God Is Validating the REAL You!

Do you feel honored, valued, appreciated, and loved by others? Do you feel as though people know the real you—the ‘you’ that you believe yourself to be at the deepest level? We all want validation from those we care about, but the truth is that it doesn’t come that often. I will venture to say that there are more people that feel undervalued and unappreciated than those that feel valued and appreciated. This doesn’t paint a very pretty picture I know, but so many of us feel as though we’re doing all the right things, yet it doesn’t appear we’re being rewarded. Well, God has something to say about this, and if we’ll open our hearts to receive it, I believe that it will make all the difference in the world.

I’m reminded of a conversation I had with a young woman that is very disillusioned with life. She was raised with parents that love the Lord, and she doesn’t remember a time when their lives didn’t revolve around their faith. She told me she does all the things that she believes a Christian should do—reading God’s Word and praying often, but something doesn’t feel the same she said. She’s reached a point in her spiritual walk where she feels depleted—like no person or thing can fill up her empty spaces. She has feelings of hopelessness and is emotionally exhausted.

Back in the day, and in many churches today as well, the diagnosis would be one of judgment and perhaps not one of compassion and spiritual maturity. We can’t get it twisted, we live in complicated times and the enemy is busier than ever. There are a multitude of darts aimed at our direction, and they are aimed at various and important areas of our existences. Sometimes we are attacked on all fronts. Someone or something at the job is weighing heavy on our minds; boyfriend or girlfriend ain’t acting right, and maybe a family member or friend is not providing the support and care you expect. When you add financial instability, environmental craziness, and the state of the world today in this mix, becoming weighted down emotionally is a very real possibility.

Jesus Christ has told us to cast our every care upon him, and most Christians know this passage in the bible. It’s Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT): 28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Many of us do this. We give our burdens to Jesus Christ because we know the awesomeness of his power, and initially we trust him, but many of us take our burdens back. There are a couple of reasons why we do a take-back and why our commitment to surrender, release, and let it go doesn’t stick. I’d like to put a few out there for your consideration.

Lack of Prep for the Next Phase
Like the young lady I mentioned, many of us have been on this journey a while, and we know that God requires a commitment to His Word. In our minds we might be doing all the right things, but this doesn’t always mean that we’re growing spiritually. A routine can turn into inflexibility in a hot minute. It can lock us into habit patterns that work for a season, but what about God’s plans to take us higher now and in the future? Heavenly Father created life to be dynamic when it comes to spiritual growth. In this arena, stagnation is a minus and not a plus. When our spirit has received the message it’s time to go higher, but our soul is not in a listening mood, the disharmony gets translated to our hearts and minds as feeling bad. Surrendering to the reality that God wants us to cling more tightly to Him and that it’s time to move up, this will prepare us for the next phase of our spiritual journey. Praying for guidance through His preparation process will aid us tremendously.

A Misleading Need for Emotional Validation
Heighten emotions of praise and thankfulness are such a big part of the way we worship and experience God. But some us have developed a kind of dependency on emotions, and we start to trust our emotions more than we trust what God says. We have to switch that around. Our emotions should follow what God says. In other words, when we turn our dials all the way up to believing and trusting God, we might not feel like skipping through fields of daisies, but we have to trust Him anyway. The skipping will follow.

Looking to the Wrong Source
Validation is part of the soul’s appetite. All of us will seek it because it’s part of being human, but the source of our validation is monumentally important. Many of us sense this big hole inside, and it just feels awful sometimes. So, what do we do? We try to fill it. We seek to feed our souls validation from those we love, admire, and support. The trouble with this is that their food is not eternal, and it can’t affirm the truth of who we are and who we’re meant to be. So, if we’re looking to feast on any other source than Heavenly Father, we will be in a constant state of soul-starvation. This is where many of us are right now.

The soul can only be as fulfilled and whole as its most hearty and healthiest meal. When we understand this, the words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 4:4(NKJV) magnify exponentially. After fasting forty days and nights, he was tempted by the devil to turn stones into bread. He responded to the devil’s temptation with “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. ” The eternal wisdom, counsel, and promises of God’s Word is the food our souls were meant to eat. The psalmist lays out God’s spiritual menu in Psalm 34:8(NLT). He tells us, “Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!”

