on getting needs met

Posted: July 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

It was the middle of the night, in the middle of the summer that my marriage came apart, and I was in my car again like I was so many nights that summer, parked on a dark country road.  I was sobbing and beating on my steering wheel and yelling at the top of my voice.  “PLEASE God!  PLEASE don’t let this happen to me!  PLEASE don’t make me be alone!  I can’t do it!  I am so afraid!  PLEASE!  PLEASE!  PLEASE!”  On and on it went, until I was all cried out and could return home, to the place where my sleeping children, alienated husband, and the neighbors beyond the open windows didn’t have to hear me crying out.    The only time in my life that I ever begged Him (or anyone) harder was that time a doctor told us our son probably had a fatal disease, but that’s a whole other story. 

Revisiting that scene in my mind still brings me to tears every time, but today they are tears of compassion for that broken and terrified person I was, and tears of gratitude for how He walked me through it, even though He didn’t stop it from happening.  I revisited it yesterday because of that book I’m reading for small group, “TrueFaced.”  I read a story there about a man who responded to the loss of his marriage in some of the same ways I did. 

Where to you get your needs met?  The man in the story made a decision that many make after feeling betrayed and/or suffering a loss:  he decided not to have needs anymore.  I have been that person.  The book notes that some people go so far as to decide that having needs is SINFUL.  I have been that person, too.

But where I parked for the longest time in misunderstanding was my own little Karen-logic that I cannot recall ever having shared with anyone:  I decided that the problem was thinking that PEOPLE could ever meet my needs at all.  I decided that while people can be really great in many ways, the one reliable constant is that sooner or later, they will let me down.  So!  All needs were to be met by God only and no one else.  Anyone thinking they could get their needs met by a person, I concluded, was just plain delusional.  Just look to God.  And give people grace when they are as disappointing as every last one of us will be, sooner or later. 

I still think I was right – but not EXACTLY or COMPLETELY right.  Yes, people will disappoint, including ME.  No, I cannot run around being a ball of neediness to others and expect better than chaos and pain. 


But, but, but. 

Here’s the thing:  a whole lot of God’s best delivery system for the meeting of needs is:  PEOPLE.

A couple of counselors – PEOPLE – were His provision for a safe place for me to be heard and to be helped in seeing differently, when my world was falling apart.

Family members – PEOPLE – propped me up and kept me housed when I was flailing and failing and f*^cking all things up financially. 

It was PEOPLE who loved me and stuck with me when I was nothing but a hot mess.

PEOPLE prayed with me.

PEOPLE filled the endless gaps that single parenthood supplies.

PEOPLE helped me do things I had no idea how to do on my own, like choosing what car to buy. 

PEOPLE held me accountable in times when I was losing my mind and in danger of making really wretched choices.

PEOPLE were, and continue to be, the vehicle of God’s provision for a vast majority of my needs.  It has all fallen together in such miraculous and unlikely ways so many times that I am as sure that God sent them as I am sure of the solid seat on which I sit while writing this. 

Much of it was delivered imperfectly, just as much of what I’ve done in service to others at His directive has been done imperfectly.  Still, in the bigger picture, it has all come together to deliver exactly what I needed, precisely when I needed it.  Time and time again!

So, I will continue asking GOD to supply all my needs.  But these days, I am not so surprised when I notice:  mostly, He’s doing it through PEOPLE. 

That’s reason enough to be grateful!

  1. Me says:

    Ahh Karen. How I love to read your words.

    Sent from my Motorola Smartphone on the Now Network from Sprint!

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