One morning, I read Psalm 23:1 and I have to admit that I’m not too familiar with the characteristics of the sheep. I was interested in learning more after reading that the Lord was being compared to a Shepherd.
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.” - Psalm 23:1
Most people think if you live in Texas, you are knowledgeable of farm life. However, I admit that I’m not. So, I decided to read about the characteristics of sheep, which are called lambs when they are younger. One of the statements I read was about the sense of touch and how little lambs seek bodily contact with their mothers.
Just like lambs, we seek contact from our mother, but truly both parents when we’re younger. In fact, I’m 44 years old, and I still love receiving hugs from my mother. There’s nothing like a warm, gentle hug from your mother when life gets tough. Somehow problems slowly disappear like ice melting on the concrete on a hot Texas summer day!
My mother and father divorced when I was young. Years later, my opportunity to enjoy all the special father-daughter moments ended when he passed away in 1988. For years, I deeply longed to have it. At times still wonder what it would be like to have him in my life. What girl doesn’t want her dad to give her date a hard time (for fun of course) or want her father to spend time laughing and playing with his grandson? It’s every girl’s dream to have that type of connection with her dad.
As I kept researching, I continued to be inquisitive about the importance of connection and touch. I came across an article by Gigi Newton, about what a caring and loving touch does for infants. She states, “It is a necessary part of developing attachment between the child and parents. It is the beginning of communication between the parent and child. It makes the child feel secure and the child learns to trust, and develops an emotional tie with the parent.” Then she goes on to say, “When a child is not responded to he does not feel safe. As a result, the child’s sleeping, eating, and social interactions can all be affected.”
I reflected on that sentence for a few minutes. I thought about how I had spent a lot of my life not trusting and feeling extremely insecure. I was searching for that connection with my father that I didn’t have. I looked in all the wrong places for validation and security. I realized that I didn’t receive that connection. I looked for it in things and people, and they would never be able to replace the role of my earthly father.
However, I am so thankful for the people, resources, and events that God used to mentor, guide, and help me along the way. Each played a part in pointing me to the one who loves me unconditionally. If you can relate to my story, I want to encourage you and let you know it’s never too late to change. You can stop seeking validation from all the wrong people, or you can stop being a workaholic and seeking validation from your job. You can experience real love from God!
My prayer this week, is that we would dig deep in our memory bank. Remember areas in our lives when we desperately needed the physical touch and connection with our parents and didn’t get it. I pray we push our way through doubt, fight our way through what other people think, run pass our fears and grab a hold of truth! You see, there’s power in our parents initiating connection with us. There’s also power and a special connection when we understand God’s love for us. He’s the good Shepherd who cares for his sheep.