Lately, I have been dealing with the waves of approval seeking and today something came flooding out when journaling and I felt the need to share. I pray that in sharing my uncomfortable struggles and bondage, it might set someone else free.
“Father, I see myself striving towards approval again. I don’t know how to stop.
I try and do well and then suddenly I’ve arrived at approval’s door and I haven’t any recollection how I got there. Sometimes approval let’s me in. I feel like a wanted, treasured, special guest. But I notice something amidst the backdrop of happy self thoughts, You aren’t there. I don’t need You there. When I have the world’s approval, I don’t need Your’s.
And so I leave, seeking to find You and Your approval and forgiveness and I find my peace again. And then I notice who isn’t there, feeding my approval, the world. Then I run long and hard in the other direction, losing time, losing sleep, chasing, chasing, after this elusive approval and I find myself once again at the party, accepted, embraced, approved of, right where I wanted to be, and then I notice again, You aren’t there with me.
This time I am torn. I can feel their approval. I can see their acceptance. Yours is so hard to palpitate with my human hands. And so this time, I stay. I don’t leave. I want this approval this time.
It doesn’t take long for people to turn, to have a different opinion than mine, to talk badly of me, to judge me. It doesn’t take long until I feel all alone in that once accepting room.
I slink out, completely unwanted and unnoticed.
I feel like the Prodigal Son, covered in slop and fearful to return to the one who loves me perfectly. You always loved me so perfectly. So, I slowly plod my way back to You, feet and heart heavy with the pain of rejection , knowing You had every right to do the same to me. But You don’t. You have a very different love than I know how to have, give, or even receive. You come running to me. You see me from a long way off, heart covered in shame for choosing the world over You, and You remove these stained garments from me and put Your grace all over me. And I am loved, accepted, wanted, approved of, needed, created perfectly by You.
Thank You Father, thank You for this!
I love You so!”
This journal entry is a bit crude and though I desperately wanted to edit it and make it better, make it more than it is, I needed to leave it alone. Changing it, is like trying to change me. Trying to edit myself to make myself more likable, more approved of. It kind of negates the purpose of sharing this entry in the first place.
If you are struggling with acceptance today, and you find yourself running, seeking, searching to find your validation, I hear you. I see you. I am daily struggling in this with you.
Father, I ask that You would be with us today, as I know You already are. I pray that You would envelop us in Your approval and belonging. Please let us feel Your love with our feeble human hearts. Would You surround us with Your grace today? Would You forgive us today? Would You allow us to see You as You come running toward us? Our world is hurting and broken and we desperately need to know that we are perfectly loved and accepted by You, regardless. We are so broken without You. I love You so! Amen