who do you seek approval from? Come on…I think I am safe to say we are together on this. Who is it? Family, friends, co-workers, people at church? I would say this is something that I struggle with a lot and really have been since I was very young.
My parents got divorced when I was 6 and I lived with my Mom. For some reason they never really had a “set” visitation schedule, it was more just when do you want to go and off I went. My Dad and I have never had a strong relationship (and boy is that a whole other post topic) but he has always made me feel like I need to seek his approval. Instead though of being the type of parent who approves whether they like it or not, he would ridicule if what I did wasn’t up to his standards. I remember so clearly two times in my life when he made me feel like an ant on the sidewalk. One was when I was about 9 years old and had a science project to do. I decided that I had wanted to re-create the human brain and it was quite creative but maybe a stretch. Anyway, he was coming over to help me with it and I hadn’t finished a part that he wanted me to do and what I had done wasn’t good enough. He basically told me it was horrible and LEFT! Yes….soak that in…a 9 year old girl wanted and needed help, guidance, encouragement…and I got nothing. Somehow though I “forgave” him that time and moved on….through years of the same thing, the same disapproval, the same abandonment.
So needless to say the approval-seeking has never really stopped for me….it just continued from my Dad, to my ex-husband, to bosses, even to my own brother. I have longed for those people to “know” me, love me for who I am even through mistakes, give me reassurance or even just some kudos when I do something right. You know the problem with that though? I am seeking that approval from the wrong people….they really don’t matter. The ones that do? My own self and God…and really it is God first not even me. Everything that I do should honor him and it also should make ME feel good. Those accolades from other people….while nice they are just an added bonus, like sprinkles on a cupcake. It just so easy to forget this when your journey in life has been littered with people who want to remind you of your faults, and thrive off the “dis-approval”. What I probably need to remember the most is not to turn to God for my own approval, but to remember that those people who seek to disapprove…they probably had the same occurrences from people in their life. This is no way make it right, but it also means that I can extend some grace.
The next time you get caught in the approval seeking game…remember who you should be seeking it from. Turn your heart to Him.


2 thoughts on “:approval:

  1. Love this, Tracy. I think we have all struggled with this at some point. It has only been in the last few years that I have truly learned that God’s approval is the main one I need, and I can be confident in that. It can be hard, as our society continually teaches the opposite and wants us to compare ourselves to others. Keep trusting that He will help you continue on this journey. Love your honest posts!

  2. After a tulmutuous Thanksgiving holiday because my family is incapable of coming together for any reason without criticism, guilt or judgement abundant, I could have easily written every word you have written here. How timely but then again, we all know God’s timing is perfect. Thanks for your openess!

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