How Do You Know If You are Addicted to Approval?

How to Know if You Are Addicted to Approval

How do you know if you are addicted to approval? Is it just something that resonates with you or is there a test you can take to know for sure?

I’d like to suggest yes, to both.

I think there are those of us that hear phrases like “people-pleasers,” “she is so insecure,” or “approval addict” and something inside of just shouts, “Yes! Yes! That is me.”

But for others of us, those same words reflect fear, and we want to know if the way we sometimes feel is okay or if we have a problem that needs addressing.

5 Ways To Know If You Are Addicted to Approval

  1. Are you able to make decisions on your own without worrying about what anyone else thinks of you?
  2. Do you need the affirmation of others?
  3. Do you set high expectations for others and become disappointed when they don’t live up to them?
  4. Is it difficult for you to share your opinions or beliefs with others when they differ from your own?
  5. Do you have a hard time saying “no”?
Here are five ways to know if you are an #approvaladdict. https://wp.me/p7HNJY-AY 

If you said yes to more than one of these, then you are more than likely have an approval addiction.

You Are Not Alone

I think we have all struggled with this on some level.

It doesn’t matter if we are female or male. Young or old. As I have shared how God has me in recovery to this addiction, people from all over have said, they struggle too. The irony is it’s affirming, right?

Over the next few weeks, we will begin to discuss some of the issues approval addicts struggle with daily. Things like: people-pleasing, insecurity,  need for control, taking up offenses, and fear of rejection. These are all addressed in my book Like Me Or Not: Overcoming Approval Addiction by Worthy Publishing (2018). It’s a great way to take a deeper dive into this issue, should you find that it strikes a chord with you.

Which of the five ways mentioned above do you struggle with the most?


Other posts you might like:

How to Know If You have a God Dream

10 Ways to Quit Comparing

Calling: How to Know If You Have One


Sign up for a FREE 10 Day Devotional on how to overcome approval addiction.



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Join the Launch Team for Like me Or Not

Join My Book Launch Team – Here is 3 Reasons Why

This is your official invitation to join my book launch team for Like Me or Not: Overcoming Approval Addiction.

I know your busy, and your to-do list has a to-do list of its own.

But I am going to share with you three convincing reasons why you want to make the time to be on my book launch team.

Here they are:

  1. You wonder if you are an approval addict.
  2. If you are, you need a method to talk about it.
  3. You want other people to know there is help available.

Now, if you’ve come to this wondering what a Launch team even is, allow me to address that question first.

Launch team’s for books became a popular method for big publishing houses to use to help their author’s gain more Amazon reviews.

Yep…that was the reason. To get reviews. Not a bad strategy when you think about it.

And yes, you will be sought out to help with Amazon Reviews, but I have a more important reason than that one.

You see, I didn’t write this book for Amazon review, to build a platform (it’s almost an oxymoron for an approval addict in recovery), or to become a “name” in the industry.

I wrote this book because I realized I wasn’t alone. I was so tired of the cycle I was in trying to deal with other people’s rejection, while desperately wanting others to approve of me. All the while wanting to crawl into a hole and forget interacting with people ever again. Are you with me?

We are all walking around stuck on our phones allowing social media to dictate our identities were feeling like we have to confirm, compare, and live up to more.

We are walking around with our faces attached to our screens allowing social media to determine our identities. #likemeornot

It’s mind-throbbing at times – but it doesn’t have to be.

I am not an expert, but God has allowed me to have some experiences that have led me to identify scripture, PURE TRUTH, that has proven to break the cycle of approval addiction to find my approval in Him.

Which is why you too need to be on my book launch team so, let’s talk through each of these areas.

You Wonder if You are an Approval Addict

We all do, and none of us want to be. But the reality is that God created us with a desire to want the approval of others, including Him.

It doesn’t’ take much to see why it’s an easily formed addiction when we quite innocently want to seek the approval of those around us: spouses, children, friends, family, co-workers…our hair stylists and the guy at Lowe’s.

Hearing verbal affirmations feel good because they release dopamines. Those dopamines feel so good they’ll make you want more, and more, and more approval. Before you know it, you can’t get enough.

