God’s approval is something different than the rest. It’s unique – supernatural even. More powerful than any other.
It washes over our souls bringing with it a peace for who we are and where we are going in this life. I wish I would have known that kind of approval long ago. Long before poor choices and long before I began to feel not good enough.
So you see, when Susie Eller, author of The Mended Heart: God’s Healing for Your Broken Places, gave us a prompt called “A Letter to My Younger Self”, I felt compelled to let God work with me. I truly stand in humble awe of a God who wrapped me in His arms and delivered me from a crippling need for approval. It was a need that controlled my life and left my heart aching
Each week during this series, I have dug into some key areas that can only be fulfilled by the uniqueness of God. Today, my prayer is that my letter will touch your heart, encourage you, remind you that you are loved, and lead you right into the arms of our Savior and His God-sized approval. (you can catch up on God-Sized weeks one and two here.)
Because it is He alone that is capable of fulfilling our need for approval and drowning out the lies of the enemy.
To my younger self,
I see you, sweet girl. I see the unrest in your heart and the insecurity that lines your existence.
You don’t know who you are, do you?
You just have no idea of your worth.
Your eyes are continually wandering. Deeply examining the expressions of everyone around you. It is as if you are searching for something.
Sweet girl, I know that you are searching for approval in their eyes. In their actions. In their words. You desperately want love, but to have that, you somehow believe that all you do and say must be perfect and approved of by those around you.
Frequently, I smile when I see you cuddle in so close to Daddy in his big lazy boy chair. You love those moments, don’t you? Because, when curled up next to him watching the evening news, you don’t have to look for his approval. You just know it is there. Especially in his arms, you feel reassured.
Of course, you know you are loved. They are moments that take you away from the hyper-vigilance of your days. The hyper-vigilant search for approval.
You know about Jesus, loving Him and never doubting for even a second His existence. You even feel His presence sometimes. But you don’t recognize it yet above the noise made by the turmoil in your heart. Going to church is one of your favorite things to do and because your mom so lovingly reads Bible stories to you each night, you know His commandments.
However, you are missing Him because you are searching them.
I know you have a reason.
What a useless game – the chasing of approval. I am so sorry that there are so many who sense your weakness and take advantage of it. And you take it as an affirmation of your lack of worth.
When they hurt you, I wish I could turn your eyes off of yourself.
Sweet child, it is not you that is without worth. It is their sin spilling over onto your tender heart.
Oh, If I could only show you now to ease the ache of later. If I could only stop the moves you are about to make. Instead, you continue the relentless search in every corner and crevice of your life.
You never leave it behind.
It’s exhausting, isn’t it? Searching their eyes for their approval?
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. –Colossians 3:23 (NLT)
If only I could say,
“Set it down.
Take your eyes off of THEM.
And put your eyes on the one and only HIM.
Then see your reflection.”
Sweetheart, the King of Kings, the Master of the Universe, loves you to the ends of the earth. He thinks you are absolutely wonderful and He even knows every hair on your head!
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
Above all remember, He died for you. Just because He loves you so much! Not for what you have done. But because of His unfailing for you!
He knows you have made mistakes. Some pretty big ones. But guess what? That is why He didn’t run away from the greatest act of love the world has ever known. God didn’t run away when He knew they were going to hang Him on that cross because He saw you. Your sweet treasured face …. and He would do anything for you. Our Father only asks for your heart.
In reality, God is not shaking His head in disapproval saying that you just aren’t enough.
Instead, He says the words spewed out of the mouths of those in your life, have no truth. They come from the enemy because he is the master of all lies.
… He was a murderer from the beginning and has nothing to do with the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. -John 8:44 (ESV)
Their words, their actions, the look in their eyes are not what matters.
Look up – Keep your eyes on God!
Please believe me. It is the only approval that matters. It’s an approval that will free you from the chains that hold you back.
As a matter of fact, it’s in the pages of His Book. His Word. His Promises. A love story for all time. It’s the approval you are longing for.
You won’t need to search their eyes anymore.
And when they say those things that cut you to your core, you will know that your God is bigger than all of them. It won’t matter anymore. You will be free to follow Him and do great things, leaving behind the chains of inadequacy.
With all my heart,
Your Older Self
Dear Jesus, I pray for each and every one of my friends reading these words today to feel the power of Your unfailing love. May they look away from the eyes of others and look instead to You. May they know Your Word and line their lives up in the safety of You. I ask that You fill their hearts and out of the overflow, they love themselves and others. Knowing their worth and their identity comes from You and only You.
When ugly words spew upon them, may they fall off into millions of irreplaceable pieces? Thank you, Jesus, for knowing us so well and loving us so big. Thank you for what You did on the cross to defeat the powers of the enemy for all time, so that we can not only have eternity with You but that we can live life to the fullest while here on earth! In Your precious and holy name, I pray. Amen.
Catch the entire God-Sized Series!
Week 1 – Filling the God-Sized Hole in My Heart
In Week 2 – A God-Sized Hope to Conquer the Storm
For Week 3 – What I Wish My Younger Self Knew About God-Sized Approval
Finally, in Week 4 – Surrendering It All for a God-Sized Restoration
Before you go… Could you use some real HOPE today??