[The blog post is part of aÂ seriesÂ based on a course calledÂ Satisfed]
Here’s what I wrote in my journal today:
I feel a twinge of sorrow today…Sorrow that no one can climb into my soul and make me feel known, which is all I really want…I feel my soul drifting into places that I cannot navigate and I crave the solid ground of deep conversation and knowing eyes.
I’ve felt that way a lot this past year.
After my father died, I remember sitting alone in my apartment processing with God my deep sense of panic; I felt like I didnâ€™t know myself any more. Something about losing my father led to this sense of being untethered;Â deeply and terrifyinglyÂ unknown.
With my arms wrapped around my legs, my chin tucked on my knees and my eyes squeezed tightly shut, I remember praying desperately.
God, if I could ask anything of You right now, anything in all the world -Â Â it wouldnâ€™t be a husband, itÂ wouldn’t be one more hug from my dad â€“ it would be feeling known. Really and deeply and truly known and really and deeply and truly loved.
We were all made to be known, but there are a couple of obstacles that make it impossible to have that need fully met by the world.
Obstacle #1: We spend our lives covering ourselves up because we’re terrified of being rejected. Â IÂ recentlyÂ read this quote in a beautiful book called Heroes and Monsters:Â
“I would rather be accepted for who I am not, than rejected for who I am.”
I put the book down and lay on my bed and cried. I feel like I’ve been faking everything for so long. I select every word I say based on the perception that I want people to have of me. Â It’s exhausting and it is sabotaging my ability to be known.
I hide who I am because I know the truth: in the worldÂ knowing determines loving. Â We want to test drive the car before we buy it. Â We want to make sure that what we know about someone makes them safe to love.Â Thatâ€™s how dating works, thatâ€™s how friendships work, thatâ€™s how employment works, thatâ€™s how everything works in our world: I will decide whether I love you based on what I know about you.
And as long as those are the rules, this sinful flesh of mine is a real handicap. Â That’s why I’m thankful for God. Â His worldview is different. Â For God, love determines knowing.Â Â HeÂ knows those who are His. Â He enters into ‘knowing’ with us because Â He loves us.Â He does not love us because of what He knows about us.
Only in a relationship like thatÂ can I be truly known without fear. No matter who I am or what I do, I will never be rejected by God.
Obstacle #2: your ability to be known is based on your ability to know. Â I can only be known to the extent that (a) I am self-aware and (b) I can communicate.
I always prided myself on being someone who is both of those things, but all of a sudden, when my dad died, people would ask me pretty basic questions like – how do you feel?Â and I wouldn’t know the answer.
At my fatherâ€™s funeral, I was overwhelmed to see the support of all my friends. Â It was neat to see.Â But none of them could get in my skin. Â They could only know me as well as I could articulate what I wasÂ feeling.Â And thereÂ weren’tÂ words.Â So I couldnâ€™t be known.
I remember the anchor to my soul that day was the truth that God knows me. Â He could see all the wounds and all the pain and all the joy and all the peace that was inside of me.Â And the whole funeral, He didnâ€™t need to hold my hand because He could literally hold my heart.
God’s knowledge of you is not limited to your self-awareness or your ability to communicate.Â He knows you moreÂ intimatelyÂ than you know yourself.
And there’s only one thing better than being known like that. Â And that’s knowing Him.
No longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, â€˜Know the LORD,â€™ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.â€Â (Jeremiah 31:33-34 ESV)
Ugh. This verse makes me want to throw up tears. Â It’s unbelievable.
God just said that we no longer have to let the frailty of the human mouth tarnish the glorious truth of God. I get to know God because He has covered my sin with the blood of His Son.
In Christ, I get to be known, and I get to know all of Him.
My beloved is mine and I am His.