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  • Sheleena Boulianne

INTIMACY | Mar 11-17, 2024

Updated: Mar 13



To catch up with our Lent journey, check out this post that explains our practice.


Relationships are part of the fabric of our lives. We are undoubtedly social creatures, created for connection. There is very little that happens in our lives completely outside of the reach of another person’s influence, for better or for worse. Our souls are shaped by how we are or have been loved or rejected by one another. Families of origin, friendships, romantic connections, neighbours, colleagues: these form the framework of our existence. Genesis teaches that all of creation had been declared good by the Creator as He spoke it into being; the first utterance of “not good” was in reference to man being alone (Gen 2:18). We were made for one another. Jesus said that all commandments, all paths to fullness of life, could be realized in only two – to love God and love others (Mark 12:30-31). But we know that simple is not always easy.


Just as we often exchange love of God for love of weak, powerless replacements – idols – so too do we grasp for acceptance instead of loving one another and being loved with true intimacy.


In an effort to feel secure, we become entangled in all sorts of unhealthy patterns, behaviours, and image management to prove, validate and define our existence. Our true longing, though, is not that elusive, it’s just vulnerable. It requires trust. We were made for intimacy, and God shares this longing with us – he created us for it. I recently read a quote that upended my soul:


“The more you heal, the less you see attention as affection, attachment as connection, codependency as support, disagreement as an attack, enmeshment as intimacy, lack of boundaries as empathy, external validation as internal self-love, and trauma bonding as healing.” – Rev. David N. Moore


I see myself in this more than I care to admit. My soul is entangled in all sorts of cheap imitations of intimacy. But as I heal and give God and others access to the real me, my surface desires are exchanged for that deeper, truer, and more beautiful, shared longing for intimacy. In love, God honours our autonomy and waits with endless patience for us to accept his invitation to be welcomed into deeper communion with him and one another – that eternal, life-giving, and holy kind of relationship that can’t be coerced, imitated, or replicated. It is love.


 

READ

John 17:20-25 | Colossians 3:12-15


REFLECT

How is the wanting of acceptance expressed in my life?

What entanglements are showing up in my life as a result of chasing after this want?

If my wanting of acceptance is actually a shared longing with God for intimacy, what might pursuit of intimacy over acceptance look like?


RESPOND

Start with a confession. Invite the Holy Spirit to reveal barriers to surrender that arise in you.

I confess that I have wanted ____ more than ____.

I confess the ways that I have become entangled by this want and renounce the lie that ____.

Now, choose repentance by turning toward God.

I confess that you are God and I am not and that your longing for ____ is actually my deeper longing.


FAST

As a way of living into your repentance, consider fasting from image management this week.

Resist the urge to explain yourself, elevate yourself, or secure surface acceptance for yourself.


RECEIVE

Read Psalm 23. Right in the middle of our entanglements (our enemies), Jesus meets us with love and provision.

Holy Spirit, what do you want to give me from the table you have prepared for me?


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