Embrace Your Neediness


No one wants to be needy—it sounds so clingy and pathetic and helpless. And yet, isn’t that exactly what we are?

No one I know wants to be needy. It sounds so . . . clingy and pathetic and helpless.

And yet, isn’t that what we are? We launch into this world screaming, naked and hungry, and we exit this world—if we live to a wrinkled old age—stooped, forgetful and dependent on others.

But for the few years in-between, we shove our neediness down deep, put on a big-girl smile, and live as if we have no needs—as if we’re not hungry and crying and empty on the inside.

But every once in awhile, we catch a glimpse of our neediness, like this girl:

I didn’t think I was boy-crazy, but I asked some close friends of mine and they said they thought so. So I decided to stop. I’m not talking to anyone about guys, flirting with guys, dreaming about guys, or anything else. But it’s so hard. My crush and I are both in student leadership in our youth group. . . . I can almost feel my commitment melting away at the sight of him. I want to fulfill this commitment, but I don’t know what to do.

What this sweet girl probably doesn’t realize is that boy craziness is really just girl neediness. (And for the record, you don’t have to be boy-crazy to be needy—any kind of idolatry is a sign of neediness.)

Yep, we’re all more needy than we realize. The question is, What’s to be done with our neediness?

Stuff it down deep. If you ignore it, it will go away.

Fill your neediness with alcohol and pans of fudgy brownies and relationships and the latest movies and lots of new clothes.

No, the answer isn’t stuff it. No, the answer isn’t fill it.

The answer is embrace it, like the great poet David:

Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy (Ps. 86:1, emphasis added).

Run straight to God with your neediness. God, the One who formed you out of dust. God, the full One who emptied Himself and entered your world as a helpless baby. God, the compassionate and merciful One who knows what it’s like, who’s suffered in every way you have—yet always without sinning.

Mary Kassian says it so well:

Neediness is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. [It can] just [be] pinned to the wrong hope. Looking to man to give what only God can supply is an exercise in futility, frustration, and pain. And it can lead farther and farther away from the place where that longing can truly be fulfilled.

The Girl-Gone-Wise knows what the deep longing in her spirit is all about. So when she feels needy, she directs her longing and sighing Godward (Ps. 38:9). She understands that only as she delights herself in the Lord will her needs be met. He is the One who gives her the desires of her heart (emphasis added).

You’re needy. I’m needy. We always will be, this side of eternity. The question is, Where are you running to fill your neediness?

O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you (Ps. 38:9).

Written by Paula Hendricks

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