By Brittany Haynes
Like most young women, I’ve had this burning desire to be fully known by someone else; to be wanted and pursued relentlessly.
When I was younger, I sought to quench that desire by competing for the attention of easily distracted teenage boys who were more interested in exploring and testing my moral boundaries than pursuing my heart. Even at the tender young age of 15, I knew deep within the crevices of my soul that God was calling me to more; calling me to fully immerse myself in being His.
I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
(Jeremiah 31:3 NIV)
Although I was always anxious and devoid of peace, I continued desperately seeking for validation in all the wrong places. Those unhealthy relationships finally met their inevitable demises. While I mourned losing them for months, I knew they were never God’s will for my life.
Time passed and at the age of 21 I had been single for four years with no interest from any potential young suitor that I would seriously entertain. I feverishly wondered what was wrong with me. I asked myself the same questions that I know we’ve all asked ourselves at one point or another: Am I undesirable? Am I not attractive? Why do men not notice me or approach me? If I do meet someone will he respect my boundaries or constantly test them? I was convinced that there was and would never be a suitable mate for me. I cried out to God, imploring Him to subdue my longing to be known, pursued and desired.
The very next day, through the testimony of a transparent and encouraging woman, God called me to truly surrender my all to Him, to give up my relentless search for wholeness and joy in places that could never fulfill my thirst. He pointed to Christ, the one who had given His life so that my quest for identity would end in Him. God prompts us to not just accept this message of the gospel, but to live it. I sincerely fell at the feet of Jesus, asking for forgiveness for wanting a relationship so badly that I had idolized men, pouring out my heart, my hopes, and dreams. God met my honesty with resounding grace, and I felt a peace that I had never before experienced.
God began to gift me with simple, yet powerful revelations that inspired me to praise and stand in awe of Him. He allowed me to look back over those broken relationships and years of singleness with joy instead of disdain. You see, God is jealously passionate and protective over our hearts. He will hide us under his protective arms in our vulnerability of not truly knowing who we are and whose we are. Recognizing your identity in Christ is a process and He is willing to move mountains to guard your heart.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life (Isaiah 43:4 NIV).
I won’t pretend that every day is easy, because that’s simply not true. Some days I still struggle with living in the truth of belonging to God, but I am comforted by the fact that despite my fallacies I still belong to Him. So, to the girl who believes that she goes unnoticed, who feels as though she doesn’t catch the eye or attention of anyone, know that you captivated the heart of someone long before you were even born, long before the earth was even formed.
Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love (Ephesians 1:4 MSG).
God deemed your life and soul to be so precious that He gave His only begotten Son to die on the cross for your sins. Sister, you are beautiful, loved, and cherished, but most importantly you are His. So, don’t just simply acknowledge this truth, grasp hold of it. If you haven’t already, accept Christ as your personal Savior. Lay your insecurities at His feet and rest peacefully in His identity.
Dear Lord, Thank you for sacrificing your life so that we could discover wholeness in you. Forgive us when we seek fulfillment in any source other than you and remind us of your relentless pursuit and grace. Lead us to not only acknowledge the beautiful truth of being yours, but to live it each day.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.