The Longing to be Understood

There is a quote from “Hymns Old & New” that says about Jesus, He was “misunderstood and by worldlings despised.”  One of the definitions I found for worldling was “a cosmopolitan & sophisticated person”. That made me smile. Perhaps the writer of that hymn had in mind more this definition: “A person devoted to the interest and pleasures of this world”. This post is not about worldlings thankfully, but I couldn’t resist inserting this.

It is about being misunderstood and my longing to be understood.

The line in this hymn was about Jesus. Jesus was misunderstood by almost everyone and yet He never wavered from His purpose. He kept on to the end. That is HUGE! He was so secure in who He was and why He was here. It wasn’t until He was crucified and risen from the dead that some began to truly understand Him.

I’m not sure why I often come back to this deep need of wanting/needing to be understood for who I am, what I love, why I do what I do. Is it a need for validation?  I hope not, but I am recognizing that it is a need for something not necessarily healthy.  I fret over what others perception of me and how they will misunderstand me unless we have some deep meaningful conversation.  I’ve always been terrified of being perceived as shallow.

I started this blog because it was important to me to let the workers and friends know how I arrived at Point B from Point A. No one was asking me how I got to such a different place and this was troubling to me. So, I have told my story here on this blog so they would know.

This may sound silly but I worry about what will be said at my funeral. That hymn “only remembered by what we have done”  comes to mind.  Shouldn’t it be by what we have been?  

People work hard to leave a positive legacy behind.  Writers write their own autobiography so others will know them.  I hope my words left behind will do that for me.  The four writers of the Gospels along with the Apostles Paul & Peter did their best to share what they knew and understood of Jesus. I can do the same. Share what He means to me and how He has shaped my life.

There was another hymn we used to sing said, “God understands me; this thought will suffice.”  Gulp.  Being in this place rather than being so desperate for others to understand me is a world of difference in how each makes me feel.  Knowing God understands me….I can feel the strivings  and longings ease a bit.

I’m realizing I have much of this whole idea backwards.  First of all, God understands me.  Then, it’s not supposed to be about me seeking to be understood but rather for me to seek to understand others.  To invest in them….my family, my friends and my co-workers at work every day.  To get to know them because in that very process, they will get to know me.

Aha…1 Corinthians 13:12 just now comes to mind and answers it all!

“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”  

The day will come. I will be fully known and I will also know.  Oh what will that be like?




8 thoughts on “The Longing to be Understood

  1. Darla, I just want you to know that you are doing a wonderful job here!
    Most of all you are so honest about your feelings and experiences……you really “open your heart” to all … are brave….not afraid to tell all….
    I remember the first time I found this site…..I could not stop reading…..I am sure others have so much in common….
    There comes a time when the scales fall off our eyes and we can see clearly …….most of all we know that God really knows the heart and HE knows each of us personally….and this gives us freedom….when we are willing to see ourselves as who we are before God and not what people think about us is truly liberating!…..and we do not need to make any apologies to anyone…..we are who we are,period!…… God loves you and me! We are a work in progress….in the end we will all give an account of our own stewardship….TO GOD… this is what we should be concerned about……not trying to prove anything to anyone….not pretending to be what we are not because we are just “performing” before others ….we live and have our being before God….that is comforting ….and yes….God understands me…this thought will suffice!
    Love The Lord ,Love others and love yourself
    Life is too short to waste our energies worrying about what other people think…and btw, when we die it would not matter what anyone says at our funeral….
    We know that God loves us right now ….and we must enjoy every moment in His Presence now and all eternity!


    • Wonderfully well put. And such good reminders…especially about what is said at our funerals. It’ pride that wants it to be good. When I was in the Work, we used to joke among ourselves that it would be worth it to stay in the Work so that we could have a workers funeral because we KNEW then only the good things would be said! I’m serious!! Having an ex-worker, ex-professing funeral would NOT be a good thing to witness!!


