What does intimacy with God look like?
Let me tell you from experience, it does not look like what you may think at first.
A few months ago I prayed for more intimacy with God. Little did I know I would be stepping into one of the hardest seasons of my life.
Honestly, I have felt like my insides were being ripped out. I know that is not a pretty picture, but it has not been pretty. God has been pulling out all the messy, ugly things in my life.
I have been one to stuff my emotions. My initial reaction when I would feel something other than joy and happiness would be to disregard it and move on. I would tell myself life with Jesus is supposed to be joyful and happy! Life with Jesus is like Christmas cheer year round! But the deeper I go in my relationship with Jesus the harder it is. Because the deeper you go with God, the more the devil wants you. The devil does not want you to have intimacy with God so he will do whatever it takes to tear you down. I have felt as though I have been in a war, on the battlefield fighting for my life.
For the past 3 months I have not felt like myself. I have not felt like the joyful, positive, optimistic person I have always been. I barely recognized myself. When someone would ask me how was I doing I would still respond with “Great! Terrific! Fantastic!” when inside I was breaking. Why did I do this to myself? I was trying to deny the fact that something was going on. I was trying to force my feelings into something positive instead of recognizing and dealing with what was truly going on. I let my emotions hold me captive.
I enjoy working out. I enjoy challenging myself and competition, but I got to a point I was using exercise as an escape from my emotions instead of dealing with them. I was using exercise in an unhealthy way. I would be exhausted and then workout and feel overly exhausted. I had been stuffing it and stuffing it until this one time I was working out and felt as though I was wearing a weighted backpack. The workout was hard but not as hard as it should have been. I felt as though I was at my max and about to burst. That’s when God make me realize I was using exercise as my escape and I got to the point I could not take it anymore.
I did the thing I never thought I would do… I stopped working out. I started listening to my body and listening to God. I didn't want to feel this way anymore. I was fighting a battle I could not win on my own. I needed help. I still need help. It’s hard for me to admit that I was depressed. I would get 8 or 9 hours of sleep and wake up feeling so tired. It was hard for me to motivate myself to do something but I didn't want to be identified as a person who was depressed so I forced myself to get up, but instead of asking the questions, “What emotion am I feeling? Why am I feeling this way? What do I need to do with this emotion? Do I need to ride the wave or let it pass by? God, what do you want to do with this?” I would exercise. So imagine feeling absolutely tired and then working out. Not the best combination for a healthy life.
Busyness is another way I would escape from emotions. I always have something going on. And when I would start to feel and emotion I did not recognize I would make myself busier so I would not have to deal with it. Not the way to go. Satan uses busyness as a way to keep us from God. The busier we are the less time we have for God, and the less time we make to be with God the less intimate we become with him. Exercise and busyness are my strongholds. They are the places in my life Satan can get to and ruin me. Becoming aware of those strongholds is the first step. Coming to God to help you release those strongholds is the second step. I am working on the second step.
I have always wanted to be the strong one, the person who is there for everyone else, helping others, but I am at the point in my life where I am the one that needs help. It has been a humbling experience to say the least.
God has brought me to my lowest, I have been broken and now he is putting the pieces back together. I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am seeing how God is using my experience to be able to relate to others on a whole new level. He is bringing people into my life who are either one step ahead of me to help me or one step behind me for me to help them. God is truly amazing and I will continue to walk in this intimacy with Him no matter how messy gets. I want it. I want the most out of this life with Him.
Do want it? Are you willing to go through the pain and the hurt to get to the other side of freedom?
It’s not easy living a life with Jesus, but let me tell you it will all be worth it when we get our reward in Heaven and see Jesus face to face.