in to me see

I was part a conference on Intimacy a while back and believe it or not, we were the ones to 'teach' on intimacy!  crazy huh?!  How would I, Wendy, have something to say about Intimacy?
I kept wondering, "how the heck are we supposed to teach when this is a very subject or area I  haven't even conquered yet?"  I guess perhaps some of the best teachers in life (well, besides Jesus; we all know he was perfect, right;) are the ones that are STILL learning their own lessons. Its kinda like a 'preaching to the choir' in a round about way... BUT perhaps maybe just a step ahead?

Intimacy. . . perhaps a guarded subject, word, or action for many if not all of us.

here's my big warning:: IF I were to ever 'arrive' and feel like I've perfected or mastered a discipline, then please don't listen to me! Ok? I totally KNOW I haven't arrived and have to continuously work on my own character integrity and person.  I KNOW I am not perfect and that is the farthest thing from what I ever hope to communicate, so this is simply another lesson I've learned along the way.

SO... i need your help here. . . yes you. The reader.  Ask yourself, if someone were to ask you to describe intimacy what would you say??  How would you describe it?  In terms of non-physical relationships, then how?

Okay. Do you have your answer?  

Have you seen this card?  I love it!
Its simple:  I prefer my eggs over easy, my coffee with cream, and my love with RECKLESS Abandon.

Wouldnt it be great if experiencing intimacy were as easy as cream in our coffee or whipping up a few eggs, even relaxing in a hot bath or shower?? :-D

I think where we get confused is that we're so convinced intimacy between two people is experienced only by physical or romantic connection. Am I right?
Unfortunately, I wouldn't be the first to say often times the "outside perception of intimacy" is because people are intimate with one another. (Or it looks like it through their public display)  But I would say this is not always the case.  And just through being intimate with another, doesnt mean they're really experiencing TRUE intimacy.

How many couples have you met that really dont know each other?  Could it be they have yet to experience true intimacy?

Into Me See!
Intimacy: the ability to see into another or let people in to really see you for who you are. No walls. no pretenses. no 'got it all together' act. And then, without the walls, the pretenses, the plastic facade, its about keeping those walls down, showing that we're okay to be a mess, to not be perfect, and even further to NOT feel like we're being judged or like we have to perform a certain way or meet certain standards.

After talking with a girlfriend, she was great to point out that so many of us are so stuck in masking our own pain and our own hurt through things like alcohol, drugs, food, working out, relationship dependency, even social dependency, that we lack the ability to truly be intimate with one another (friends, family, lover, God)

In order to truly be intimate we have to learn how to overcome these areas of darkness and learn to love ourselves for who we're truly made to be: a child of the King of Kings!

But WOW. this is so much easier said than done.

If someone were to ask you how you were to cultivate a deeper relationship with someone, you would respond - by spending time, right? Or am I not?  Then you would take that TIME you're spending together to talk to one another...And as you spend more and MORE time with that other person, you start to learn things about them: who they are, what they like, what they don't, what stirs their heart, what makes them think, what drives them, what encourages them, perhaps what makes them angry at injustice, or even annoyed.  You ALSO get to experience the other things; things that perhaps even make you a bit on edge, aggravated or upset.

Intimacy DOESN'T mean perfectly knowing someone and perfectly loving them. Heck, we are human! ...I DO think it means the ability to see INTO another's life beyond face value, arms length and perhaps into your heart's deepest point. Intimacy is the doorway into one another's soul.  Their deepest dreams, desires, wishes, hurts, heartaches, losses, and trials - exposed.

Think about it: by allowing someone else to share with you the things that matter to them, you create a place of safety. It grows their feeling of "connectedness" to you so they feel safe to continue sharing.  For me, when I'm around people I trust, I tend to open up more by sharing stories that impacted my heart.  Even if it has nothing to do with me, stories for me are ways into my soul.  If i didn't care about you, I wouldnt share my stories or make the effort of carrying the conversation to share more of what makes me think, come alive, hurt, have compassion, or get passionate about!

