Affirmation. It’s my love language for sure. Words of affirmation from friends and family perpetuate the relationships from loose connections to 3-fold cords which cannot be broken. Yet God has been showing me something lately: affirmation from man is like man–it is temporal, it is fleeting, and it fades. Affirmation from man will not last. Tell me you are proud of me today and I will float through the day and maybe even the next on a cloud of assurance and joy knowing I am loved and appreciated. Yet then something will be said, something will be done–or something will be left unsaid or undone–which will in turn cause the fleeting feelings of man’s assurance to blow away like a vapor in the wind. It’s vanity. It’s not meaningless, but it’s not eternal either.
For years I craved, longed for, and even sought out man’s approval and affirmation. To go any period of time without someone affirming me would leave me doubting, fearful, and wondering what I did wrong. I wasn’t happy unless I knew others were happy with me. Silence was deafening. And then to know for sure someone was unhappy with me was like a knife to my heart; I could not handle it. It brought death to me in many ways. Yet God has shown me living to make man proud of me left me like man: broken. God has shown me depending on something broken to make me whole only leaves me more broken.
So how can I be whole? By trusting in what is eternal: God’s affirmation. His affirmation is the only affirmation able to reach the innermost places of my human heart and heal them and make them whole. What God affirms, no man can reject.
So last night I got down on my knees and began praying to God about this need for affirmation, this desire to feel like someone is proud of me, that someone cares for me. I asked Him to help me grasp with my heart what He wanted me to know. And He did. Oh how He faithfully did. No sooner did the prayer “I just want to make You proud of me” leave my lips than I heard my God speak “I am proud of you.” The chains fell off. My need to hear man affirm me vanished. It’s gone. My Heavenly Father affirmed me! And His affirmation is living and eternal.
Think about it….it makes total sense to me now. I am proud of my children, not because of what they do or don’t do, but because they are mine. I am proud of them because they are mine. God is proud of me because I am His. He loves me. He chose me. He is proud of me. No human affirmation could ever compare to the life giving affirmation of my God. God’s proud of me. Not because of anything I’ve done. I can’t MAKE Him proud of me. Nothing I could ever do or say could MAKE Him proud of me. He IS proud of me. For I am His. He’s proud of me because I am His.
And so are you, my friend. So are you.