      • Well I am glad that I understand fully that workers cannot influence my going to Heaven ,or not……well ,they have no part in the “negotiation process”, if you know what I mean…. That a funeral is no place to determine one’s destiny…..oh sure, some nice words can be said….but only GOD knows …….where we will spend eternity…..even the workers have to give an account to God!… they know us? Or do we know them?……..
        imagine what we thought before we got to know The Lord in a personal way…..for example that somehow going to meeting is the way to Heaven…..that this “way” is The Way to Heaven, that others who do not attend meetings are doomed to a lost eternity…..that only by making your choice in a meeting with a worker presiding,somehow gets you a “ticket” to Heaven…. that wearing a long dress….(oh btw, someone once told me 3/4 length was the requirement)and putting your hair in a bun somehow means that you are ‘professing’……. Well you are supposed to have “the look”……, so you can be identified…..well people will think you are a Christian… don’t have to love your ‘neighbour’……you could shun anyone who doesn’t go to meeting, but somehow that’s okay……in the meeting circle…..just look the part anyway… are righteous and they are not…..
        That’s so scary!

        Oh the limitations! ……Lord help us!
        I remember questioning my mom about this when I was younger and she somehow tried to convince me……but it always baffled me… just did not make much sense…..
        until …The Truth was revealed and my perspective totally changed! …….the veil was removed….it is no longer about rules and regulations and trying to confirm to man’s laws……but knowing the TRUE GOD and becoming fully aware! of HIS awesome Presence……knowing that God loves the world! ….and that He wants us to live in love….meaning loving one another because GOD is LOVE…..
        I may have strayed off the topic here….Darla ,but I am just thinking about what you mentioned about your thought process while you were in the work……the influence of the indoctrination…..


  2. “Jesus was so secure in who He was and why he was here”…you said it, Darla !….that is it in a nutshell……It did not matter what ANYONE thought except His Father…..after all Jesus came to do His Father’s Will…and because He was so close to His Father (I and the Father are ONE)….that was his only focus…..imagine if Jesus did what He wanted to do… He faced the cross ,He cried out My God ,My God why hast Thou forsaken me…but He did not flinch…..instead He said …’Not My Will, but THY WILL be done…..that was His purpose to fulfill…..
    I was going through some notes recently and one was about “religious performance” and overcoming “performance addiction”….I must say I gave it some thought……..
    I bought a painting with these words” You are the real thing……A genuine original…..Perfect in all your flaws!…….
    ….I do not have to be like anyone else!
    Now, does this thought set you free?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, Darla, there are no doubt adjectives that would describe you, but “shallow” would NOT be among them, IMHO! You are anything but shallow. I do understand the feeling, however, of some level of anxiety about how you are perceived……as I have known this personally. I think it is because for most of our lives we felt we were being “measured” by parents and workers, especially. Were we at every meeting, was our dress “modest” enough, did we “uphold the standard” (whatever that meant…..) and on and on……how could we have felt otherwise? I thank God I now focus less on what I do/have done and much more on what Jesus does/has done. It’s really not about me in the end anyway, is it? No amount of effort on my part can make me what He wants me to be, He just wants me to accept what He is and what He has done. If it were about us, how could the Glory be to Him? I know, easier said than done….but I too used to wonder what would be said at my funeral. What could be said? I would be perfectly content to have it said that “she loved the Lord because He first loved her…” Nothing more need be said…..


    • Jane, I love what you wrote and it is so true. The glory never goes to Him when it is all about us and what we are doing/have done. In the meetings it was all about what the workers were doing and how wonderful they were. I know some of them did not want the glory but I can attest that it was addictive. Ugh. Such a switch to put all the focus on Jesus and what He has done and is still doing. Thank you!


  4. This has deeply been on my heart lately Darla!! For someone to understand me. Coming out of the meetings, not really knowing how to explain to new friends about my past, I began to feel odd and not understood.

    Then one morning The Lord revealed to me a new perspective!! I woke and looked outside, normally there’s movement, people walking, cars driving, birds flying. But this particular morning……not a thing was moving. The thought came to me, what if I woke and I was the only human being on this planet?!?

    That really gave me a thankfulness for people. I saw them through new eyes and wanted to really hear them and appreciate them!!

    But it also helped me to realize God absolutely sees me and totally understands me to have given me such a revelation!! What a stunning Savior we have!!!


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