I’ve been reading a lot lately. I’m glad I have. I miss the quiet of ruminating over someone’s words, and, often, meditating on the instruction of the Holy Spirit.
Have you ever read “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman? You should. One of my main love languages is words of affirmation. Seems that God just created me for words. To say them, hear them, speak them, write them, love them. I need me some words.
One of the things the Holy Spirit has been beating in my heart like a drum this summer, especially through the books I’ve been reading, is that I need words, especially words of affirmation. But. I’ve been searching for them from the wrong place.
I’ve always felt a little empty, never full enough of words of affirmation. Always needing more from my husband, friends, co-workers, supervisors, family. Wondering if people really thought well of me because I just didn’t hear it enough. Until I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me, “You haven’t been listening.”
I haven’t been listening to the One who created me full of words, full of my need for words, full of my need to hear and feel words. I’ve been asking my husband for more, wishing my kids could give me more, hoping my friends, family, bosses, blog readers, social media followers will give me more. Not value, not worth, just words.
Playing over and over in my head the words that humans say to me and about me. Remembering all their words, but not dwelling on the only Truth that should be bound in my heart. The words that the Word has uttered.
It struck me that I’ve known for so long that I needed words of affirmation in my marriage, never stopping to think that if God created me that way, maybe He would help fill that need Himself? If I stopped and listened in the quiet, I could feel His Holy Words of Affirmation.
You are loved. (Romans 5:8)
You are known. (Psalm 139:1)
You are not alone. (Zephaniah 3:17)
Your are made for good works. (Ephesians 2:10)
You efforts are not waisted (1 Corinthians 15:58)
I could hear. If only I stopped to listen.
I’m working on it.
It’s one of those hard realities of loving an invisible, intangible, yet omnipresent God. I can’t see Him. I can’t touch Him. But He is with me, in me, speaks to me. Has given me a book full of words, and a soul to hear His Spirit.
I’m really working on it.
Listening in the quiet for the love He is whispering. Instead of hoping I’ll hear it from earthly lips, listening to the sound of it echo from Heaven. Feeling the vibration of the Voice speaking in my soul. That I am known, my efforts matter, my talent noticed, my personality has a purpose.
I’ve been praying that I learn this listening skill. Not just to listen for God’s instruction and correction, but to listen for His words of love for me and affirmation.
I’ve been praying that my children, who seem to be developing their own love languages of physical touch and (you guessed it!) words of affirmation. I pray that His presence would be so real, they would feel the touch of His love. That His voice would resonate so deeply in their souls that they would hear His love, as well. That this personal outreaching for them would fill them up so they could pour out His love on others. I pray these things for myself as well.
I’ve been reading a lot lately. Hoping to do a lot more hearing.