We are more keenly aware of our own shortcomings than anyone else. Remembering the glory that was once ours awakens my heart to an ache that has long gone unfulfilled. It’s almost too much to hope for, too much to have lost.
You see, every little girl—and every little boy—shares a fundamental longing to be loved. But oftentimes, the way this need plays out is very different. Each child born into this broken world is asking one fundamental question. But they are very different questions, depending on whether you are a little boy or a little girl. Little boys want to know, Do I have what it takes? All that rough and tumble, all that daring and superhero dress up, all of that is a boy seeking to prove that he does have what it takes. He was made in the image of a warrior God. Nearly all a man does is fueled by his search for validation, that longing he carries for an answer to his Question.
Little girls want to know, Am I lovely? The twirling skirts, the dress up, the longing to be pretty and to be seen—that is what that’s all about. We are seeking an answer to our Question. When I was a girl of maybe five years old, I remember standing on top of the coffee table in my grandparents’ living room and singing my heart out. I wanted to capture attention—especially my father’s attention. I wanted to be captivating. We all did. But for most of us, the answer to our Question when we were young was, “No, there is nothing captivating about you. Get off the coffee table.” Nearly all a woman does in her adult life is fueled by her longing to be delighted in, her longing to be beautiful, to be irreplaceable, to have her Question answered, “Yes!”
Why does the Question linger so? Why haven’t we been able to find and rest in a wonderful, personal answer for our own hearts?