“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” (Jonah 2:8)
When I heard the Living Water’s teaching on narcissism and relational idolatry, I didn’t think it applied to me. Though not obviously narcissistic, I as a single woman dreamt of an ideal romantic person who existed only to meet my needs and fulfill my dreams.
To break the power of relational idolatry, I confessed to others. God provided three or four people I could call every day to confess my idolatry. They prayed with me, spoke truth and encouraged me to live in reality. After three months of confessing, I asked: “What is the deeper issue?”
I sought counseling. Lacking satisfying friendships, I found it easy to isolate. With my counselor’s help, I began to reintegrate the dimensions of my life: spiritual, emotional, and intellectual. I discovered that I was actually afraid of real intimacy.
My ideal was unreal. He was a flat, two-dimensional being. I had to admit the idol of romance, the myth that another human being of mythic proportions was going to complete me.
These sensual, romantic feelings masked my horrible ones: loneliness, neediness, singleness, not feeling loved or lovely.
I confessed the deception that fantasizing hurt no one. I confessed that I didn’t trust God to provide a future for me. I felt overwhelmed, frustrated, and disappointed with God; I was afraid of change. As my emotions thawed, I realized that God wanted me to acknowledge these feelings to Him. I had to choose to live in truth.
I sensed the Lord telling me that if I held on to these idols, He could not let me have the life that He intended for me. The choice was to live fully as a single person with her own dreams, successes, and failures. The Lord revealed to me the characteristics that He wanted to develop in me. God was directly giving me more of Himself. He was building my identity and providing a hopeful future.
Currently, God is giving me the desires of my heart. I had to let go of my fantasies and plans and learn to trust Him. He is redeeming my desire for significance and purpose. He assures me that He is the source of my life and endows me with purpose, joy and peace. I am not alone, but am found in Him.