What is it that you crave every day? Is it food, or time alone, or happiness? Maybe it’s chocolate, or passion?

Salt. That is what I want almost every hour of every day. I am craving it right now! Even when I was a skinny young thing, I would put some Lawry’s salt in the palm of my hand, and lick it slowly, hoping that would absolve my hunger rather than eat potato chips or something else that would fatten me up.

Sugary sweet things. The taste of sweetness on your tongue sends chills and thrills right down your spine! So you eat a giant scoop of ice cream in a waffle cone. About 1/2 way through, you’re done. That craving is long gone, and the overwhelming sense of “Uh oh, I’ve eaten more junk than I should have”, laced with regret, and the guilt takes over. The thrill is gone.

“For he (the Lord) satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.”
Psalm 107:9

For guys, they crave speed, as in driving super fast, pedal to the metal, “You can’t catch me, Cop” kind of thing. Our boys play these video games of car racing, then think they can live that out once they get their driver’s permit or license. Uh, no. That’s not reality.

But for most of us, we crave and long for attention. We have this intense desire to be needed and to be loved. So we will often do something that is not our ‘norm’, just to be seen or heard, or even loved.

This I know because I went through it last night at a Women’s Conference at church. No, it wasn’t someone else coming across as craving attention, it was me. I would even venture to say I felt desperate, and maybe even came across as desperate, needing to feel a part of this group, to be noticed, to be heard and accepted as ‘somebody’.

Now I have many friends. I do have a few good friends, and I even have a couple of great friends. So, why would I react like this in such a warm, welcoming environment? Well, first off, it was a large group of women, and I hadn’t arranged to meet anyone there or sit with a group at a table. I had been wishy-washy on whether or not I was going to attend beforehand, so by the time I made up my mind for certain that yes I was going, this meant that my arrival was at the top of the hour, and the event had just begun.

I walked in, looked around, and didn’t see any openings at any of the 8-person round tables. Looking back to the cafe-style seating in the upper part of the auditorium, I noticed a few ladies heading up to find a little table for two or 3, not the 8-person tables that were on the floor. So who would I sit by?

Just then, a lady I know whose son is good friends with my son walked in along with another one of her friends. Soon I asked to join them, and they agreed. I was not alone. Yay!

After the guest speaker’s first segment, we broke out into small groups for a time of discussion and sharing. Two other ladies that were near us joined our group, and then there were five. This was a good size for getting a little personal and going through these topics.

But for some insane reason, no matter what was said, and yes I was listening to the other women, I just kept thinking of my answers and the hope that I could share more about me. My turn came around a few times, but I felt as though I was hiding a secret and just had to share more about ME. I think my pride, or ego, or lack of self-esteem was prevalent and rearing its head. I found myself wanting them to see ME, and know more about ME, rather than for me to know and see them for who they are, and for what they were going through. I think I even interrupted someone to say more about how I could relate, or blah blah. I am embarrassed now to even think about it.

When one of our group mentioned about bloggers, I immediately chimed in (trying not to be prideful) that I was one, and could answer her question! It was a great segue, but I felt awkward for even mentioning it, with the belief that I was being proud and boastful in doing so.

This culminated at the end of the evening, when I had the urge to approach the guest speaker. Now during her testimony and talk, she had said many things that I could completely relate to: the call to leave her former church and the emotions that go along with that, the daily studying in God’s Word to write content for studies, talks or blogs, how we compare ourselves to others, etc. So I went over to her. She was talking to the Pastor’s wife and another woman. I waited.

Now this young speaker is a package deal: she is beautiful, has long silky blonde hair, is in great shape, has a family and has a fulfilling career. She appears to be perfect. Am I comparing myself to her? Hmm. Maybe, but I know that what we see on the outside is not what’s reality on the inside. I don’t know her or her perfect life’s situations. But, I approached her anyway, believing that she would appreciate my camaraderie and understanding of similar life struggles. Besides, I had seen her around the last few weeks, and wanted to become friends.

While I was waiting, which was only a few seconds, the sweet Pastor’s wife looked directly at me and smiled. I sheepishly smiled back, thinking “Why would she want to talk to me? I am 20 years older.” So I smiled back, maybe said “Hi” in response to her “Hi, but then looked away toward the speaker, showing that she was why I was down front. I think I actually ‘dissed’ the Pastor’s wife! (Ugh. I am so sorry!) I could have started a conversation with her, but my confidence at the moment was low, and I was acting erratic.

After a few seconds, the speaker turned to me with her big smile, and I introduced myself, explaining how much I appreciated her story and how I could so relate. Then I told her my version. Maybe I was rambling, I don’t know, but soon she slowly gathered up her stuff, and slowly headed toward the door, going around a group of ladies, while I was still talking. Her direction cut me off from her, so someone else began talking to her. Now I felt “dissed” too. What comes around, goes around right? No, the speaker didn’t ignore me then, but looked over and said, “Nice talking with you”, or something like that. I replied, but half-heartedly. Did she know how desperate I was? Could she see my crazy need to connect? I don’t know. Maybe she was just trying to get home after a long day… Her intention was not rude, her actions were not mean. How I perceived what happened, along with my behavior in the ladies’ group, greatly affected the rest of my night, along with questioning my actions and the purpose of them.

Why? Because I had this need of belonging, of being seen, of being accepted. As a child, I was given up. I was rejected. My self-esteem had therefore plummeted. Now as a middle aged woman in this current setting, because of my lack of proper self-respect, I went about making friends the wrong way; by focusing more on me, and less on them. I chose to put myself on this pedestal, rather than seeing each of us as equals and with similar needs and problems.

Do I think any of the other women noticed my odd behavior? I do not know. Maybe it was all in my head! This I do know; that whether it was a desire to impress, or a desire to make a connection with someone, that I was not in control of my actions. I was like this starving cat, and was willing to act out of my norm to get what I craved; attention.

Now please don’t go judging me and decide that you cannot possibly continue reading the blogs of a sinner!! (This is why I blog frequently about pride. I ask for God’s help with it every day!)
News flash – we are all sinners.
Good news – we are all equally loved by the Lord Jesus.
Great news – we all have the tender mercies and daily grace of the Lord available to each of us, all of the time, regardless of our inadequacies.

“The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.”
Proverbs 19:23

This blog is me being vulnerable and honest. Aren’t those two important traits in a good friend? I am not perfect, but I am forgiven. My Heavenly Father reaffirmed His love for me today, when I opened my eyes this morning and felt a heartbeat. When I hiked 5 miles, He was with me. When I asked him about blogging for today, He actually gave me multiple ideas, but placed on my heart to speak the truth to you about such needs.

“As the deer pants for the flowing streams, so my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”
Psalm 42:1-2a

So what are you craving today? Know that no matter what it is, the Lord knows. Don’t look to other people or things to fill you. Our Lord Jesus wants to be the One to fill that void in your life. He wants to be the One to satisfy your heart’s desire. Give that “longing” to Him, and He will abundantly be all that you hunger for by showing His love for you every minute of every day. You will soon find that what you need becomes less important, and what others need becomes more important.

“And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”
Isaiah 58:11

Food for thought: By taking your eyes off of yourself, you can see clearly with clarity and with a broader vision, that the world needs you!

Fun facts: The top three things we as humans crave in life are: 1. Safety 2. Belonging 3. Mattering, according to Forbes Magazine.

Photo by: Kari Wiseman – You are loved.