What We All Need: Now and Forever

From the time he was little, I have tried to let my son know that he is a blessing to our family. That without him our family would be missing something.

“What would I do without you?” I would sometimes ask him.

“I don’t know.” He would say.

“I would have no little boy to read to, or tuck in bed, or tickle until he laughs,” I would say. Or something similar to let him know he was loved.

One day, when he was around 6 or 7, we were in the kitchen together and I asked him if he knew how much I loved him? “No,” he teased.

“Well bigger than this toaster. Bigger than this kitchen.” I said.

“Bigger than our town?” he asked.

“Oh yes. Bigger than our town. Even bigger than our state.”

“Bigger than the world?”

“Bigger than the universe,” I said.

And then I asked. “What would I do without you?”

And for the first time he didn’t even hesitate. he said, “Without me you would be sitting around the house all day just crying.”

I was a bit surprised. “I would?”

“Yup. Because your heart would have a big hole in it and you would be sad.”

I smiled and glanced at his sincere face that was waiting for an answer.

Now rationally I knew I would not be sitting around crying 24/7 without him, and I almost opened my mouth to tell him, and then I stopped.

“You are right,” I said. “Without you I would be crying all day with a big hole in my heart.”

He smiled and walked away. Content in my love for him.

Later that week when I told the story to a friend she asked why I hadn’t told him the truth? Was I giving him the wrong idea by not letting him know his older sister filled part of the hole in my heart? Wasn’t I promoting a mistruth by letting him think I really would be sitting around all day crying if I hadn’t had him?

I told her that of course I would not be sitting around crying all day, but wasn’t it sweet that he thought I would?

Over time I thought about her words. Should I have corrected him? Should I have promoted something not entirely accurate?

And the more I thought about it, the more I knew I did the right thing.

Because when it comes down to it, we all want to feel loved. Needed. A necessary part of a bigger group or family. We want to feel that without us, others would be sad, their life a little less bright. It’s a desire we are born with and one we die with.

I had a childhood friend who was told she was a mistake as she was growing up. The reason of her parent’s marriage. That if her mom had not gotten pregnant with her, then her parents would not have had to marry and their life would have been so much better.

What a heavy burden for a child to carry. What harsh words to weigh upon her soul and identity. What a sad message those words conveyed to her.

Who wants to be told they are not necessary? That they ruined other people’s lives? That the world would be a little brighter and nicer without them?

No one.

No one should ever hear these words.

But some people do.

And some people have.

And if you one of those people, then my heart breaks for you. And I want you to know that those words were a lie. They were selfish. They were pulling life from you, not nourishing you. No child should ever be told they do not matter. No one of any age should hear these words. These words are not a blessing. They are a curse.

Because when it comes down to it, we all want to know we are needed. A necessary part of the world. A blessing to those around us.

The tiny newborn needs to feel and hear they are wanted and precious. The picky eater playing with their Legos and learning to count needs to know how valuable they are to the family and how much they are loved. The teen with a defiant attitude and earbuds in their ears needs to know they are a blessing and joy. The mom who feels she is failing as a mom and is at a loss as how to get her child to eat some vegetables needs to hear how valuable she is. The man who is worried about providing for his family and connecting with his kids needs to be told that he is loved heart and soul.  The worker who can’t seem to please their boss and doesn’t feel like they fit in with their coworkers needs to hear they are part of the team and needed for more than their output. The person in a wheelchair that feels like life is moving on without them needs to feel they are valuable and loved no matter their abilities. The 92-year old neighbor whose kids rarely visit needs to know she makes a difference.

We all need to know we are special, that we make a difference, that we are loved unconditionally, and always will be. That others delight in us and enjoy us.

Our enemy wants us to doubt the love from others, to feel negated, and not needed. Most of all he wants us to doubt God’s love for us. He wants us to ultimately believe we are unlovable ad steal our joy and hope. Because if we think we are unlovable we isolate our self from others. We don’t love others and they can’t love us.

If we really knew the deep love that God has for us, nothing could stop us. Nothing. It is the most important thing in the world. The most powerful, motivating, and life changing thing. God is love. Always and Forever. He will love us because it is his nature. He can’t help but love us. And that is a wonderful thought.

