If I’m a spiritual orphan, I have no roadmap for knowing how to function in a relationship. How could it be otherwise? An orphan’s early life was void of relationships so knowing how to relate to others, even superficially, is absent.
Here are some questions you’ve probably asked yourself. I’d love to be close to someone but how do I know when ‘close’ is ‘too close’? When is it okay to need a friend, spouse, or child, and when is my need out of balance? Can others sense my deep emptiness and if so, do they avoid me?
I’ve been a spiritual orphan and, after redemption, I’ve mentored a few spiritual orphans. I had one of them ask me, “Am I toxic to you?” And later, this. “When you see me coming, do you sigh in weariness?” The questions are surely ones that make one squirm but they were asked in desperation. Fear of abandonment was driving them.
Before I can relate to anyone deeply in a healthy way, I have to know how to relate to my Heavenly Father. He is the instructor of the heart. He is Wisdom. His guidance is specific and He invites me to come home to Him. He offers to be my Father in whatever ways I need Him. The good news is ~ I can not need too much. He’s always glad to see me coming. The more I need Him, the more He likes it and blesses me. As I spend time with Him in study, prayer, and meditation…my needs will be re-defined. Over time, I will feel the desperate need in my heart for others tempered. God does spiritual surgery on me even when I sleep.
In the safety of my relationship with Him, I learn how to be intimate. I learn to look to Him first for what only He can give. I learn to sense His nudging when I’m around others. He may cause me to think twice before saying something inappropriate. He also may prompt me to ask for help when I really need it. On this frightening journey of connecting to others, He is my guide. I will learn ~ sometimes people come through for you. And just as often, they don’t. And when they don’t, my Father waits for me to come home to heal. His frustration with others’ choices is evident and if the offense is bad enough, I sense a measure of righteous anger in His heart. I learn that He is ‘for me’ and not ‘against me.’ And He longs to heal me when humans are flawed if I will just live with Him in His presence. Why did I wait so long to go home? Why did I run from the very One I needed all along? Those are the questions!
Who is like my God? No one. He said in Isaiah 46. Listen to me, I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born. I will be Yours throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.
Intimacy. Lord, You know I craved it like water. I found it, first, in You. Amen