God knows us intimately. He knows the REAL you better that you can ever know yourself. When we’re depleted in our inner beings because our souls are starving spiritually, God can give us what we need. He has the very best medicine, and He knows exactly where to administer it. We are spiritual beings, created to thrive from spiritual nourishment. When we’re feeling depleted, devalued, and low, we need not cling to what worked in the past. God’s resources are infinite, and He loves to help us tap into His treasures. Let’s be good to ourselves and surrender totally to Him. Let’s be willing to release the things that hold us back so we can make room for the things that propel us forward. Then, we will be prepared for the next level of spiritual growth. As we feast on His Word, we’ll learn to trust the Lord in a greater way, and He will validate our souls and keep us continually satisfied.■

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

“God Is Validating the REAL You!” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2020. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

The Impossible Mr. Flynn

As a kid growing up, there’s always a person that stands out in your memory as particularly odd; for me, that person was Mr. Flynn. He walked with a limp and could barely move his left side, but even at a time when accessibility for those with physical challenges was limited, he never seemed to let it slow him down. Mr. Flynn owned a small grocery store, and if you caught him during one of his generous moods, you were sure to get a free candy bar or two. Like most kids, I loved candy, but I made it a point to try and stay as far from Mr. Flynn as possible. He amused himself with the sport of giving all the neighborhood kids nicknames, and sure enough, he had given me one too, but I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it not one bit.

The first time I heard it, I was in his store with my friends, and they never let me live it down. No matter what I did, or how far I thought I’d distanced myself from Mr. Flynn and his store, this nickname haunted me for years. I couldn’t hide my disdain for Mr. Flynn, and my classmates thought I should be ashamed for disliking someone with his condition, but my face turned sour even hearing his name. It was harmless teasing by any adult’s account, but for a chubby pre-teen with chubby cheeks, it was a nightmare.

When I think back, I don’t know why the nickname bothered me as much as it did, but I can still remember the angst I felt at the thought of having to go into Mr. Flynn’s store at my parent’s request. He was an impossible nemesis I thought. Even after asking politely that he please call me by my given name, he chuckled and refused. As I think of it now, it wasn’t so much about the name itself, but I think it was the idea that someone would say something that conjured up the most hurtful feelings within me, and I couldn’t make him stop.

His words caused my friends to look at me or think of me in a way that wasn’t how I wanted to be viewed. He didn’t cause my shame, but exposed it, and the exposure nurtured this sense in me that I would always need to hide—to cover up my vulnerabilities, and shield myself from anyone I thought would potentially hurt my feelings.

In John Chapter 8, Jesus Christ tells us about the light, love, liberty, and life that he has made available to us. In verse 12, he said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” Many of us don’t realize that we’re walking in the darkness of pain and shame until one day something wakes us up. All of a sudden, we realize that there’s been a gloomy cloud over our heads and we don’t know why.

Mr. Flynn didn’t intend to cause me harm, but still I felt powerless when it came to his ability to shame me. Even till this day, the thought that someone might render me powerless rouses very intense emotions within, but now I handle the situation a bit differently. I recognized that by hiding in a consciousness of shame or internalizing the anger, I was punishing myself. We don’t always understand the pain we’re inflicting on ourselves subconsciously, and its why Jesus Christ is so precious, because he knows our pain, and he tells us to turn to him.

In Matthew 11:28-30(NLT), he said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”  The Spirit of Christ abides within us, and he sees every aspect of our wounded hearts, even those wounds that occurred when we were young. He knows how they can affect us when we’re adults, and this is why God’s healing is so wonderful. He will heal us from the inside out. He has a loving way of revealing the thorns that continue to prick us, so that we can confront and surrender them.

One of my scripture favs is Galatians 5:1 The Message (MSG). It says, “Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.” Our job is to have faith and extend Jesus Christ an invitation. He will teach us to live free if we’re willing to learn, so that we can walk in the liberty he’s made available. We can ask him to heal our hearts in our most vulnerable places, and he will, because he loves us. In my youth, I saw Mr. Flynn as pretty impossible. He never knew how intolerable I found him to be back then, but today I see him as man who dealt with his own pain day by day, and managed to give a few kids a little sweetness along the way. For me, that’s proof positive that God has healed my heart in many ways. If you’ll ask, He’ll do the same for you. ■

Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“The Impossible Mr. Flynn” written by Fran for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2017. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!