In the last post, I pulled out the topic of feeling unwanted from the movie October Baby. As I mentioned this topic resonates for me and a subject I’m passionate about addressing. I know the trauma and deadness of life that comes from feeling unwanted as I felt this personally growing up.
Every kid forms beliefs about their world
As kids we are too young to properly interpret our world. Without a lot of direction from our parents we are bound to get it wrong. My interpretation of my world was I was unwanted.
Every year our family went to the State Fair. Every year I got lost. Most years I was lost for over an hour. I remember working out a plan with my parents before going about what we were going to do if my brother or I got lost. Still every year I was the one waiting at the First Aid station wondering how long until somebody comes for me.
One year after waiting over an hour, I got scared my parents may have left without me. I left the fairgrounds to go find the car. Relieved finding the car still there, I then waited alone in the parking lot until a nice man helped me back into the fair and back to my parents.
How come nobody came for me?
The only explanation I could think of was that nobody wanted me. With that definition in place, I interpreted every circumstance based on that explanation. When I was the last kid to be picked up from practice again, I reaffirmed my belief about myself. When my parents spoke in anger about leaving me somewhere if I didn’t hurry up, I truly believed they would leave me. Any negative comment would plunge me deeper in my belief; any compliment would feel good at the time but had no soil in my heart to take root.
By middle school I became more lonely, I watched more TV, and my world became darker. Cursing, lying and evil became my inner joys.
God wanted me
God broke into my darkness as I entered my teenage years. I was invited to a Christian concert by a friend, and the singer spoke of Jesus as a friend who wanted me. He wasn’t miles away in heaven, but wanted to be by my side. He loved me. He wanted to spend time with me.
To be honest I didn’t understand what it all meant, but I wanted Jesus. I wanted to be wanted. I told Jesus I wanted to know His love, and from that day my life had a whole new trajectory. I still had baggage, but now I had hope and more importantly, I had someone to walk me through it.
What this means to me
I know the pain of feeling unwanted. However I also know how much God wants me. I want everyone to know this because the One I love wants them to know it. This love compels me and my life will start looking even more different.
- What has God worked in you that has given passion to your life?
Kevin, I love your last question: “What has God worked in you that has given passion to your life?” For me, feeling internally shy and an outsider for most of my childhood, I have found passion in building bridges of understanding with others — through connection, communication, empowerment, education, collaboration and engagement. It was not an outward professional calling, per se, but has quietly emerged as my real gift and passion.
Thank you for courageously sharing your own journey with us. I pray that you and your family find deep joy and meaning in the journey you are about to embark on.
Thank you for your encouragement and sharing your personal experiences.