places where I knew he would be. I can tell you, my neediness didn’t draw his heart back to mine…

In college though, I found a guy who enjoyed talking with me for hours on end, and I married him. Jeff and I still talk for hours, and he enjoys it because he loves me and we’ve always been great friends, but there is a limit. We have to eat; we have to sleep; we have to take care of our kids; we can’t talk all the time. It’s just not possible. Jeff’s good at helping me process through the stuff in my head…but sometimes he’s simply not available to do this. And then I feel rejected, but it isn’t because he has rejected me. It’s because I have such neediness, and he can’t meet all my needs. He’s not supposed to.

A while back, as I was wallowing in a sad and lonely time after I had been to a friend’s house, and I had stayed a little too long, it hit me that I can NEVER wear out my welcome with my Abba. He loves me when I’m sad and lonely and needy and ugly and unloveable. I was so excited to realize that He never gets tired of me…no matter what sin or issue I’m struggling with at the time. He actually wants me to come to Him…be with Him…need Him…struggle through my stuff with Him. This gave me great hope because I don’t have to be so needy with people. Abba can handle my neediness…my loneliness…my sadness…my need to be wanted. In fact, He’s in a love affair with me. I John says, “We love Him (only) because He first loved us.”

In Matthew 11, Jesus offers this invitation, “Come to me.” And He’s not asking those who have it all together. He’s actually talking to those who are weary and burdened…the needy ones…the ones who might talk a lot, and He offers us rest. And yet so many times, I still look to other people to meet those needs. No wonder the Rolling Stones wrote the song “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” They were right. We can’t get the satisfaction we long for in other people. It’s not possible. People just cannot satisfy the deep longings we all have…to be affirmed…to be loved unconditionally. And it’s when we realize that and walk in that, it’s at that moment that we can finally hold people loosely.

So, back to the sappy chick flick…I was happy to see the girl get the guy at the end of the movie. But it was only when she released and let go and didn’t expect another person to fill the void was when the right guy came along and got all worked up over her. It made me happy for all of us needy human beings.

Henri Nouwen says in his book Spiritual Direction “If we do not know we are the beloved sons and daughters of God, we’re going to expect someone…to make us feel special and worthy. Ultimately, they cannot.” Nouwen goes on to say that we need to forgive each other for not being God. I’m coming to realize that when we put our hope in other people to provide what they cannot, when we expect them to meet our needs, then we miss seeing Jesus right there willing to meet our deepest longings…our deepest desires.

*names changed to protect the innocent and to not embarrass myself more than I already have


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