Although the path has not been easy, and I don’t claim to have “arrived” – because life is a never ending journey – I do feel that I have reached a hard won place of balance in my life. It helps that I’m doing something I truly enjoy, which is writing. Also, I’ve come to appreciate and love my imperfect self, which allows me to truly connect with my husband, my kids, my friends, and God.
I feel that I am on the road to fulfilling my purpose in life, and (besides being a wife and a mother), that is to be an inspiration to others and to help them find joy and connectedness in their lives. That is my deepest desire.
I think the key to true joy and balance in one’s life is connecting. We are relational human beings. It’s how we’re made. It’s what drives us. We need to find balance in our lives and feel connected 1) to ourselves, 2) to others and 3) to God – which I believe is the most important. (By the way, my “Joy List” helps me to remember to connect in all three of those areas, which is why I’m sharing it with all of you, and encouraging you to make your own Joy List.) But today, I want to talk about #3.
Most polls indicate that somewhere around 80% to 90% of the American population believe in God. If that’s true, then the next question is, “If you believe in God, do you also believe he created you?” If you truly believe that God is the Creator, then I think there are some relational truths about God that must be acknowledged along with that belief.
The best analogy I can think of is a mother and her child. As a mother, what do I feel towards my children? (Who, in a way, are my creation…along with my husband, of course.) I feel incredible, deep love. I want to protect them. I want them to be happy. I want them to be filled with joy, peace and love. I want them to know how much I love them and to be secure in that knowledge. I also want them to love me back. I want to receive affection from them, and to hear “I love you.” I want them to feel like they can talk to me about anything.
I truly believe that’s exactly what God wants from us. A loving, caring, close relationship. He loves us deeply. He wants to protect us. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to be filled with joy, peace and love. He wants us to know how much he loves us and to be secure in that knowledge. He also wants us to love him back. He wants to receive affection from us and to hear, “I love you.” He wants us to talk to him about anything. Just talk – like you would to a loving father or mother.
Now let’s look at the flip side. In a mother/child or father/child relationship, what does the child want from his or her parent? A child yearns to feel connected to their Mom and Dad. Above all else, they want to know that they are loved. They want to feel unconditional love – that no matter what happens that parent will never stop loving them. If a child does not receive that love or feel that connection, it will result in misbehavior, rebelliousness, and ultimately relational problems as an adult. It is a deep-seated, foundational need of every single child.
And I believe that’s a perfect representation of what human beings need from God. If God created us, if we are his children, then we have a need to connect with him, to feel his love and to love him back. And to know that there is NOTHING we could ever do to make God stop loving us. There is a space, a hole in our heart, that can never be filled by any person, any event or any thing. It can only be filled by connecting with the God who created us.
I spent years trying to fill the hole in my heart with other things – with my first husband, with relationships with men, with partying, with alcohol, with money, with material possessions. Until I realized the hole could only be filled with one thing – God. A God that loves me. A God that will NEVER stop loving me no matter what I do. A God I can talk to like I would my Mom or Dad. That’s the God I believe in – a non-religious God that wants a loving relationship with me. And discovering Him was the beginning of my path to finding peace, joy, love and balance in my life.
Are you unsettled, out of balance, or stressed out? Do you always feel like “I’ll be happy when…” or “I’ll be happy if….?” Do you feel like there’s a hole in your heart that you’re always trying to fill with “stuff?”
Maybe it’s time to connect. With yourself, with others or…with God.