So naturally, in a healthy and safe environment, for most people if they feel there is a level of respect or encouragement or even open body language as a response to what they're sharing, they will share more.  When you feel you can equally also share with them, it is THERE where you are able to experience true intimacy!!

Okay... Lets take this a step in another direction.  There is the intimacy we experience with one another when we're growing deeper in relationship, and then there is the intimacy we experience with Christ. This is foreign for so many nominal Christians, I would guess. So, apart from a sunday service or occasionally thanking God for a yummy meal, how do we really have an intimate relationship with Christ? Apart from listing off our checklist of prayer requests?

Most of us would agree we can't experience intimate relationships with someone who's just an aquantance or someone we wave to as we back out the driveway.  So my question would be, what if we took the time to talk to Jesus?  Spend time with him?  Get to know him?  Instead of rattling off a couple "thank you's" or foxhole prayers for help, what if we were able to actually have a conversation and then in turn hear from him?  You know He speaks in a small whisper right?  

Its almost like that kid reaching into a candy jar hears his momma's voice: "Ahht, i wouldnt do that... itll spoil your dinner"  or like a girl getting read for her job interview hears her mom saying "you're gonna do great... dont worry, you've GOT this!!"  What about a father saying to his son before he pulls up to a girls house for the first time; "dont forget son, open her door, treat her like a lady... she is a princess you know"

Its those promptings we hear, I believe he speaks.  But when we dont know Christ intimately its hard to recognize his voice from the imitators.   I can guarantee you the enemy will be quick to trick you into something you could've sworn it was direction from God, except that nagging uncertainty despite you jumping all in.  When you stay intimately connected with someone, its not like you HAVE to converse 24/7 365. . . .sometimes its just about being present. Or letting them hold your hand, or saying a quick 'thank you' after they do something genuine & kind.

My challenge/goal for the future to come. . . I want to experience more intimacy with Christ and 
others!  The same way a couple wouldnt have to ask "would my significant other like this or not?" or they hear something from down the hall and they dont have to question whether that was their wife or their brother's wife; they just know and they know when they hear their voice.  
I want to know Christ in such a way that I don't have to pause and think; "now was that him talking or me hoping it was??:}"  when we recognize our mom/dad/sister/brother or child's voice - we KNOW it was them without even turning our head. . . THAT is where I want to get to!!  To even grow in intimacy we have to spend time hearing from Him.  Perhaps that means looking more to his word so we can recognize his voice more frequently. Perhaps that means talking to him every morning and letting him show you things throughout the day for just you?

Like, the other day we took a road trip to the mountains and accidently missed our turn for the ski resort we were hoping to get to.  Upon realizing we were 2.5 hours the opposite direction we turned back to head in the right direction and I was totally shocked, when in the middle of nowhere a man at a gas station walked through the door singing "he is jealous for me" under his breath. To no one other than me would that have been a total hault in their step. I was stunned and sweetly surprised by this, because "how he loves" is MY SONG!  what a sweet way to show his child he was part of the daily details of my walk. He KNEW what would reach me. He saw into my soul - In to me see! AND because I recognize his voice too, I could respond with a heart of gratitude.  I WANT to know my Father's voice like I know my family's or my best friends.

No, I dont think it will be something I will arrive at or complete. But What I do know is once I start hearing His voice more consistently, it'll be the continuation of the rest of my life of conversations!!

Just like an old cute couple on the patio porches in their rockers talking about the sunshine that day...that's how I want to know my Father!  I already know Im a child of the King of Kings, so its time we stop listening to the lies of the enemy and start recognizing the special gift and opportunity we have to know Jesus by voice.

Intimacy.  something so many people miss.  Makes me sad.  Experiencing intimacy is one of the raddest things we can experience - to know and be known. to love and be loved. to see into ones soul and have them see you in return.


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