Being on my Launch Team means you get first access to the information inside the book that will help you learn how to lessen those desires and put your focus where it needs to be, on God.

You’ll be able to access all the different ways that approval addictions can manifest itself.  Which leads to the next reason…

You Need a Method to Talk About It

Being an approval addict also means we desire justification from others, right? We need to know we are headed in the right direction and for the sake of enabling each other, we are going to do just that.

Each week I’ll get online with you through a closed Facebook group, and we’ll go through parts of the book together. If you are an external processor like me, you will love this part. I can’t wait to hear all you have to say and what questions you come up with for me.

You’ll want to know if you are doing the right thing, taking the right steps forward, using the concepts appropriately. Being on the Launch Team gets you the ability to do that with not just me but with women from all over the US.

There you can share all the great things you are learning to add even more value to the team.

You’ll Want to Let People Know There’s Help

Remember how it felt when you first came to know Jesus as your Savior, and you wanted to go and tell everyone? It was kind of like the women at the well. After she figured out Jesus was the Messiah she went and told the whole town about it. She couldn’t keep it to herself.

Yeah. Like that.

Well, once you start to understand the concepts laid out in this book – that will be you too. Because here is what I know for sure, you will experience healing and freedom. I promise you that.

How can I make that promise? Because I did and I still am.

Before writing the book God had shown me so much about approval addiction. Enough that I thought I could write a book about it. But God kept me humble by teaching me knew concepts with each chapter I wrote.

I’d grow in areas like comparison and jealousy, getting over my fear of rejection to turn my God-dream into a reality, and learning how not to feel like I am so alone in life.

But since then I have re-read my book at least ten more times. Every time, there is another area God shows me that I still need to work on. As I do, I receive more healing and more freedom.

This is why you want to be apart of my Launch Team. Yeah, we’ll have you do some other fun activities like share memes on Facebook or Instagram. We may even ask you to write an Amazon Review online or ask your local bookstore to carry it. But by that time, you’ll be convinced that not only do you need this book, but everyone you know needs this book.

Apply for My Book Launch Team

Now that you realize you need to be on my book launch team, what do you do?

Head over to the launch team page here where you can apply. Once you do, you’ll get a confirmation email. We will have the application available only until 11:59 am on April 2, 2018.  So don’t wait.

We’ll then be sending you a copy of the book and some other goodies. You’ll then be invited to join our closed Facebook group, and we’ll start chatting. If you want to pre-order Like Me or Not before we begin you can enter in to win A VIP package to the Fall Tour of Outcry and get some downloadables, you can do that here.

Like Me or Not Overcoming Approval Addiction

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How to Make Your God Dream Come True

Six Steps to Make Your God Dream Come True

God gave you a dream, and it is scaring the heck out of you. Now what do you do?

It’s okay. Take a deep breath. Exhale. Ahh…better?

In today’s post, I’ve incorporated six steps to help you get started.

“I have a dream. Now, what?” is the question I get asked more often than any other.

People have seen the dream I had for our community through The Link of Cullman County come to fruition and wonder, “Well, how did you do that and how can I do the same?”

Last week I talked about how to know if your dream is just a big goal or if it was a dream that God placed on your heart to pursue.  You may want to read that post first if you haven’t had the chance to read it yet.

It is there that I help readers understand and know the difference between the two. This week I want to try and lay out some of the steps you can take once you know for sure you have a God dream.

This is where the “rubber hits the road” where the “ax hits the grind” where the “pen hits the paper” to overplay the cliches.  And I hope it makes its point.

Because here is where I see things go south and quick. Someone has a dream, and they talk about it, and they talk about it, and they talk about it. But they never actually do anything.

You Have a Choice

Sooner or later, you are going to have to choose to either go after this big, scary dream you have or honestly, shut up about it.

When The Link started to come to fruition, I had a few people say to me, ” I had the same dream as you. I journaled about it; I have a binder about it, or I told people about it.” I don’t know why it happened to you but not for me.

