Feeling Very Needy
I think we try to deal with our past hurts, bad memories, and personal failures by grasping an illusion of self-sufficiency. We may say we “need” someone else, in a declaration of love or moment of gratitude, but our hearts stay firmly within our own chests. Whether created by fear or pain, I don’t know. But I do know this is how I lived my life, and somewhere along the line this feigned self-reliance becomes nothing more than plain old self-ishness.
The antidote to my self-centeredness was realizing I was incapable in many ways. I don’t know if there ever is a complete cure, pride is a very sneaky and subtle thing, but at some point I had to just say “I’m really needy.”
There were things I did that I enjoyed, while I was doing them. But as soon as it was over, it brought a terrible and overwhelming sense of guilt and shame. It felt like being caught in the dark, with all the air leaving the room. I knew I would never do it again. Until I did it again. And sometimes I would fight, and sometimes I would give up. But I was powerless to break away, no matter my determination or feelings of regret.
I needed something, other than me. I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t muster the willpower. I had an arrogance, trusting in my own determination and ability to meet every challenge, even as I was totally helpless. And hopeless. And no matter my inward commitment and outward masking, and the self-reliance egged on by my own pride, I figured in the back of my mind I would probably just die this way.
But that something I needed has been there all along. Jesus had taken care of me maybe millions of times when I didn’t deserve it. He had gently watched out for me, and in His love he had walked with me even as I ignored the sound of His steps. I won’t say He had had enough of my conceit. He just decided at His time and His place, for whatever reason He had always planned, to let things collapse in on me. To let that dark, airless room encase me. To set me in a position where even if I wanted to, I couldn’t even see myself.
That is when I said the simplest of all prayers, “My God!” I didn’t even have the strength to say what, but He already knew. He knew what I needed before I even asked, and then He gave me just enough breath—“I need you. Your help, your strength, your grace, your love.”
Was there thunder or shouting or I-told-you-so? Did the ground shake or was there some dramatic crashing within my soul? No. He just grabbed me in His arms and said “I love you so much, I’ve been waiting for you to come back.” There is nothing greater than God’s love! More next time…!
I made “some” attempt to write this in a poetic style incorporating foreshadowing of each verse within the previous verse. I can’t remember what this is called. (Feel free to let me know.) I also wanted to be very natural in my piano playing and singing, so what you hear is what happened all in one take. There are a lot of technical mistakes. (Feel free to let me know.) But as I sang, and even now as I listen, I just wanted that simplest of prayers to keep coming out.