Updated: Jun 4
A letter from a friend Emma Grace—
The desire to be known and understood is powerful. We all desire to have someone feel and empathize with our pain. But much more than that, the desire to be known yet loved is much more powerful. An unconditional love. The kind that sees the darkest parts of you, sees the ugly, sees the hurt and the scars, but even still, chooses to stand by you and embrace you.
In my own life I’ve searched for this through friendships, through boys, through family, and even through Instagram followers I don’t even personally know. In order to “feel complete”, I was falling into the narrative that the world likes to call “finding your missing piece”. The idea that I needed a significant other or best friend to make me feel fulfilled and legitimately known. The idea that I need others' approval and acceptance to feel good about myself. Our culture today tries to fill that void with so many things. It can control our lives and thoughts if we are not careful.
If we think we can’t be fully loved when we are fully ourselves, we sometimes try to control how others perceive us. I see this with social media. I post things that are real and vulnerable so that people don’t think I’m being inauthentic, or I try not to be too transparent just in case it looks like my life is totally crappy. I use my platform to control how much I was known by others. A lot of us are tempted to put on a façade of how we want our lives to be perceived by our peers. We think that if we share too much or are radically vulnerable that we won’t be accepted. That might be true with some people, but never with God. And when you truly believe that you are accepted by God, what others think of you doesn’t seem to matter as much.
Striving to be known and loved by others is tiring. I go day in and day out worried about how I am perceived. Questions and thoughts swarm my head– If I am vulnerable what will that do to my reputation? Will people think differently of me if they truly know me? What is the cost of being fully known? If I’m honest, deep down I’m actually saying “If I’m fully known, then there’s no way I can be fully loved.” It’s discouraging to go through life constantly worried about others' disapproval.
Psalm 139 is such a beautiful and poetic passage of scripture. It perfectly describes how we are FULLY known by God, AND we are FULLY LOVED by Him. That word fully is lovely. Not just parts, not just the pieces we are “okay” with Him knowing. Not just the stuff that we pick and choose to be vulnerable about, no. Completely, entirely, exhaustively, intimately, and FULLY known and loved by God. Psalm 139:1-6 says
“You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.”
“You have searched me, Lord, and You know me”. God knows me, He knows my innermost being, He thinks about me countless times a day, He is with me always, He hears my every thought, yet He still loves me. He loves me unconditionally. THAT is being fully known.
I can talk about how God fully loves and accepts us all day, But until you really truly believe it in your heart nothing will change. I think if we actually believed that we are fully known and loved by God our lives would look a lot different.
Instead of needing affirmation from others to feel confident and loved we could rest in the fact that God gives us His truth to be confident. 2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Instead of trying to filter our lives to look perfect on the outside we should be confident in the fact that God knows us better than we know ourselves and still chooses to love us.
Psalm 139:13-14 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Instead of trying to control our lives, we could hold fast to His promise of the Lord’s help and direction in everything we do. Psalm 28:7 says, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him”
Instead of feeling ashamed of our past choices, we could rest in the fact that God knows our past yet still chooses to pursue us. Micah 7:18 says, “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.” God is forgiving and gracious!
Instead of feeling unequipped to be where God has placed us, we could be encouraged by the fact that our capability comes from God who knows exactly the capacity we are capable of enduring. 2 Corinthians 3:5 says, “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.” God is a provider!
Fully known and fully loved. It sounds simple, but if we do more than just hear the words, if we take time to believe and live like these words reign true, then our lives will be forever changed.
I pray that the person reading these words would not just hear words of your heart towards us, but that they would believe that they are desired by YOU! The Creator of our being and Artist of our hearts design. God thank you for loving us with unconditional, perfect, fulfilling Love. You are a good Father. Give us a new and deeper understanding of how great Your Love is!
Devotional Idea: Has your idea of what fully known and loved changed for you? What did you think it was and what do you believe it is now? Do you accept that the Lord fully knows and loves you in all areas of your life? If not, write about the areas you struggle to understand that He knows and loves. Pray over these areas and then maybe let a friend/mentor into these areas to speak Truth into them.
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A Letter To You
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DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435
Xx, MM & Laurel