Nurse Midwife, child of God and rediscovered childhood friend of Gabrielle
Maybe it was the holiday blues. Or maybe it was the fact that I am almost 30 years old and still single, but Valentine’s Day 2013 was not a great holiday for me. In fact, I don’t remember really ever having anyone to celebrate love with on Valentine’s Day. During college, I once had a rose and balloon at the front desk of my dorm from a “Secret Admirer” – but how is that exciting when he doesn’t ever reveal himself?
This Valentine’s Day, I found myself on various social media sites, viewing different statuses and messages of husbands expressing their affection to their wives; fathers going on special dates with their daughters; boyfriends giving gifts to girlfriends, etc. Honestly, I felt jealous. I have a sweet, generous, loving father who gives my mother flowers and a card every Valentine’s Day, which makes her day extra special as those are two of her favorite things to receive at any time of the year. My only sibling – my younger sister – is married and her husband took her out for a date this year. My cat snuggled a little bit more with me on Valentine’s (because of cold weather…) but that’s about the extent of the attention that I received this year.
Growing up in a Christian household, I was raised knowing that holidays aren’t about “getting things,” but let’s be real. According to all of the movies, TV shows, advertising and marketing, you’re kind of a “loser” if someone’s not showering you with special attention or gifts during this holiday. You may have felt this way in Kindergarten when you handed out those Care Bear or Rainbow Bright valentine’s cards and you didn’t receive one back from that special friend in your class.
I went to work as usual on February 14th, which turned out to be a normal, busy day. I ended the day by stopping by my parent’s house on my way home just to check in and say hello. And then it happened. The frustration that had apparently been building up about everything related to this holiday reared its ugly head. “Nobody knows me,” I cried out to my parents. “You don’t know me, you don’t know what I like what my hobbies are, what types of gifts I’d enjoy, what type of music is my favorite, what my favorite color is, etc. If you were at my bridal shower and we were playing a game where the groom had to guess the answer to questions about me, you wouldn’t even know! You don’t KNOW me!”
Granted, part of this response could very well have been related to hormones or stress or fatigue, but I realized later that the root of this feeling could be summed up in five words: “I long to be known.” I spoke to a close friend of mine about this desire for intimacy and about how I didn’t think that it was being fulfilled in my life. She laughed and told me the story about how during one of the first Christmases with her husband, she received a gift from him that was not on her list. She received a GPS, which she now uses and is practical for driving purposes, but it wasn’t something she had wanted. He didn’t know her every thought or desire. Although he did pick up on the emotion of surprise as she opened it. “And that is because he isn’t perfect,” she said. “He is a human who is not omniscient. The problem is that my expectations make him out to be perfect.”
In that moment, Jesus gently reminded me that He knows me more intimately than anyone ever could. He spoke to me through His Word about His perfection and His attention to every detail involved in my creation. God makes no mistakes. He is Sovereign. He knows my every thought, emotion, desire … and loves me unconditionally anyway.
“Oh Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I’m going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence.” – Psalm 139:1-7 (NLT)
The key to fulfilling our desire to be known is to know our identity in Christ. To know is to believe. The only way that we can truly feel known is to believe His truths about us. When we decide to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and accept Him as the Lord of our life, He changes our identity and we become:
- His beloved – “We know…that God loves you and has chosen you…” – 1 Thessalonians 1:4 (NLT)
- His children – “For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” – Romans 8:16 (NLT)
- His friends – “…now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.” – John 15:15 (NLT)
- His royal heirs – “For He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.” – Colossians 1:13 (NLT)
- His masterpiece – “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” – Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
Valentine’s Day has passed, and my 30th birthday is quickly approaching. I’m still single, and I still don’t have any prospects. But the recognition of God’s intimate knowledge of my spirit has started overwhelming me everyday because I have made the conscious decision to believe this truth – He alone knows exactly who I am and who I was created to be.
Maybe you also don’t feel like anyone, even Jesus, knows you as intimately and deeply as you desire. This relationship we have with Jesus cannot survive if only one being seeks intimacy with the other, just as human relationships have to have reciprocation in order to thrive and survive. If Jesus is the one who is always seeking intimacy with us, what are you doing to nourish your relationship with Him that He specifically created for His glory and for His joy?