It's funny how when we're learning something God puts more knowledge about it in our path.
I was reading in C.S. Lewis' "The Weight of Glory" and one thing struck me harder than the rest. He talks about "the sense that in this universe we are treated as strangers, the longing to be acknowledged, to meet with some response, to bridge some chasm that yawns between us and reality, is part of our inconsolable secret. And surely, from this point of view, the promise of glory, in the sense described, becomes highly relevant to our deep desire. For glory means good report with God, acceptance by God, response, acknowledgment, and welcome into the heart of things. The door on which we have been knocking our whole lives will open at last."
This went so well with what I was thinking about acceptance and love. It seems like we're spending our whole life running away from our biggest fear- the fear of being left "utterly and absolutely outside- repelled, exiled, estranged, finally and unspeakably ignored" (speaking in relation to God.)
We turn to mortal acceptance as a temporary and false replacement for the desire we have to be accepted of God. It's not uncommon for us, as humans, to try to fill a void in our lives with something from the world around us. We may turn to relationships, drugs, alchohol, food, societal approval, or any number of other things to help numb the feeling that something is missing in our life. But all of these are poor substitutes for the knowledge that our life is in tune with God, that if we were to die today we would be accepted, acknowledged and welcomed into God's presence. We seek for love and God's acceptance in things that can never deliver that to us.
But God does send us help in the form of friends and family. It is through our relationships with others that we can first feel and understand His love and acceptance. God's love helps us to throw off the desire to fit in with the world. He will give us that sense of belonging that we all want. And the more we feel that we belong with God, the less it matters if we are accepted on this earth. This is true freedom.