In my pastor huz’s sermon on Sunday, he used our different love languages as an illustration. He talked about how my love language is not receiving gifts…he had been speaking that language to me for several years.
Ten years ago, we attended a couples’ retreat where we learned about love languages and discovered that mine are acts of service and quality time. In his sermon, he stated, “What Stace longs for – what communicates love to her – is to be thought of…to be remembered. I think that this is what she longs for.”
As he said these words (and as I listened to the sermon online just moments ago to get the quote right), tears choked me. I swallowed hard, and tears burned my eyes….he is so right!
I fear being forgotten, forsaken, and abandoned.
There are thirty-nine years of experiences that have created who I am today, and I have spent about half of those years in counseling to understand why I think this way.
In my current life, this fear has no rational basis. My husband has shown me time and time again – even when I am hard to live with or am in a running (click here to read about this) phase – that he is not interested in ending our marriage. On a regular basis, he reminds me that I am safely in his thoughts and that I have nothing to fear.
But I want to be remembered…to be thought of…to be important to someone – or many people…and I want to spend time with people who think of me.
An aside: it is not that I do not like gifts at all. In fact, I love gifts! I loved that my dad and his wife bought our family Fleetwood Mac tickets for Christmas…but I really loved that they came to Minneapolis, spent the weekend, and then went to the show with us. I love when a friend gives me a card with money in it that says, “Spoil yourself!” – and I really love when that same friend has lunch with me to give me the card or for absolutely no reason.
As I read Psalm 22 (one of the several Psalms for today’s reading in the sermon series), I realized (again) that I am not unique in this. David felt abandoned …forgotten.
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest
11 Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.
Jesus said similar words on the cross when God turned away from Him. Hell may have fire and brimstone, but more scary to me is the fact that it will be void of God and His love. To be in hell is to experience the ultimate in abandonment, and many of us feel that on a daily basis.
Like David, Jesus, and other throughout the Bible, our hearts cry out to be remembered. We physically feel the impact of our fear as our hearts and bodies ache.
But we are not abandoned. No – we are not forgotten.
In another of the Psalms for today (34), David wrote that the Lord is good and that we can take refuge in Him.
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
As we seek Him, we will find Him. As we find Him, He will turn to us and deliver us from our fears. He is good, He hears, and He encamps around us.
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Praise be to God!
**Note: I wonder if we are the way that we are sometimes because we fear being vulnerable with each other. And I wonder if we fear that because of experiences we have had in the past. Today: if you have the chance to reach into another person’s life and see the fears and the loneliness, speak words of comfort and truth…and go ahead, give that person a big hug!
Sometimes we are the voice and arms of God who loves us. Be that…