If an intimate relationship with God seems elusive, and the only sound heard during your prayer time is the chirping of crickets, don’t be discouraged. There is hope, and there is a way for you to experience the abundant life Jesus offers to you.
I have six children. Four of them grew in my womb, loved from the moment we read the little plus sign on a pregnancy test. ( I did cry for five minutes when I found out I was pregnant with our third. Our second was six months old at the time. But it quickly turned to joy.)
Two of them I loved since I received their pictures in emails from our adoption agency. I have learned so much about attachment in the last six years. If you don’t know what attachment is, it’s worth your time to read a good article. In short, it is a beautiful reflection of God’s love and design for our lives as humans. Physiologically, it’s amazing.
When a baby forms within a mother and that mother wants the baby, an unbelievable bond begins to form. Neurological pathways are created in the baby’s brain that later present themselves as security and trust, strong emotional attachments to Mommy. Those attachments are strengthened by the infant’s loving interactions with Mommy as well as being physically safe and cared for by her. The research on this is unbelievable. God had a perfect design.
I watch my adoptive son, knowing nothing about his mother, her pregnancy, her feelings toward him, and then I see his struggle to feel loved and I get it. Even though we have loved him before we met him, provided and cared for him, his bond and attachment to us still needs so much work.
I promise this has something to do with you. Stay with me.
Without a strong, emotional attachment to us, our son doubts our intentions at times. While our other children are comfortable approaching us for hugs, new shoes, and money for gas, he often assumes we will say “no”. It’s rare that he snuggles up to me on the couch without an invitation. Over and over, I reassure him of my love and tell him to just ask if he wants something. Instead he will sulk around, disappointed and feeling neglected over the things he doesn’t have. Things he never asked us for from us.
My son is still learning to believe he is loved, so he struggles to trust.
Now. What about you? How strong is your attachment to your heavenly Father? Are you pressing into him in prayer, bold in your requests because you feel secure in his love for you, or do you assume his answer is “no”? Maybe you are the victim, disappointed by life, bitter about what you don’t have, but you have not approached your Father as his chosen child and just asked him for the thing you need.
After growing in my understanding of who I am in Christ, that I am already enough, I find myself praying more. As I step deeper into my belief that I am loved, accepted, worthy, and secure just because Jesus declared me to be when he gave me grace from the cross, I trust him more and more.
Is trusting God hard for you? My son worries about so much, to the point of being hypervigilant because he is afraid we will not come through. It is heartbreaking to me to think that he fears being abandoned again, when in reality I would give my life for him.
God has always wanted us, will never abandon us, and he is good. Yet, unless we believe those truths in our deepest places; unless we believe we are His, that attachment can’t form. The security we need to approach him in prayer comes from our belief in who he is and who we are to him.
For some of us, he is our Daddy and we believe he delights in us. His arms are always open and we have a strong sense that no matter how crazy this life is, He’s got this. Yet, for others we are not sure where we stand with Him. We doubt his provision and his plan.
Attachment with our son is taking time, consistent love and provision, and opportunities for him to trust us. We don’t know what his attachment was like with his mother, and we only know in part the trauma he experienced at an orphanage. We wish we could love him perfectly and heal all of his hurts, but instead we have led him to the One who can.
Our heavenly Father invites us to join him at a banquet table prepared in our honor. (Psalm 23) He pours our cup to overflowing and says, “come to me all you who are weary…” (Matthew 11:28)
Your God is present among you,
a strong Warrior there to save you.
Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love
and delight you with his songs. Zephaniah 3:17 The Message (MSG)
If you are struggling to approach God, feeling disconnected and unworthy, let that go. Begin to focus on the truth of God’s Word that tells you who you are in Christ. Ask God to help you believe in those truths. Pretty soon, you will be crawling up in his lap, wrapped in his arms, asking him to meet your needs and even fulfill your dreams that he planted in your heart.
He’s good. You belong to Him.