Sunday night we had our regularly scheduled Penn State Christian Grads meeting, but instead of our usual Bible study-type format, we had an experiential prayer night. I had never done anything like that before: there were stations set up around the room, each station had a different activity, each station was designed to address a specific thing in prayer. Having spent the majority of the weekend in prayer at a retreat, listening for God's voice and pursuing healing, I wasn't sure what more God could reveal to me.
I should have known better.
At the station entitled "Altar of Surrender" the first step was to present our needs, worries, fears, frustrations, and pressures to God. We were to lay them out, asking Him to reveal His plan for them and what He wants us to do about them. When I sat down and read the prompt, I picked up my pen, ready to start by writing down my needs. And I couldn't do it. My brain wouldn't come up with any needs, my hand wouldn't write them down. I asked God, "Why is this so hard? I've spent all weekend in prayer about these kinds of things, why can't I do it right now?"
He answered, "You need to become comfortable with needing."
I've developed an intense aversion to anything resembling neediness. I hate asking for help. I hate depending on others. I am pathologically afraid of being called or even thought of as 'needy'.
There are so many ways that this manifests itself in my life. I walk places whenever I possibly can, whenever it's safe, to avoid needing a ride. I avoid going to the doctor when I'm sick, even when I know I probably need antibiotics. Now I see that I also avoid needing God. My fear of need has resulted in an inability to recognize when I need help, to accept the grace, support, and strength of God, to open myself up and ask for support from other people.
God created me to live in community with Him. He created me to live in community with others. We aren't created to be alone, to be totally independent of others, to be solitary. He created us to need. I'm trying to accept that now.
Are you comfortable with needing God? Are you comfortable with needing others?
2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.