Honestly, I don’t know why it did either, but I am assuming that your dream was just that a dream and it never transitioned to action.

So that is what I am going to promise you today, I will share with you the steps to help you take action on that dream. However, just like last week, I have a disclaimer.

Disclaimer: I am not God. I have no way of knowing His timing or whether your dream is from Him or not. I also have no idea of your dream is to actually in support of someone else’s God dream, and not something you will get to see come to pass. Think Moses and Joshua.

I do know that there are some teachable concepts that I can share with you that God used with me to help you pursue Him and engage others in your dream.

How to Make Your God Dream Come True | Six Steps to Get You Started

One: Trust and Obey

The best piece of advice I received from someone on what I needed to do next was “trust God and obey what He says” Seems simple, right?

Simple to say, harder to execute.

For me, this was challenging because I had a carotid body tumor removed from my neck which rendered me temporarily disabled.  The surgery caused damage to my nerves and vocal chords.  Which eventually left me with a severance package and no job.

For the first time since I was twelve, I was unemployed and now also unsure of my future. I had no idea what was next except this vision/dream from God for an organization that would serve the needs of the poor.

If I am honest, I was not excited enough about this God dream to go after it. What I was passionate about was serving women through speaking and teaching. I had wanted that dream to come true, nearly since I was saved about nine years prior.  Now I was living in the south where my type of work was not prevalent, Cullman, AL though growing would still be a hard place for someone like me to find a job.

But God’s plans were different than mine. 

So here I was temporarily disabled, unemployed, and trying to minister to a husband whose dream had been crushed by a failed church plant. Confused and unsure may have been an understatement at that point.

So now, here we are in a very uncomfortable place, not knowing what to do and the advice I received in this season was “trust and obey.”

Trust. And then obey whatever God tells you to do. Ugh. Simple and to the point, easy to remember, so I decided to do it.

And it changed everything.

Day by day I would wake and ask the Lord, what should I do today? If I felt Him impress something on my heart, I would obey. If I sat in silence, I’d seek Him in His word.

That daily practice started to lead me to conversations with people about this dream; then I would pray about it more. It wasn’t long before God began highlighting His heart for the poor in His Word. I got my hands on some books that seemed to speak to relational ministries to the poor Then I prayed the all-changing prayer.

“Lord, what would you have me do?”

Two: Surrender the Dream

Which leads me to the next thing you need to do. Surrender the dream to God. Only He truly knows the timing, who is supposed to be part of the dream, what role you are to play, what resources you’ll need, where it will happen, and how it will transform your community.

For me, that looked like taking the dream I always hoped to pursue and put it up on the chopping block with the God dream He now impressed on my heart to accomplish.

It wasn’t long before God confirmed which dream I was to follow.

It was one of the hardest things I had to do, give up the dream I wanted to follow the one God wanted me to carry out.

Both were good. Both would help a lot of people. But one was mine, and the other was His.

I can tell you now on the other side of that how sweet the blessing of surrender has become. Knowing the lives that have been transformed in my community because I said “Yes” to His plan. The relationships I have now have sharpened me and helped me grow in my faith would never have been if I didn’t surrender.

And then when you consider what I have learned, including how to overcome my addiction to approval, I am not sure my path would have allowed me the opportunities I have been afforded, including publishing a book on that same topic, releasing May 15th by Worthy Publishing.

Like Me or Not Overcoming Approval Addiction

Three: People < God

This may feel a bit strange to you to diminish what people are saying. It took me a lot to figure out how to do this because we all need the affirmation of people around us. In fact, God will use these people to encourage us. However, we need to make sure no matter what, that God trumps people. Even when those people are stroking our egos.

Here is why: back in the day, there was this good-looking, smart teenager, from a no-name family, was sent out on a donkey-hunting mission. Unbeknownst to him, God had selected him to be the first king of Israel. He was anointed, appointed, had the Spirit of God come upon Him, prophesied with the Prophets and empowered by God. Regardless, his insecurity and people-pleasing needs made people’s opinions of him more significant than God’s, and eventually, he was rejected as king.

