God is all I need, or is he? - JJ Landis
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God is all I need, or is he?

God is all I need. I say that a lot. Truth is: I talk a good talk. Yeah right, God is all I need. Ha! Untrue! I want people to pay attention to me. To tell me I’m fabulous. To build me up with praise. To notice me.

Awkward silence.

Sure, I say God is all I need. Easy peasy. But I’ve noticed a trend – he is my source of strength, it seems, only when everyone likes me. Uh oh, maybe my power isn’t coming from God after all. My ego may be in greater control than I had believed.

I go throughout most days with a confident armor and a smile. I show off my extraordinarily beautiful family on Facebook, to make sure I am proclaiming to the world that God is good and I’m blessed. I say that I need nothing but God. How true is that? Hmmmm. Usually, I believe myself. I believe what my mind tells me. I believe the encouragement I receive from inhaling God’s Word and promises. When I am feeling good, it is all true.

Trouble is though, feeling good doesn’t last. Sometimes, doubt creeps up and winds its weedy self all around my sanity. My mind, steel trap that it is, has been known to let me down from time to time. When my brain falters, my heart kicks in. And the human heart has never claimed to be steady, reliable. In times of doubt, my emotions default to: “I’m a loser.” “No one loves me.”

I feed on my relationships with people. Unhealthily. And it’s when I feel rejected, alone, misunderstood, ignored that I really, really have to check in with Sir Reason and ask, “Is God REALLY all I need? Or am I giving people too much credit. Too much power?”

If the answer is Yes. Yes, that God is It, my all in all, then why am I so let down when someone that I care about seems uninterested in me, my kids, my family? Shouldn’t I be trusting in God alone, gaining all my worth from HIM rather than from how others treat me? (Yes, is the correct answer, by the way.)

On the other hand, if I’m secure in God, then why does a simple gesture of kindness send me over a cliff with gratitude? Last night while I served soup at a fundraiser meal for our youth group, a friend walked up and wordlessly handed me a bouquet of tulips. Excuse me. What? For me? Um, why?

I realized when pondering her kind gesture how unworthy I feel all the time. I am that pathetic that it shocks me when someone gives me a gift. Surely she must have misread the memo that I am a loser, unworthy of kindness.

When I peer into the heart of the matter, I see that I’m selling God short. “I don’t trust you God, don’t perceive my value in your eyes, don’t think I’m good enough, don’t think you have my back, so I’m going to seek out adoration and attention and respect from people.”

This is a dangerous and deadly mindset. People are never going to be enough. Never. This habit is exhausting, because, news flash, all these people I am using as my theoretical five-hour energy drink are just as messed up and broken as I am.

And I’m letting them down all the time too.

Not even my saintly husband is ever going to be enough. He, who is at home, as we speak, with our three kids plus an extra that stayed all night, will not be sufficient to supply all my needs. He kicked me out of the house so I could have a peaceful day at a library, relaxing and writing. Even that love and thoughtfulness will not fill up the cracks in my soul, the emptiness, the gaping holes that must be filled with God.

I (dare I say? We) need to stop tangling my efforts of upping my self-worth by sucking affirmation from others and put God in his proper place. Allow him to reign from where he is. On the throne. Of my life. My life. I am nothing without him. And that’s the best place to be. Soaking in all my energy from him and him alone. I will accept the flowers and swallow the rejection, but those acts of flesh shall not define me, will not sustain me.

  • Justacogitating
    Posted at 16:00h, 06 April Reply

    Oh my … “news flash, all these people I am using as my theoretical five-hour energy drink are just as messed up and broken as I am.” I can’t quite explain how much I LOVE this line, because it is true. So true.

    [I’m obviously way late in reading blogs (or writing any).]

  • Jen Ferguson
    Posted at 10:03h, 11 March Reply

    I think it’s doubly frustrating when you know what the right way to think is and then your heart just betrays you. Stinkin’ heart.

    I hear you and I feel like I could be in this space at the drop of the hat…because I forget. The world is tangible and sometimes God is not and it’s easy to go with the world.

    Love to you.

  • Cindy Bultema
    Posted at 21:21h, 09 March Reply

    J, I love your authenticity and vulnerability. Thanks for having the courage to put words to what many of us wrestle with (when we take the time to unpack what’s at the root of some of our crazy choices). You nailed it.

    I also think it’s time for another 2 AM chat on my family room floor. Counting down the days.
    Love you tons, friend.
    Cindy 🙂

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