Wanted by Jordan Dooley
“I wish I had a boyfriend,” she mumbled.
I tried to find the words to console her, reminding her singleness is not a curse.
I’m married though, so I’m not sure how seriously she takes me.
I don’t get it, right?
…Or do I?
As I walk out of our lunch meeting, I catch myself checking Instagram for the 20th time since waking up that morning.
It was only half past noon.
Why do I do that? Why is social media the default I reach for when I feel bored, or unheard, or alone?
My friend had just sat across from me, with lonely eyes, convinced a boyfriend would fill the void of loneliness, boredom, and insecurity in her heart. And I wonder if somewhere deep inside of me, I long for that same satisfaction, though in a different way and in a different season of life.
Yes, I’m married—I’ve been blessed with a wonderful husband and each day I wake up with joy knowing I’m living a love story only God Himself could write. So, why do I still reach for reminders that I’m enough? Or that I’m liked? Or that I’m loved?
I drive down the high way, pondering where that restlessness—that constant longing for an endless supply of affirmation, approval, and attention was coming from.
A Hunter Hayes song played on the radio. The melody with the sweet words of a man pursuing a woman’s heart passed through the speakers and made their way into my ears:
I wanna make you feel wanted
And I wanna call you mine
Wanna hold your hand forever
And never let you forget it
I wanna make you feel wanted
In the middle of that country love song, I heard the voice of Papa God speaking right to the void inside my own longing heart. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I pulled into my driveway, and it dawned on me: I have everything I could ever want in life but what I really want is to be wanted.
I need to be wanted. Not just at my best but also at my worst, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
It never goes away.
My friend and I? We are in drastically different seasons of life and yet, here we both are—reaching for things that make us feel wanted with a momentary sense of approval and affirmation.
Maybe we’re not that different after all.
And I realize: it’s not just the single girl that needs to know she’s wanted. It’s the tired mama, the insecure wife, the left out little girl on the playground, and every woman, girl, and daughter in between.
It’s all of us.
As I mentioned, I have everything I could ever want. A great husband, a job I love, a house, etc., yet I still wrestle because those things can’t ever want me back.
It’s true, those things truly aren’t the key to happiness or wholeness. And when I begin to look for love in them, it’s because I’ve put my identity in them and that leaves me feeling incredibly insecure.
And then it strikes me: the things we want most—our deepest desires, the things we spend the most time thinking about—often reveal our deepest insecurities.
For example, if you find that the thing you want most is a boyfriend, it’s likely because you feel insecure being alone. But God’s word says that He will draw us into seasons of aloneness with Him bringing us nearer to His heart.
“Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the wilderness
and speak tenderly to her.
There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley a door of hope.
There she will respond[b] as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
“In that day,” declares the Lord,
“you will call me ‘my husband’;
you will no longer call me ‘my master.[c]’
Or, if you find that the thing you want most is to earn more money, it’s likely because you feel insecure financially and don’t believe God will provide. But, God’s Word says that if God cares enough to meet the birds’ need—the birds who don’t work to earn money and buy their food at the grocery store, He certainly will take care of you because He values you so much more.
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
Or, if you find that your mind is consumed by social media, it’s likely because you feel unseen, unappreciated, or inadequate in your day to day life. I know from personal experience that when I focus on popularity, I lose sight of His purpose for me. And thus, I feel insecure in how well-liked I am and so I long for likes on my images.
But God’s Word says He made me in His image and likeness.
God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
The list could go on, but I’m sure you get the point. Our greatest desires often reveal our greatest insecurities. And so, we turn to worldly defaults that satisfy for a moment, but always leave us feeling more unwanted and emptier than before.
But my mom has always said something that I carry with me and it’s this:
“Every insecurity needs to be covered in love.”
What is love, really? The world has a thousand definitions for it but the Word is clear on what it is.
1 John 4:8 says that God is love. He is the very definition of love.
If that’s true then that means that every insecurity needs to be covered in GOD—in His righteousness, His grace, and His truth.
So then, the secret to overcoming insecurity is to replace it with the truth of our identity—and that’s only possible when we lean into the love only God can give, when HE becomes the place we turn to and the default we depend on.
Here’s why: Insecurity makes us feel unwanted, unloved, and useless, leaving us in a constant pursuit of a world that can never deliver on its promises. Identity—real, true, God-given identity—wraps us up in love and gives us mighty purpose.
And God is the Love that doesn’t need us, but it always wants us.
The heart of God beats for us, and His body was beaten for us, because He wants nothing more than our broken heart to beat back to life and live in victory over the lies with the power of His love.
So, to my friends defaulting to the lies—the things of this world that temporarily make you feel loved yet always come up short and always lure you back for more…
Let me just say this:
You already are wanted by the only One who wanted you before you wanted Him. People want you when you’re on top. So, we race to the top only to realize the top isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Here’s why: the true top we need isn’t a place in this race, it’s Jesus waiting with open arms for you.
Because He wanted us when we were on the bottom. He wanted us when we were in last place. He wanted us when we were hidden behind closed doors and covered in shame.
He wanted us when we were dead, and made us alive (Romans 5:8).
You are wanted by the creator of all things, the sustainer of all beings, and lover of every broken piece of you—and He wants you to know it.
His voice echoes through the lyrics of the love song: I want to make you feel wanted. I want to call you mine. Hold your hand forever and never let you forget it.
And when you do forget it, when you begin to feel unloved, declare out loud the name He has for you: Beloved (Romans 9:25).
He is on a wild pursuit of your heart. Your only job is to respond. When we choose to default to His Truth and dance in His presence a daughter—our deepest desire to experience real, life giving love isn’t only met, it’s exceeded beyond our wildest dreams.
Because it’s our Daddy’s arms that catch us when the defaults and deepest desires we have disappoint us, and it’s Him who gives us our love identity as a chosen one, a holy nation, and beloved daughter.
Standing in the love identity we’ve been given, the one that which leads to intimacy with the Lord, is the secret to experiencing the love we really want: the kind that overcomes every insecurity, that never fades, doesn’t disappoint, and the love that always wins.