Know who that was? King Saul. (You know the one who was on a crazy chase to kill his replacement, David? You can read all about him here.)

Saul was anointed and appointed to do the dream God had for him in ruling the Israelites, but he let people and their opinions become more influential than God.

This is true when they are affirming us, and this is also true when they are rejecting us. If you know for sure that God gave you this dream, you’ll need to seek Him, trust and obey Him, surrender to Him and make His Words of greater significance than man’s.

Four: Become a Student

One of the essential postures you need to take in this process is becoming a student of the dream. If this dream is from God and not you, more than likely you will not feel equipped to do it. In fact, it may feel as if you are the last person on planet earth that needs to be doing this dream.

That is exactly how it felt for me. This will produce fear. And that is okay.

I had done very little ministry to the poor. I felt like the ministry I had done was not done well and because of that, I felt very insecure, unsure, and ill-equipped. So I went into student mode.

I started with asking more questions of people already in ministry or serving in this field before I assumed my answers. I got my hands on books related to the topic and read as much as I could from the experts. I sought out scripture in the Bible to back up what I was learning to make sure I was on the right path.

Then I found some local classes I could take to teach me about creating a non-profit and marketing a non-profit because those were two critical components in seeing my dream come to fruition. When I knew I had all those pieces in place, I sought out a conference for me to attend to obtain more extensive training. In doing so, I became equipped as a Christian Community Development practitioner.

Five: Stop Talking and Start Walking

When my husband and I were in our pre-dating stage we talked a lot on the phone, being that we lived 150 miles away from each other, it was our only way to connect regularly. Although we visited each other every now and again, they were for short periods of time, as we didn’t stay the night. It didn’t take long for our friends to notice there was more of a connection between us than just friendship. At one point, one of my husband’s friends said to him, “It’s time to stop the talky, talky, talky and do the walky, walky, walky.” I am pretty sure they were quoting out of an Adam Chandler movie, but the point was right. It was time for my husband to take our relationship to the next level and his friend was encouraging him to do so.

Sooner or later you have to decide to do something about your dream. You need to start sharing the dream with people. Start making appointments with people who could be involved with the dream or affected by the dream. Host an interest meeting. Post the idea on Facebook. Figure out what it will take to make the dream happen. More importantly, follow through. If you say, you are going to do something then do it. People are watching you, integrity is critical.

Six: One Day at a Time

From here you need to take these steps and apply them one day at a time. We just celebrated six years of this ministry; it’ll be seven years for me pursuing this dream in October. I employ these steps just as much today as I did back then.

I still need to trust and obey God each day recognizing that He is the dream-maker and I am a steward of this dream, which always leads me to a place of surrender – “Not my will Lord, let yours be done.”

It’s easy to let other’s opinions become more important than God’s. The only way I can accomplish this and the others I just mentioned is by getting into the Word of God every day. Otherwise, I get a bit lop-sided in my thinking.

I still need to be in student-mode. I am committed to being a life-long learner. Taking what I learned and acted on it. Professional development is just as significant now as it was back then. If I let comfort or status quo be my guide before we know it we’ll become outdated, inefficient, and eventually unsuccessful.

The Dream is Greater Than You

You see, when God lays a dream on your heart, it always affects more people than you. When your dream is from God, you have a responsibility to God and the people involved to follow through. There is a lot at stake.

Lives will either be transformed or not.

A change will occur or it won’t.

Communities will be altered or not.

When your dream is from God, you are responsible to God and the people involved to follow through. #Goddream

What will get you up in the morning is not your success, it is the success of God’s glory being made known. It’s no longer about you and your ego, but more about your willingness to serve in the capacity God has led you to with this dream.

You’ve got some big choices to make. You are the one God has selected. The time is now. What will you do?

Comment below: Share what your God dream is (because I love to hear about other people’s dreams) and share what you think your next steps might be and how you will start to see your God dream come to fruition.

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10 Ways to Quit Comparing and Build Community | Dawn M Owens

10 Ways to Quit Comparing to Build Community Instead

It’s hard to quit comparing to build community. Just last night I was on Instagram and I realized I was doing it, again.

