"If They Only Knew..."
I've heard it said before that every human heart desires one thing & one thing only:
To be fully known, and at the same time, fully loved.
And, after a couple of prayers and long looks inside the deep recesses of my heart, I am happy to announce that I am no different. I want to be fully known and fully loved.
It's what's been hiding beneath my deep desire for marriage, my passion behind building and being part of community, and my dream of connecting with people all around the world with my words. Beneath it all is the need that drives it: the need for intimacy.
Because that's what it means to be fully known, at least. It means being intimate with a person. Which sounds like your typical Disney princess kind of movie, right? To spend all of your perfect, fairytale moments with the prince charming of your choice, riding off in the sunset for a good ol' classic happily ever after to summarize your future.
Well, if you've been here long enough, you would know that I very often take the liberty of rudely awakening you. And, I hate to do this to you again, but allow me to give you a better picture of what this actually looks like:
Being intimate is not always this cutesy, glittery, let's-rub-our-noses-and-coo kind of ordeal. No. It's more like a "I-never-noticed-you-had-food-in-your-teeth-and-crust-in-your-eye-until-I-got-close-to-you" situation instead.
To be known doesn't mean our social media version of being known—where I allow you the privilege of knowing what I eat for breakfast in the morning, what I read in my bible before leaving for work, what I'm wearing that day, who I'm hanging out with in the evenings. If that's all you knew, I would feel extremely safe inside of your view of me. Instead, being known means to be fully known—meaning, all of your faults, flaws, weaknesses, struggles, insecurities, issues, accomplishments and failures alike are completely exposed, not having anywhere to hide, nor having anywhere to run. Fully known means to be fully, one-hundred-percent seen.
And, if the hairs on the back of your neck stood up straight reading that, I'm not going to lie to you:
So did mine.
Being intimate is risky. Being known is scandalous. Being completely exposed to someone else is uncomfortable—a little too close for my liking. Like, you can follow me on Instagram...but, don't—like—get too close. Don't actually try to get to know me.
Because if you get too close, you may see something you may not like. If you peek behind the highlight reel plastered on my social media, you will find that my life is not all glamorous. If you really know me, you would know that I fail more than I succeed, I cry more than I laugh, I've got more pain than I know what to do with and while I have a strong record of healing that pain rightly, I also have a record of dealing with that pain poorly. Not something I give you the chance to read about in my Instagram bio, if you know what I mean. So, to be known is a rather scary thing. Our fear is that we might scare people away. And, not only that, but we fear that the minute we get intimate—the minute we let someone see into us—we fear that they are going to take away what each of us need most:
Remember: The cry of every human heart isn't just to be fully known. No; it also is to be fully loved too. Which means that whatever it is you've seen in me, whatever it is you've known about me, will not stop you from giving me what I need most: Love.
And, that's why we're afraid of intimacy. People may not give us what we need if they see any part of our mess.
And, you know what? I wish I could say, "Hey! You're thinking crazy. People are gonna love you no matter what they see in you." But...you want the truth? I can't say that about people. People really do get spooked easily. Heck, who am I kidding? I get spooked easily! I may be tempted to misunderstand. I might recoil at some of the things I see in another person. I also might shudder at the sight of something sinful.
What I'm trying to say is, you can't always rely on people to give you what you need. Because, here's the thing: Say someone does try to give you the love that you need, right? They say they love you, they act like they love you, they really do love you...but, you have a hard time trusting it because while they love you, you don't know if they really know you. And, you constantly walk around wondering if they would still love you if they only knew...
"If they only knew what I struggle with..."
"If they only knew what I've done..."
"If they only knew what I'm tempted by...
then they wouldn't love me..."
These thoughts ruminate in your mind day in and day out to the point where you decide to keep your secrets to yourself. You silence your struggles and hide your scars and hope to God no one rolls up your sleeve cause if they did...you might not get your needs met.
Because, you do realize you have needs, correct? Needs from your childhood that need to be fulfilled if you want to thrive and mature and grow as a healthy adult. Your need for attention, need for affection, need for affirmation, need for acceptance. Whatever you call them, in whatever form it looks like, you can boil every need down to this:
You need to be known, and you need to be loved.
That's right, my friend. Your desire for intimacy isn't a luxury you are selfishly asking for. God knows that you actually need it. And, this is why I'm excited to announce that He is The One anxiously ready to fulfill it.
People may not stay once they know the worst about you. But, God? He knows every square inch of who you are and loves you more than you could imagine. He knows your good, your bad, and your ugly, and His love doesn't hesitate not once. It is impossible to hide any secrets from Him. He sees all and knows you loud and clear. You cannot treat Him the way you might've treated your parents here on earth, sneaking out the house late at night, coming back high as a kite, or drunk out of your mind, or with your crazy-ex again unbeknownst to your parents as they sleep soundly down the hall. No! You can't hide a thing from Him even if you tried! And, that is exactly why you can trust Him when He tells you He loves you because He is the One who knows you best. You might be doubting the love of a person who doesn't know your darkest secret, but you don't have to doubt the love of God. You are naked before Him always—totally and completely bare. There's nothing about you that God doesn't know. And, even with all of His knowledge of you—of all that you are, all that you've done, all that you've said, all that you're going to do and say—He loves the living daylights out of you, therefore, fulfilling the need and the cry of every human heart: fully knowing and fully loving you.
So, take a deep breath. There is a way for all of your childhood needs to get met. You may not find them fulfilled in a spouse or in a boyfriend or girlfriend. You will certainly not be able to meet your needs all on your own. Instead, you have a heavenly Father who is extremely capable of meeting every single one of your needs, not with some fake, plastic, surface-level love, but with a deep, real, all-knowing one. He's made that promise with you before you were even born. So, rest assured. You are fully known and fully loved.