The Joy of Being Known
When was the last time you cried in front of someone? Who are the people in your life you can be vulnerable and honest with? We all need people we feel safe with, who we can share our joys and heartaches with, who we know love us no matter what we are feeling or facing.
But the sad truth is that so many of each day’s opportunities for deeper connection pass us by. Our conversations stay at a surface level. When we interact with others, we can’t seem to go deeper than stating how busy we are and perhaps providing some details of our current life circumstances. But we crave deeper connection. We crave being fully seen, accepted, and appreciated.
This can be extremely difficult if we (consciously or unconsciously) believe that our value as humans comes from what we have or do, which is the message we are told again and again as we go about our days. And so our interactions with each other have become a measuring stick for how well we are living up to our own and others’ standards instead of opportunities to love and appreciate each other. We feel that we have to put our best face forward so that others will approve and validate us.
However, the truth is that our value comes from being beloved humans, made in God’s image, ransomed by Jesus’ life, indwelled by the Holy Spirit. Whether you feel that you “have it all together” or feel like your life is falling apart before your very eyes, you are so loved. You are so valuable.
Healing our fear of exposure begins with our relationship with God. Do we truly believe that God loves us unconditionally? Do we feel like we have to “have it all together” before we can come to God? Jesus is inviting us to stop striving, to come and sit with God, and to experience God’s gracious love:
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.’” (Matthew 11:28-30)
When we have rested in God’s love for us and begin to see ourselves as God sees us, as beloved and highly valued, it will be easier for us to connect more deeply with others, since we do not need to compulsively prove our worth to other people. We are freer to accept ourselves as we are and, in turn, accept others as they are.
May you encounter God’s presence and love today in your journey toward authentic life.