Thankfully, I have learned a thing or two about comparison and how the enemy likes to tempt us with this to pull us away from our relationship with God and with others. So now when this happens, I have the arsenal needed to help me to recognize the devil’s schemes and respond accordingly.

How about you?

Do you know when you have fallen prey to comparison? Have you found yourself putting the phone down and feeling more anxious, maybe even depressed over the view on the screen compared to your life? Does that trigger the need to change your hair, body size, makeup, eating habits, or house? I have been there and done that.

Or are the times that you not only are finding yourself comparing online, but also when you show up to work, or the mommy-date at the park, perhaps at the event you went to last night or the store you were last shopping at in the mall.

It’s not difficult for any of us to get caught up in the trap of comparison. But how do we respond to it when we do.

As an approval addict in recovery, I can find myself caught up in this if I am not aware or careful. Doing so would send me into a downward spiral, and before I knew it, I had torn myself to shreds in my mind. At which point I decided I couldn’t do anything, be anything, or engage in anything because I was less than the person I was comparing myself to at the moment.

However, now that I lead a faith-based non-profit, that temptation to compare becomes even more challenging. Because now it’s not just me, but its just as easy to get caught up in comparing our ministry to another, which is the complete opposite of what God has given us as a vision for our community.

The reality is that for every truth there is about God and His desire for His people, the enemy has a counterfeit. Comparison, aka coveting, is that counterfeit. https://wp.me/p7HNJY-zY #quitcomparing

And the enemy is pretty dang good at it. Coveting is what got him kicked out of heaven in the first place. He wanted what he couldn’t have, and so God said adios to him and a bunch of his friends.

But we do not have to fall prey to that same scheme. We can choose a different path, and in doing so instead of sinning against God (coveting is a sin, which means comparison is too), we could choose a path that brings about unity in the body of Christ and therefore honoring and glorifying God.

10 Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

10 Ways to Quit Comparing and Start Building Community | Dawn M Owens

Accept-Repent-Re-Focus

1. Accept what you have done
The first step in stopping any cycle, addiction, or struggle is to accept the fact that you have done the very thing you were trying not to do. Without this step none of the others matter.

2. Repent
As I mentioned before, comparison is just a nicer word for coveting. Coveting, being the 10th commandment is a sin. The quicker we repent, the sooner we can get into right relationship with God. He can use a repentant heart.

3. Re-focus your thoughts
Another issue with comparing is that our thoughts are often running wild. The Word says that we are to take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). When we are set on a path to compare ourselves to others, our thoughts have a mind of their own. They are no longer focused on God, but instead on ourselves.

Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Prayer is Powerful

 4. Stop comparing and start praying.
I have found that the quickest way to stop myself from comparing, and therefore focusing my thoughts on me rather than God, is to change my focus.  I start praying for the person in which the comparing began.  It might look like this,

“Lord, I love the way you have fearfully and wonderfully made ___________. You have created ________ to be beautiful in the sight of man. I pray Lord for blessing over ___________________ gifts, talents, and passions. That you would give ___________ favor, where ____________needs it. Bless ___________ hands and feet as _________________  does the work that you have called ______________ to do.”

5. Speak God’s blessing over you
We must keep our focus on God and His perspective during this process.  We not only need to pray a blessing over the person we are comparing ourselves with but we also need to pray a blessing for ourselves. When we compare ourselves to someone else, we also start to tear ourselves apart. But we are created in the image of God, He sees us as daughters and sons, and as heirs to His throne. We certainly do not want to speak against who God created us to be. So try this:

God, I thank you that you created me in your image, with your own two hands. You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. You know my inmost parts. I thank you God for how you made me and that there is no one else like me, which means I can not be compared to anyone else, I am unique in my own right. Lord, I ask you to keep my thoughts pure, to align my heart with yours, to help me see me as you see me, and to be quick to respond to the Holy Spirit’s voice when He tells me to love who you created me to be and not compare myself to others.

