There is nothing in this world which feels better than having a full-on, personal, spine tingling connection with Jesus. Oh how I love that feeling! I would give nearly ANYTHING to have just a few moments of that incredible feeling. I have to say I have been blessed with many, many occasions where I have experienced that connection in my life. I pray they continue to come and I pray my heart remains open enough to feel them when they do come. I can tell you without any doubt that I love Jesus in a way I love no other. I can also tell you without doubt that I am very high maintenance and require a lot of attention and connection to feel cared for and loved.
When I thought about what to give up for Lent this year, the first idea I had was to give up Facebook. I did that several years ago and I admit, it was difficult. This year I knew it would be all the more difficult. As I said, I am high maintenance and need connection to feel cared for... and I knew that giving up my Facebook time would truly be a sacrifice because that is how I achieve a lot of my connections these days. I made some excuses as to why I shouldn't give it up for Lent and ultimately I disregarded the idea. I am feeling some regret over that now... feeling as though it was really selfish of me not to bite the bullet and make that sacrifice, especially considering what Jesus sacrificed for me.
Since Lent began, I have been struggling with a few things that have a lot to do with connections and need for attention. I realized today... I am in a vicious cycle and the only one who can get me out of it is... Jesus.
Here's how it's been going down...
Having had it before, I find myself longing for that full-on, personal spine-tingling connection with my incredible Savior. But instead of being satisfied with the spiritual connection, I have been desiring a more physical connection and since He isn't here physically... I find myself lonely for Him. That loneliness then drives me to desire the contact I feel I need from flesh and blood people instead of burying myself deeper into my spiritual connection with Him. I think in my head, I believe I'm taking the easy way out. I use tools like Facebook, instant messaging, texting, email, telephone and coffee/lunch dates with friends to try and fulfill that intense need for connection within myself. The problem is, man/woman can never fill the void that my Savior was intended to fill... so even though it FEELS like the easy way out... all I am doing is prolonging my state of need. The longer I remain in need of connection, the more I desire it... the more I desire it the more I look to man/woman to fill it... the more I look to man/woman to fill it the longer I go unfulfilled... the longer I am unfulfilled the lonelier I become for Him. Like I said... vicious cycle. The good thing about recognizing the cycle is that now I can do something about it.
I was feeling extremely lonely for Jesus the other day and reached out to a friend in my sadness. She told me to pray for the Spirit to fill me. But... I didn't want to pray for that! I was feeling stubborn and decided that I wanted Jesus to be what I wanted Him to be. I wanted Him to find a way to fulfill me physically somehow... not spiritually. I wanted what I wanted.
I know Jesus is aware that I have a real need for physical connections, which is why He loves me so much that He gave me an amazing husband and some really great friends. But I also know that He doesn't want me to use those gifts to replace Him. I have decided I need to put more time and effort into my spiritual connection with Jesus, instead of always heading for the instant gratifications of man. So, I'm going to try really hard to put Him first by taking a moment to pray to Him and listen to Him BEFORE I head for Facebook or my cell phone.
Those of you who know me well know there is a lot going on in that head of mine... stuff that medications have to fix. You also know that I have been struggling with lots of medication changes and adjustments. I want to thank those friends who have really been there for me through it... who have taken time out of your days and nights to connect with me and help me feel cared for and loved. Some of you have brought me an insane amount of laughter which I love. It has meant a lot to me and I thank God for you!!! I want to say a special thank you to my amazing husband who never fails to be the presence of Jesus with his patience, the arms of Jesus with his hugs and the voice of Jesus with his words. I am truly blessed, even when I find myself so incredibly lonely for my Savior... for if He didn't know me the way He does, I would not long for Him the way I do.