I don’t even know where to start.
It’s been one of those weeks in which my brain has been running a thousand miles an hour…but because my body has been running a thousand miles an hour as well, my brain kind of had to take a back burner for a few days. And now, for the first time in over a week, I’m alone and there is silence. Which is so calming, but at the same time, is taking some adjustment. And as I’m trying to process through some of the thoughts of the past week, starting as simply as remembering a few of them. I’ll start with the one thought I remember clearly.
I have spent the bulk of my life on a quest for approval. This is something I’ve known for a long time now, but after 26 years of building habits around that journey, it’s a hard thing to counteract. And it’s hard not to let my heart be affected when people I care for and deeply respect don’t approve of the way I live my life.
Last weekend, I heard my dad say something to me that I’ve always known, deep down, but never really wanted give too much thought to. “I don’t understand you. I love you, but I don’t understand you.” And while my actions responded with my general incontrovertible sense of humor, laughing and telling him that I don’t always understand him, but I love him, too, a part of my heart cried out for him to tell me that he wants to understand me. That he wants to hear where my heart is and, even if he doesn’t agree with it, try to understand how it got to where it is. For me, as very much a daddy’s girl, that flippant comment felt like ice down my spine.
I so want him to be a part of my journey, to be a willing participant in my spiritual development and growth. And so many parts of me ache at the knowledge that, because we’re different and our brains work differently and our view of ministry looks different, he doesn’t understand me. And I struggle with the fear that he doesn’t want to understand me, because I’m different, and understanding something different is always a little scary. And the idea that my dad, whom I love more than almost anyone, doesn’t want to understand me…that breaks the heart of this grown woman more than I can express. Because of that quest for approval.
And yet, as He always does, my Father reminded me of something this week, several times; through His word, through the comments of friends, through the inner wandering ramblings of my mind–I don’t live for the approval of men, I live for His approval. I don’t have to live for the approval of my dad. I’m going to say that again, because it’s hard to hear and harder to say and I need to remember it. I don’t live for the approval of my dad. I was not created to live for the approval of my dad, nor of any other person on this earth. I live for the approval of the only One who actually knows my heart. Knows my journey intimately. Has watched me in the best of moments and in the worst of moments. Held me while I cried tears of frustration and tears of joy and tears of absolute anguish. He knows my heart and the ways that it beats to chase Him and to know Him. He knows how deeply I crave truth and the Gospel, even when that craving manifests itself differently than it does in the hearts and lives of my parents.
I am understood. I am understood and known and approved of–not because of anything I am or do, but because of the grace and blood of His son. Because He created me and He’s ordered my steps. He gets me. I am understood.
That’s a start.