This past weekend I hosted an unwanted guest. It was something I knew Holy Spirit wanted me to do and that was the main reason I did it. There was nothing outwardly wrong with my guest. She was kind and nice enough. It wasn’t until I kept dwelling on the discomfort I had with being around her that I was finally able to pinpoint what the issue was.
She was needy.
I knew from previous encounters with her that she was draining. I knew that me being semi-introverted and needing down time and being around her after having spent hours in a social gathering was going to push me to my limit. Because while extroverts gain energy from being social, introverts lose energy and I was ready for my down time. But God was asking me to put her needs above my own. In all honesty, I did not want to. This fellow sister in Christ was not someone I wanted to serve. But the Lord made it very clear that He was requesting this of me. And who can turn Jesus down really? So I hosted and throughout the process I struggled greatly. I literally felt repelled by her presence, though she had no idea. I had to visualize the Lord serving her in order for me to serve her. I realize after processing the weekend’s events that I was being repelled by her neediness. And I knew that her neediness stemmed from rejection issues. But God’s love transcends all repelling behavior. He loves past the issues and He was growing me in this way to love like Him. To love those society calls “hard to love”. I could hear Him clearly, “when you’ve done this to the least of these, you’ve done this unto Me”.
Interestingly enough, as I much as I struggled with dealing with someone else’s neediness, It is actually in this season that I’m becoming more aware of my own neediness. It’s funny b/c when asked by my former beau what pet peeve I had in people; I answered, “I dislike people who are needy”. I had no idea that my sole reason for being with him was due to my own neediness, which stemmed from my own rejection/abandonment issues. I had no idea that my own neediness had entrapped me in a codependent relationship for nearly 10 years of which I was the dependent. And it was my own neediness that was enabling others to be dependent on me (my need to be needed). But now I am becoming more self-aware in so many areas and I know that God is calling me to walk in wholeness from this false concept of neediness. He wants me to walk in the eternal me that is fully whole in Christ and does not depend on anything outside of Him to fulfill my needs.
Some of us are good at hiding our neediness under layers of designer clothes, well-done make-up and fashionable hairstyles. While others of us, like my house guest, wear it blatantly on our sleeves. Interjecting in conversations we were never invited into. Clinging to others for fear that we will be left out. But all of us have probably experienced that feeling that we do not belong in one situation or another. And many of us consistently function from this place of rejection.
I would be lying if I said I had “arrived” in this area. The truth is I struggle daily. I struggle with feeling as if I need another person to make me whole. I struggle with fear of being alone and being rejected. But just like when I hosted my guest, Christ has served me these 12 years that I’ve been living for Him regardless of me functioning from neediness. He has been such a gracious gentlemen to not be repelled by it. He has not been disgusted with my consistency to put others before Him and not solely depend on Him. I am grateful that even though my behavior of being needy has been unattractive, He was still attracted to me. And instead of being repelled by me, He drew near.
The problem with being needy is not so much that it may repel others from us, which in and of itself can be hurtful. But the real problem is that it stems from a lie that we are lacking something or someone. We are not seeing ourselves as whole people. I know God is maturing His body in such a way that we will view ourselves entirely as He views us. That means fully relying and depending on Him and letting Him meet our needs.