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Intimacy Damage
Part One
Intimacy what?…

    What's your intimacy damage? What is intimacy damage you may ask? Well it could be almost anything that has caused you to be afraid of close relationships or something that has kept you from even being aware that you don't have any really intimate relationships. My intimacy damage just for example is the fact that I grew up in a family that didn't know how to be intimate. Because of past hurts it was considered better just to stay away from emotional things and that included simple things like just saying I love you to one another. So I grew up never learning how to be intimate with others or how to deal with emotions or conflict involving others.
    In John 17:21 it says "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us," Here Jesus is asking the Father to give us the same relationship that He and the Father have. There has never been a more intimate relationship than the one between the Father and Jesus and here He asks for us to have that level of intimacy with them. This is a tall request considering how I grew up. (I'm applying this to myself but I think it fits most all of us if we are honest.) Here Jesus is asking God on my behalf for intimacy beyond my imagination and here I am not even able to say I love you without feeling uncomfortable. That was where I was when God gave me his life when I was 18. That came with a hunger to know God, not just know about Him but to really know Him. Since then one of my favorite phrases in the bible is "face to face". Just the thought of being able to see God face to face and the fact that He wants to see me face to face makes my heart leap inside but here I am with all of this intimacy damage. This is the best way I can describe it: I'm in the midst of a huge building. The building has long since fallen down so all that is left are crumbling walls with doorways blocked by piles of rubble. I'm in the very middle and intimacy is waiting outside but how to get through all this damage and get to where I want to be is just beyond me.
    This has brought great frustration over the years but only because I look from my perspective and not from God's. You may be saying, "How does this apply to me? I grew up in a great home where I had intimate relationships with my family and I have no problem getting close to people." As I sit and think about this, I'm not sure if I'm better off or if you are. I think about how the cross made it possible for us to sit face to face with God and how He has put that longing in our souls. Is my lack of intimacy growing up causing me to be driven in that direction now? Or did your learning to be intimate as a child give you an advantage? I have to remember that this is God's plan and He has put all of us on the path that is best for us and He is the "author and finisher" not us. Only now am I starting to see just how deep of a place of dependence He had to bring me to so that He could bring me into that intimacy that He desires for me in John 17. Even the few things I've learned about intimacy fall far short of the depth that He will carry me to.

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