Being Sheep

"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep."John 10:14-15

Monday, July 30, 2012

Attachment Disorders and Relationships With God

The more I think about it, the more I realize that most of us have an "attachment disorder" in our relationship with God.

My son has really struggled in his attachment, specifically to me. I have loved him consistently, rocked and cuddled him, kissed his owies, changed his diapers, giggled with him, and so much more. Though I've certainly made mistakes, I've always loved him.

And yet, he still doesn't really like me. He's terrified of losing me, but it definitely seems he's terrified of that not because he loves me so much, but because I'm the only mama he's got.

His experience in life has shown that mamas don't stick around. Mamas love you, but after a while they go away and don't come back.

Little N definitely seems to believe that at some point I'm going to go away and not come back. He does everything in his power to see what will make me go away or stop loving him.

He'll tell me one day that he hates me and that I'm stupid. He'll hit, kick, bite. He'll hurt his brothers. He'll scream all day long. He'll turn everything possible into a conflict.

But other days? He'll hug and kiss me. He'll tell me he loves me. He'll pat my arm and tell me I'm a good mommy. He'll cuddle with me.

And I think a lot of us (including me) tend to be like that with God. On Sunday mornings we love him. He's wonderful! We tell him how good he is, we get warma nd fuzzy feelings about him. We'll snuggle right up next to him. We're pretty sure he's awesome and we're ready to let him take some control of our lives.

But then it's Monday morning. Or maybe we make it all the way to Tuesday. We're not so sure anymore. Is God really that good? Can we really trust him? Do we really want to open up our hearts to him only to find he's not really that good or trustworthy after all? Or maybe he exists only in our imaginations?

Kids from orphanages or other unstable environments frequently struggle with letting anyone else be in control. The only way they've survived so far, at least in their minds, is by staying in control, by not trusting anyone else, by putting up as many brick walls as necessary to keep people out.

The only way for these kids to heal, to truly have a healthy attachment with their parents, is to let go of that control. To learn that their mom or dad is trustworthy, to learn that they don't have to take care of everything anymore, to learn that their parents love them unconditionally.

The only way we can grow in our relationship with God is to let go of our control, to learn that God is trustworthy, that we don't have to take care of everything anymore,  to learn that God loves us unconditionally. No matter what we do or say, he's waiting with open arms. We can fight it all we want, we can believe it's not true, but that doesn't change the truth of God's unfailing, amazing love for us.

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful. Makes me think of the flip side...having those days where we believe, "There's no possible way God could love someone like me."

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  2. This is great, it really makes me think about my relationship with God, and where I am and where I want to be. How sometimes I trust Him fully, and other times I doubt Him. But when I let go, God is always there to take care of me.

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