I’ve always thought the expression “people person” was kind of funny. I mean, I understand being a dog person or a cat person. You may like them and you may not. But how can you not like people? I guess I thought everyone was a people person! I consider myself a people person because I’ve always loved being around people and my friends make me so happy. However, sometimes I take this to extremes and rely on the people around me for everything.
In highschool, my family split up and I felt very alone. I didn’t realize that there's a big difference between loneliness and being alone. We can often feel loneliness . . . but we are never alone.
God promises that He will never leave us. “Be strong and steadfast; have no fear or dread of them, for it is the LORD, your God, who marches with you; he will never fail you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6) Don't take those words lightly.
In the midst of this hard time in life, I felt a void and I looked everywhere for fulfillment, joy, and a sense of worth. One of the places I tried to find those things was in relationships. Even if the relationships seemed healthy, I was putting the other person before Christ and didn't know how damaging it was.
A good friend once told me that Jesus should be the first person you want to talk to in the morning and the last person you want to talk to before bed. That really challenged me to ask myself: 'Is He my focus? What if God is waiting anxiously for me to wake up so He can walk with me through another day, and I don’t even acknowledge Him?'
I found that how I felt about myself was directly related to what people around me say and think about me. My self-worth was constantly rising and falling. This might be the case for a lot of people, and it’s really twisted. I don’t know if you’ve been there, but I have.
You’re My Everything
In this particular relationship after my parent’s divorce, the girl I was dating became everything to me. I drew my worth from her compliments and her attention. I drew my joy from her company. I wasn’t simply finding joy in her and recognizing Christ in her, I was putting her first in my life before Christ.
She was the one I would go to with all my problems. I went to church to see her, not Jesus. And Jesus loved me through it all. When that relationship fell apart, so did I. For months, I considered myself friendless. I had pushed so many people aside to pursue one girl. Our Lord was there with me when it all came crumbling down.
I’m not saying you can’t find joy in your relationships. You should be able to recognize Jesus in the people around you, and that should bring you joy. What I’m saying is this: You need to go to Christ first.
End of story.
He alone can satisfy. I wish I knew this from reading it somewhere. The truth is, I know it from experience. I know it from putting Jesus last and trying to find my fulfillment in a relationship. I know Jesus fulfills because I tried everything else and I came up empty.
What About You?
Maybe some of this struck a chord with you. I want you to slow down. There’s no need for sudden change or worry. Just think about these questions, pray about them, and amend to make Jesus your first love and first priority in new ways. You’ve heard some of these questions before. Don’t just skim them. Accept the challenge.
- Do you feel like you’re constantly trying to earn love?
- Where do you find fulfillment?
- Is your relationship leading you to Jesus? Are you leading the other person to Jesus?
- Is love for God what drives you?
- Do you recognize Christ in the other person? Is Christ recognizable in you?
- Who is the first person you run to?
Please know that I’m praying for you, our Mother is guiding you, and God is fighting for you.