Is it Okay to Need?
Here’s the question of the day: Is it okay to need? No, seriously. I’ve been wrestling with this lately so I thought I would just put it out there… Is it okay to need? You see, I was raised in a house where I was loved and I learned to love and care for the needs of others. But somehow, I came out believing that it was not always acceptable to have needs of my own. I learned from my mom that a woman can do most anything herself and it is better to accomplish it independently than to need the help of others. From my dad I learned that whatever you start, you must finish. Pull up some bootstraps and tighten whatever belt you must — just don’t you quit, no matter how strong the need. This may be why I have this lingering question left in the storehouses of my mind: Is it really okay to need?
Recently, I went to see a friend and her five-year old daughter, Aliyah. I hadn’t seen them for a few months. As soon as her mom opened the door, Aliyah’s little curly head pushed past her mom’s arm and popped out, her face smiling. Before I knew it, her tiny arms were around my neck, huggin’ the stuffin’ out of me! I tried to pull away, trying to keep my distance, but Aliyah just hugged tighter! So, as my eyes filled with tears, I hugged her with all I had.
I realized in that moment that I had a need. The pure, loving embrace of a child is a rare treasure. And, because she is a girl, again I felt the longing for my female friends, my mother-in-law (she died suddenly in June) and my own daughter. It wasn’t until Aliyah’s hug that I realized the longing had turned to need. When my grown daughter came for a backyard visit, I felt my need again. Everyone in my family observes the social distancing rules but none more than her. Despite that fact, I needed to hug my daughter. Elbow-bumps, hand squeezes and air-hugs were not enough; and as she was leaving, I asked for just one real, face-masked, full-on hug. And she gave it! Even though I felt like a starving beggar grabbing at a crust of bread, I relished it. After she left, I still felt the pangs of my need: Sadness. Loss. Loneliness. I tried to shake it off and accept I would just have to make due without. Still, the emptiness stayed. Is it okay to need? It didn’t feel okay. Need makes me feel weak. And it hurts. Besides that, no one wants to be the needy person in the family. Right? I’d like to add to my question--- How does God see my neediness? What would God say about me when I need like this? I think He would say something like this: “Oh, my sweet child. I see it. I feel it. And I say…Bring it on!”
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
According to God’s Word, not only is it okay to need relief from our burdens, but He’s calling us to come find this relief in Him! And this from Jesus…
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10)
Do you hear the beautiful invitation! Not only does He invite us in but promises that what we need will be given whenever we ask Him. There’s the answer to my question! Now, if God welcomes me when I am in need, I want to be okay with being in need. Here are some steps I use that may help you to walk through the struggles you’re dealing with now: Acknowledge and Understand – Instead of trying to deny or ignore this unwelcome guest, try to make friends with it. What’s inside or behind this need? Naming the need helps to deal with it, too. Then ask questions: When did it start? Why is it here? What does it want? Get Some Help –Talk it over with someone you trust. Speaking your truth and having someone listen is vital. You can also help yourself by practicing self-kindness and patience during this time. This includes allowing yourself to feel what you feel without judgement. Take Your Needs to God – Here is where it gets real, friends! The act of trusting God changes the relationship. No longer am I a starving beggar, hoping for a crust of bread. The door is opened wide and I am invited in to sit beside my Heavenly Father.
The act of placing my needs in God’s hands transforms me from beggar to Daughter.
This is definitely a “season of need” our world finds itself in. During this time of isolation and restriction, of fear and anxiety, I am sure you have felt need, too. Let’s talk about that. What/who are you grieving the loss of? What stresses have been burdening you? What need would you trust God with today? Friends, here is your invitation! Come to God with your needs. He can be trusted. God knows no fear of the future, only hope and grace. He will never tire of your heartache or grief. And He never fails to respond, whether we come with sorrow, surrender or celebration. You are His child; and when you trust the Father, there is always enough. Trust and walk in this Truth… The infinite nature of God ensures that He will always give us what we need…. Because what we need is Him. Shalom,