Needing Others Is Biblical
For many years, I did not think I needed others because I did not understand God’s need of me. God needs (not as we need, but more so He desires) for me to need others. I kept to myself for many years, fearful of rejection, especially the rejection of other women. I did not have close relationships with females in my life.
Growing up, it seemed that women were mean, undependable, selfish, scared, defeated, and confused creatures; I wanted nothing to do with them. In so doing, I began to reject, and eventually “hate” myself because I was a woman too. Depression has been described as “anger turned inward.” I believe this definition. Women seemed to be flippant in my life. If I was angry at them, they wouldn’t notice anyway. Believe me, I tried to be angry at them. I tried to let them know how hurt and angry I was with them.
They ignored me with the preoccupation of drinking and remaining numb to their own feelings, and my anger grew. How in the world were they going to acknowledge my anger? It made sense then, that if I turned my anger inward, at least I would have a captive audience: myself! I use the word “captive,” because that’s exactly what I was, “held captive to the anger turned inward.” Eventually, I became a woman, but I did not know how to receive myself as a woman. And besides, I was terrified to receive the very part of me that had no role model. The unknown territory of womanhood, therefore, terrified me.
I needed to first experience the nurturing love of God so that He could begin to teach me that as my Heavenly Father, He could also comfort me like a mother (Isaiah 66:13). It has been a long, hard, healing, journey.
My first official memory of talking to God occurred when I was about 5-years-old. I remember being on the playground, climbing up the monkey bars on a crisp, cold, misty Washington morning. I believe my nose was running a little, but I was not concerned about my nose. I wanted to cross the monkey bars and feel victorious. I remember asking God (although I had never been told about Him by any adult, nor had I ever spoken with Him before now), “God, please help me get to the other side without falling in the sandpit below. If you do, I will clean my room and be a nice kid.”
Then, with a mighty swing, I was off, swinging back and forth from one victorious rung to the next. I made it safely, and very victoriously, to the other side, and thus, my conversations with God began. I understood talking with God to about the same degree a child understands talking to an imaginary friend, but somehow it seemed that God was real. He heard me and He believed in me. I sensed it in my soul.
This morning, I poured God a big cup of coffee and I put some honey and milk in it. I asked Him to please speak to me and tell me wise and unsearchable things that I do not know: Jeremiah 33:3. I was thinking about gaining knowledge for a research paper, but immediately, I heard, “I need you to need others or else you will be unrelate-able.”
I don’t think “unrelated-able” is a word, but I am not going to criticize God for His choice of words. Besides, I know God speaks to us in our own language so that we will understand Him more. I make up words all the time too, so I celebrate His creativity and I thank Him for it. He created all things; He can use whatever words He wants. As His sentence echoed within me, I was reminded that because I am not a superhero, I need the help of others. I was also reminded that if I ever fall back into the captivity of thinking I don’t need (or am too scared of) others, I will begin to also think that I do not need God. This would be a terrifying place. I have learned that the hurt, hate, and fear of others sets us up to become self-sufficient idols to ourselves.
May I never, and may you never, be held captive to such a lie. God desires for me to need others so that I will understand that self-sufficiency is never the answer and that ultimately He is the answer. This truth justifies my existence and gives me purpose and hope. I am now held captive by His love. (God is love. 1 John 4:16)
“Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." Matthew 6:8
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her website, https://kristinaseymour.com/. God loves to share His story of love and grace through us all, and Kristina believes that everyone has a story to tell.
Originally published Tuesday, 17 January 2023.