The Longing in Me:
How Everything You Crave Leads to the Heart of God
by Sheila Walsh
We all have basic, soul-deep needs. Too often we look for fulfillment in the wrong places, from the wrong sources. In her book The Longing in Me, Sheila Walsh uses her own experiences and the Biblical account of David to illustrate how our desires are based in our need for God and can only be met in God.
Protection and Love
In the wake of a childhood tragedy, and adolescent cruelty, Sheila Walsh was left with deep longings for protection and love, but a warped concept of how to fulfill them. Despite an equally deep longing to please God, she looked elsewhere for security.
Whether or not we recognize our desire for intimacy with God, our needs to be protected and loved often manifest themselves in misguided desires. We want something we can feel, hear, see, touch. Though God is not vague, our day-to-day experience of Him can be. We are finite; He is not. We are distracted and enticed by all the lesser things that vie for our attention and promise gratification and comfort in the moment.
A passionate man who knew deep intimacy with God, King David was no stranger to distraction by longing that could not meet his true need.
I appreciated Sheila’s transparency concerning her first marriage and other experiences that left her broken. Her story resonated with me, as I’m sure it will with other women. Yes, Guys, this book is geared toward the ladies. But David’s life of victories and failures, and God’s faithfulness through it all, has meaning and application for everyone.
Longing has been the unintended theme for my blog this week. We long to see and be seen. We long to be held. But we hide from each other, from ourselves, and from God. I’m not alone in my deep homesickness that can only be comforted by God and the hope of eternity with Him.
That’s the thing.
The Longing in Me is all about how our longings can only be met in God. He alone can satisfy the hunger that seeks to devour us from the inside out. We run ourselves ragged and take bites out of those around us. Our unredeemed longings leave us a bleeding mass of empty, broken people.
Sheila beautifully shares her brokenness, and the fruit her life bears as she yields it all to God.
Still wondering if you should read The Longing in Me?
This book spoke to me as a woman well-acquainted with the futility of misguided desires and the emptiness of their pursuit. I recommend it to all who find themselves going around in circles, following the same futile patterns, and repeating mistakes. Sheila’s and David’s stories can teach us much about how not to deal with our longings, and assure us that we can trust God to fill our emptiness.
That’s the question we all have to answer: What do you do when you long for what used to be or what you used to have, and you can’t have it anymore?
Sheila Walsh, The Longing in Me
Sound like something you’d like to dive deeper into?
There’s also a The Longing in Me Study Guide with DVD: A Study in the Life of David.
“[Sheila Walsh] draws on her own experiences and the life of King David to reveal that all our longings are rooted in a need for God—and nothing else will satisfy when it comes to filling that void.”
If you decide to facilitate or participate in this six-week study, let me know what you think!
The Voices Sheila’s Voice in My Head
The Longing in Me is the first book by Sheila Walsh that I’ve read, and I plan to read more. I’m glad I recently heard her speak at a Women of Faith simulcast at a local church. Quirky? side note: If I’ve heard someone speak, I often hear them in my head as I read their words. I particularly enjoyed the lilt of Sheila’s Scottish accent in the wee hours I couldn’t sleep. Soothing.
I thought I longed for the craziness to stop, but actually I longed for the peace of Christ. The peace that Jesus offers can always be found, no matter how stormy the sky is, for He is our peace.
Sheila Walsh, The Longing in Me
Other posts worth reading:
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a digital copy of this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”