Get to the Root Cause

6. Ask yourself, “Why?”
There may be a reason that you are comparing yourself to others. It may be because of how you currently feel about yourself. It may be that you have become disconnected to God. Perhaps you are harboring anger or bitterness against God, yourself, or another. There can be lots of whys in this scenario, but asking the question will help you get to your root cause.

Join the Movement

7. #Cheerheron
I want to start a new trend. Every Wednesday I am showing women on my Instagram and Facebook accounts that I think my followers should follow. I am using the hashtag #womentofollow, but I am adding the hashtag #cheerheron. Because it’s great to mention women that others should follow, but I want to do more than that. I want to change our culture. I want us to build each other up and realize when we are tearing each other down.  So in sharing that woman to follow, I also want you to speak words of encouragement over her and her calling, (recognizing that God has all called us live worthy of our callings).

Dawn Owens | Live Worthy | Do you have a calling?

8. Celebrate our different gifts and talents
The best part of being in a community is that we are not all the same. Could you imagine what life would be like if everyone looked, acted, loved, served, and thought like you?

Although different can feel difficult, can you imagine how dull and mundane that scenario could be? Oh, I would be over myself fast.

The apostle Paul was extremely passionate about unity in the body, and we know this because he talked about in almost every one of his Epistles. In every message he shared with the local churches he was telling them over and over again, honor each other in the gifts that you have received. Stop comparing one gift, talent, or passion to another. Celebrate the fact that we are all created differently for different purposes.

Balancing Social Media

9. Take a break from social media
The best way for you to stop incessantly comparing yourself to others is to take a break from social media. Yes, you can certainly find yourself in a comparison trap off of social media, but it is not as in your face or this case, screen. If you find yourself in that scenario off-line as much as you do online than I would say stay away from those places, situations, or venues for a time if you are able. Giving yourself a break will also help you give your thoughts a break. Those times will bring clarity and focus.

10. Use your feed as a prayer list
The best way to change the way you think is to go into it with a different perspective. Instead of scrolling mindlessly and finding yourself caught in a trap, use your feed, (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) whatever your social media of choice may be, as a way to pray for others. When we are focused on lifting up friends, family, acquaintances or celebrities, we may or may not know about God, our perspective changes. It’s difficult to compare, covet or have feelings of jealousy when we are lifting up those people to our Father. 

There you have it, 10 ways to help you when you find yourself comparing your life to another.

I have got one more, we’ll call it a bonus, way you can help support someone else and dig into this character flaw a bit further.

You may know that my book Like Me or Not: Overcoming Approval Addiction just became available for pre-order last week. If not, you want to go check out all the great giveaways and downloads available.

LMON Facebook Pre-Order

Apply for My Launch Team

But now I am inviting women from all over to apply for my launch team. This is an excellent way for you to start learning how your need for approval will affect your relationships. In turn, this keeps us in a place of comparison and effectively taking us out of community. In fact, chapter 6 in the book addresses just that issue.

If helping yourself so you can help others sounds intriguing, then be sure to apply today. We will only be accepting applications until April 2, 2018, and spots are limited.

Join My Launch Team

Questions: Which of the 10 ways was most convicting to you? How will you start to implement it in your daily life?

 

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Secret to Never Feeling Alone | Dawn M Owens

Uncover the Secret to Never Feeling Alone

There are times we can just feel alone in this world. But I have figured out a way you and I can never feel lonely again.

The secret is understanding how you are never alone, because God, who knows you, is always with you.

To that you might wonder:

But, does God know me? Does He really know who I am and everything happening in my life right now? Does He hear my prayers, know my struggles, see my pain?”

These are all questions we wonder about no matter where we are in our faith journey.

If you are at the beginning of your journey I want you to know that this is a safe place for you and I personally welcome you here to explore. If you are a believer but are struggling with those questions, my guess is there have been some significant challenges you have been wrestling with lately. I understand and hope we can walk through this post together.

Or maybe you are thinking, “Of course He does, God knows everything.” I hope you too will continue on with me as we talk about this topic and what it means in our relationship with Him.

Now that we have an understanding of who might be here in this space with us, let’s dig into this idea that you never have to feel alone or lonely because God not only knows you, He sees you and hears you, too.

