“I need you.” These might be the three hardest words we utter in our life. Three of the most courageous identifiers that gives us an indication we know who we are. Three powerful, beautiful words making a declaration that we don’t have to go through anything alone. A phrase which, dare I say, could even be more powerful than “I love you.”
So, two questions arise: Why are we so afraid of this statement and why do we feel it’s a sign of weakness and not strength? The answers while complex for each of us really stem from one thing at the end of the day: An admission that we aren’t in control of everything in this life.
God looks at each of us, knowing our hearts and cultivating our gifts. He then strategically places people in our lives to help us joyfully fulfill our purpose. There is always a longing in our heart which searches for companionship, approval, and even reassurance; we long to be needed. We are created to gather as community and share life with those who we consider “family.”
Imagine getting a hole in one at golf by yourself. What a letdown when there is no one else to share the moment with you or even validate that it really happened. For us as humans, this experience is ultimately heightened by the high-fives and cheers once everyone realizes your accomplishment. You celebrate together.
There is beauty in journeying with others who complete us in a special way. When we look into the eyes of the people we care deeply about, especially loved ones closest to us, can we (or do we) say the words “I need you” for what each person contributes to our life? For each relationship these words are offered, they carry different weight and meaning. When we offer “I need you” as a sentiment to our spouse, it conveys how deeply we are connected, while reminding us of the portions within us they help make whole. To our best friend, “I need you” is an expression of confirmation for their bravery when they challenge you during times you make choices outside your character; but no matter who you are, they still believe in you and support you to become the person you long to be. “I need you” declared to our parents and those who raise us, is an acknowledgement of how they have helped shape us, love us and cheer us on in life. No, not everyone who has a parent-child relationship is ready to have it made into a Hallmark movie, but they brought you in the world. Even in rough situations, by understanding how they became who they are, we better understand why we strive to be who we are.
Most importantly, our faith life is incomplete without the prayer of “I need you” as an ultimate surrender to God, the Father, who created us. This is a plea for Christ to never leave our side, not even for the slightest instance. An invitation to the Holy Spirit to breathe into us all the gifts we need in order see the world as we should, while being guided in all we do. “I need you,” not just when the crisis is overwhelming, not when we are the slightest bit lost, but from the moment we wake up till we lay our head down on the pillow that night.
Our acknowledgment to say “I need you” is our release, and at the same time a commitment, to not make this life only about ourselves. It’s the first step to understanding more clearly why things happen the way they do and an honest chance to take a personal inventory of the people around us; then we can begin to see God at work. Through Him we see that the help we receive from others doesn’t make us any less strong, but instead opens the door to the people God placed in our lives and who complete us in every way He intended.
Maybe the phrase, “I need you” is the most difficult statement because maybe we haven’t really ever said it to anyone else, including God, or didn’t really mean it completely even if we have. Without this acknowledgement, our lack of recognition can cause us to turn inward during our dark times or allow our ego to overshadow our victories. Possibly, even pushed others aside because our own insecurities drove away the very people meant to heal us.
In the end, the strength which lies within us can only blossom when we are honest and truthful with ourselves. Once we accept our need for God, we will see Him in those closest to us and what they offer in this life. Tell those closest to you how much you need them today because of the ways they make you feel alive, but only after you have looked up to the Heavens with a heartfelt peace and trust, offering your proclamation to the Father of “I need you.”