He sees us through eyes of love. He sees us as valuable, necessary, and wonderfully made. He uses many terms of endearments to proclaim his love for us. We are his beloved, his children, his treasure.

Remember this fierce love he has for you, now and forever. Especially on dark and long days.

No matter what anyone has ever said or told you. You are valuable and necessary. Without you the world would most certainly be a little darker, a little sadder.

Believe this. Live like you are loved. Like you do make a difference. Because you do.

Now, go tell someone today how much you love them. That they make your world brighter.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important!

Theresa

 



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14 thoughts on “What We All Need: Now and Forever

  1. Believers constantly are told that God loves them with an everlasting love and he values us and gives our lives worth… and we shouldn’t look to others for that sense of affirmation. I’ve wondered though, doesn’t God use other people as conduits for His love since the Bible also tells us to love one another, encourage one another, support one another, bear one another’s burdens etc? Aren’t we extensions of His love? And if so, what happens when believers don’t love each other in this fashion? Is there a way to practically know God’s love in a way that it becomes enough for an individual believer when people don’t love each other well? I’d be interested in your thoughts on these questions. thanks for your post.

    • Wow Karen, great questions. I do know God does love us with an everlasting love. He also uses people as conduits of his love. The bible has many examples of that, as well as commands to love one another, even as he has loved us. As we grow and mature we can look to God for our affirmation more than other humans. But if we are to encourage one another and love one another, isn’t that also affirming to us? If we are to speak God’s word to one another and remind each other of his truth and his love or promises to us, that is very affirming. Adults and children are much different though. How could a child look to God more than humans for affirmation and love? Children rely on other humans for their love and they need affirmation from other humans. As we love them, and they grow, we teach them about God and his love for them. As we do this, it seems we are extensions of his love.

      Being humans and sinners, though, we often don’t love each other as we should. And when we don’t, the whole body suffers and society suffers.

      As to your last question, I think it is harder for most of us to believe God’s love for us when people around us are not loving each other or us well. We are human and the physical does effect us.

      These are complicated questions and they have given me some things to think about. Thanks Karen. I am just so thankful for God’s everlasting love and want to pass it on to those around me.

  2. This writer is tip top! She continually surprises me with her insight and understanding. I do think that, if she lost her son, a part of her would always be crying for him until God gave him back. (No way did she mislead her son. She told him the truth 100%.)

  3. I love how you answered your son, Theresa. Your conversation affirmed his worth and showed him how important he is to you. There’s nothing wrong and everything right with that. This post reminds me of something my husband told me just last night. My younger daughter was ironing something and told him that she likes the smell of the iron. When he asked why, she said it was because it reminded her of me. Just about melted my heart, those words! 🙂

  4. Such a beautiful reminder here! What a sweet story about your son, Theresa. So true that kids need to know they are loved beyond measure. I often tell mine, “You’ll never know how much I love you!” Just last night my husband and I skyped with our young adult son.

    And my parents need to know the same thing. I’m going to call my mom today!

    • Those kids need to know we love them, no matter their age. I know I sure appreciated my dad when he reminded me he loved me and then encouraged me, even as an adult. No matter our age, hearing we are special, is a good thing. And as you reminded us, our parents need us to hear it from us too. Thanks Betsy.

  5. Reassurance that he is loved was the right answer! My dad told me that I would never be as good as my brothers, because I was a girl, and I had better get used to it. Well, I have never gotten used to it, and that conversation still brings tears to my eyes when I remember it 50 years later. So many times I have wished he had not said that. I love the flower pictures you share here! Flowers always make me smile.

    • Ahh Janet, my heart breaks for you and the words you heard from your dad. Words like this hurt and we carry this hurt for a long time; often our whole life. When the bible says our words carry the power of life and death, it knows what it is talking about. Those words killed a bit of you. Despite what your dad thought or said, you are seen as a beloved child and no matter what, you are good enough because He is good enough. Believe this. God loves your fiercely, he bought you, and he tenderly loves all of you. In his eyes, we are all the same. Boys and girls.

      Flower pictures also make me smile.

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