Part One: Understanding the longing for MORE
A four-letter word nags at the core of most of us: more. Is there more?
Even as an overdressed little princess—wearing Mom’s most defying-high pair of heels, pearls dangling, bangles up to our elbows, and our lips the brightest shade of hot pink we could get our mischievous little hands on—we knew it wasn’t enough. Adorned, we would then parade through our home seeking the “oohs” and “ahhs” that confirmed we were a vision to behold. Yet, even if we were blessed to find ourselves the center of such affirmation, that wasn’t enough to satisfy a young heart’s longings to be noticed. More!
While my youthful days of yearning to be the princess bride have long past, I have relived them with my own prima donna daughter. And again with my golden-locks niece who spent most days claiming she was Rapunzel. Our home seems to always contain a little girl lost in tiaras and tulle, calling out fiercely, “Look at me! Look at me!”
The questions stay the same—as they did for us--when these girls leave behind the desire to capture Daddy’s heart and set out to look for “him.”
Will you notice me?
Will you choose me?
Will you fill me?
Am I pretty?
Should I be skinnier or taller?
Am I enough to be the more to catch your eye?
Full of hope, we women offer this God-sized hole within to “him,” looking to be filled: Are you the more that something deep inside is crying out for?
If we don’t find “him,” we immerse ourselves in anything that will validate our worth—careers, positions, friends, social status, homes, and sometimes even children. Our weary hearts hold onto the glimmer of hope that life could be more, and that we could be more. When all else fails, we turn to God seeking more. Why not? His Scripture says plainly,
“Delight in Him, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? So we seek Him with prayer, praise, and thanksgiving in hopes of receiving the man, the home, the career, the children—the things that we believe are the desires within. Still, when we receive them, we’re satisfied only for a moment. Then we start searching once again for more.
The question remains: Is there more?
I would venture to guess that I’m not the only woman who felt she knew the desires of her heart, even prayed for them and received them, only to find they were far from her desire. There was a season when my desire was consumed with “him.” I was a single mom of three babies under five. I was lonely and exhausted. I needed help in every way—financial help, an extra pair of hands to grab toddler twin boys running full force in opposite directions, someone to fix all of the “man things” in my home crying out for repair, someone to rush to the grocery store to grab some milk when it runs out, someone to attend to the babies in the middle of the night on the days work demanded I leave with the rising of the sun, and when our home finally found the quiet of the night, I longed for someone to hold me with the assurance “this too shall pass.” The likely answer was “him,” and oh, how I prayed for “him.”
Then he came, as if on request, making all things better. He surely had to have been divinely-appointed. He was kind and handsome, and he loved children, and he seemed to make life easier. I took pride in knowing that he cared about my every move and thought. I called it charming. Then I realized, as you may have in a relationship, that his motives were far from charming and much closer to controlling. I would love to say that I was strong and that, on first noticing his controlling nature, I ran in the opposite direction, but I didn’t. I allowed him to stay a little longer in my life, getting more entangled with each day that passed. I convinced myself that a strong person could not be controlled; I resolved to be stronger. But I found that resistance to control could bring wrath. And it did.
I’ve lived a similar "more" scenario with a house that I coveted and eventually purchased only to find that it would become a financial nightmare and threaten the health of my babies. Then there was the promotion that called us to leave a life we loved but offered pride in title and financial rewards. The promotion turned into more of a death sentence, stealing my joy as my work became my life, and I missed precious moments with those I loved.
At some point I had to come to grips with the thought, Maybe I don’t know the desires of this heart of mine. Maybe I’ve missed it?
What I can see clearly now, looking back at these scenes of my life, was that the moments my need felt the strongest—for the man, the home, the career—were the moments I needed God most. When we need Him for healing or for filling, He draws us to Him. The problem arises when we aren’t rooted in His Word because, instead of seeing it for what it is, we miss the signal and are derailed to look to the world to be filled.
When I felt that deep desire for “him,” I was coming out of the toughest season of my life. In one year, I survived heart failure, a divorce, a mother with breast cancer, and the destruction of our entire community from Katrina. I did not need a man. I needed a Savior!
The desire for His healing was so tremendous that His hand drawing me in created a deep hunger, a hunger that should have engendered a desire for Him. But I didn’t see His hand reaching out to me in my hunger. Instead I felt the need and searched for something to fill it. Oh, how I missed figuring it out!
The truth is, we have all missed it at times. We claim verses like Psalm 37:4, “Delight in Him and He will give you the desires of your heart” and make them all about us. We come to His altar with selfish motives, seeking to offer our delight in exchange for the fulfillment of our exhaustive list of wants instead of realizing that it is in delighting in Him that He fills the desires of our heart. The desires that insists…there is more!
Today, I ask you to find a sacred space or create one, and approach His throne of Grace. Ask your loving Father to show you if you need to lay down anything you are using to fill a whole in your heart meant only for Him.
In His Wings,