The Secret to Never Feeling Alone | How to Not Feel Lonely

There are times when we can think we are all alone in this world, even when we are standing in a crowded room. There you are, people swirling around you, a buzz in the air, and yet, you stand unknown, unseen, blending into the wall.

Lonely.

Because of it, we can apply our perception of people and assume it is the same for God. After all, if people who exist right before our eyes can pass us by so easily, wouldn’t it be true of a God who can seem so far away?

Perhaps. Or perhaps He knows everything about you…who you are, why you exist, what your purpose is, who you are meant to be.

Everything.

In fact, I’d like to suggest to you that there is nothing He doesn’t know about you including when you are feeling lonely.

You are Never Alone: He Knew You From Your First Breath

In Psalm 139: 13-14, King David says,

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,

God knows you because He is the one who created you, knitting you together you in your mother’s womb.

Can you even begin to conceive what it might be like to have God hand-crafting every essence of you — your veins and organs, your blood platelets and cells, your DNA and every molecular structure inside of you.

He created your skin and hair follicles, He decided on your skin tone. He chose your eye color, bone structure, and the color of your hair.

There is no part of you He did not put together for reasons and purposes only He can understand.

You are Never Alone: He Knew You As You Grew

And then when you were launched into this world kicking and screaming, later growing into a toddler, a teen and eventually an adult He watched you…your first steps, your stumbles, and falls. God knows when you are lonely even when you are not completely alone. He has seen it all from your first breath until your last when you’ll stand before Him in glory.

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely. (Psalm 139: 1-4)YNever Alone: He Knows You Now

Even now, as you sit and read this blog, wondering about His knowledge of you, He sits and watches you. As David said, perceiving all of your thoughts. It’s a wonder isn’t, when we consider the God of the Heavens, wants to know us and is that near to us.

The other day I was reading in Exodus and this idea struck me again, the reality of His holiness — a perfect God caring so much about us that He would even want to know us, want to hear us, want to consider our needs, our wants, our desires.

Even though we fall short of Him. Deny Him. Curse Him. Forsake Him.

He loves us so much, He pursues us anyway. Believing that we’ll turn from our sin and see Him.

You see He said that same thing to the Israelites who were in Egypt. They had thought God had forgotten about them. After all, they were being oppressed as slaves by Pharoah. Every day they had to do hard labor for Pharoah, helping him build up the city of Egypt.

In Exodus 3:7-10, NIV God is speaking to Moses, but it is an excellent reminder for us today:

 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard     them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

He sees, He hears, He knows and He rescues us

The God of the Universe. The Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. Alpha and Omega.

He sees you. It says it plain as day in verse 7 – He has seen the misery of his people and He still sees your life today.

He hears you. Their cries reached His ears because of their slave drivers, their oppression, their struggle. Your cries, your prayers, your struggles…He sees them just as He saw the Israelites years ago.

He knows you and is concerned for you. He created you, in your mother’s womb. Of course, He is concerned for you. But in this case, in verse 7, He says in relation to their suffering. Whatever you are going through…in your loneliness, in your anxiety, in your marriage, or at work…He knows you and He is concerned for you.

He rescues us. In this case, Moses is the one He is sending to set His people free. But hundreds of years later He sent His Son Jesus to not only rescue us but to die for us.

You never, ever have to feel lonely, again. He is with you. 

Why Does It Matter?

All of this does beg the question – Why does it matter? What difference does it make whether I feel lonely or whether God knows me?

To that, I would say, EVERYTHING.

You see, understanding that God knows you changes things. It changes how you perceive the world. How you understand yourself, how you would interact with others.

And it has a direct correlation as to whether or not you feel alone.

I know this because I have experienced it first hand.

You see for years I had struggled with understanding who I am, what I was purposed for, why I was here. I used to wonder if my life mattered and if God even cared. And consequently, I felt very alone at times. At times I felt like being alone was the worst place I could be, left to my own thoughts.  I struggled with needing to have people around me to reassure me because my thoughts told me the opposite.

I was constantly trying to find my identity in other people because I wanted to be like them. It seemed as if they had life figured out way better than I did.

But now I realize, it’s not their approval that I needed. It was God’s.

Once I understood that God knew me, I realized I could stop striving to gain His approval because I had it all along. And then I realized being by myself was not the same as being alone. And worrying about what everyone else thought, was only keeping me from living out my calling in Him.

I can stop striving for God's approval because I already have it.
.

You see God placed in us a desire to be approved, to receive affirmation…but we warp that and instead of realizing we have received it from Him, we seek it from those around us.

In doing so we fall prey to people- pleasing, insecurity, rejection, and issues with control and anger thinking that we can figure it all out on our own, rather than recognizing the fact that who we are, our entire identity is wrapped up in Him.

Like Me Or Not: Overcoming Approval Addiction

In a few months, my book Like Me or Not: Overcoming Approval Addiction will be in the bookstores and you will be able to learn all about how to deal with the struggles of living in 2018 with all the beckoning of social media to make us feel valued, worthy, and wanted.

You’ll hear my story of how I learned who I am and how I had to overcome some pretty big hurdles in my ego and pride, to understand my addiction to people’s approval would have long-term effects on my relationships and my ability to live out my dreams.

You will be able to dig a little deeper and do a bit more self-analyzing of how this addiction has crept into your life and affected the way you view yourself and the people around you.

But if you are already wanting more, I have a special offer for you today.  Because right now, you have the opportunity to pre-order Like Me or Not, before it even hits the stores.

And when you do, you’ll not only get your copy earlier than everyone else at a discounted price, but you’ll get some freebies and a chance to win an incredible VIP Experience on the Fall Outcry Tour for you and a friend AND you’ll get to meet ME!

Now, this experience is so VIP, you cannot purchase it as it is not for sale…EVER.

But will only available until the book comes out in the stores on May 15th so you don’t want to miss out on this once in a lifetime chance to win these exclusive VIP experience for the Fall Outcry Tour.

And if you pre-order your book you’ll also get instant downloads of:

  • The first three chapters of the book
  • A choice of two lock-screens
  • A gorgeous print with 1 Peter 2:9

Like Me or Not Pre-Order Information
All you need to do is go to one of the online sellers listed on the pre-order page to purchase the book. Then, go back to the pre-order page, enter in your receipt and you’ll be entered in to win the exclusive VIP experience for the Fall Outcry Tour and you’ll get access to all those great freebies listed above!

Now here is the deal, the exclusive VIP experience from Outcry, isn’t even live on their site yet as they are still finalizing speakers and bands, but I can promise you this, you will not be disappointed! Outcry always has an amazing lineup. You can check out the Spring Outcry Tour here.

All Proceeds go to The Link of Cullman County

Oh and for every book that you purchase (pre-order or otherwise) all of the proceeds will be going to help break the cycle of poverty through The Link of Cullman County. You read that right, I have donated all the book proceeds to the cause of relational ministry to the poor.

In fact, while we are talking about it, if you want to donate a book for someone to take a Like Me or Not class with us from the jail or through our facilities you can do that too! If you decided to purchase (now or later) you can have it sent to 708 9th Street SE, Cullman, AL 35055.

My heart for the Like Me or Not book is to equip women all over the world (no matter who they are, what they have done, or how far they think they are from God) with a tool they can use to battle the enemy who wants to kill, steal, destroy what God has given them.

This book, whether in e-form or paper, is meant to be a weapon of destruction for the powers of darkness. Gifting this to someone who can’t afford it now, offers a chance at freedom, they may not have otherwise.

Pre-Order Now

You Never Need to Feel Lonely: God is With You

No matter where you are at in your process of understanding who God is and How He knows you, you can know you are never alone.

Hebrews 13:5 says:

“Never will I leave you, never will I  forsake you.”

Genesis 28:15

I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

When you understand who you are and whose you are, you will never feel like you are alone again.

Question: Do you struggle with loneliness? If so, when are the times that it bothers you to be alone the most? On what occasions do you feel lonely? Comment below and let’s chat about how we can encourage each other to seek the Lord when we feel alone.

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