Posting this a little later in the day than I normally do as I am thinking, writing and living on Colorado time for a couple of weeks. We are away in the mountains to minister to couples through Q1 at Legacy Lodge and the lines between giving and receiving are blurred. There is so much to gain and grow in related to how I relate that I find myself in the middle of fresh pursuit of deeper knowing.
Julie and I didn’t have the easiest flow of communication over the months leading up to this time. Expectations weren’t met and intentions weren’t appreciated. We were assuming the worst of each other at times, even though we were openly talking about it and trying to re-set that faulty lens.
Intimacy is difficult and, for me at least, it’s not a default place where vulnerability comes at the cost of comfort. Intimacy won’t happen, for me at least, without intentional sacrifice of selfish insulation. Intimacy is, for me at least, an intentional choice of investment and depth.
Intimacy isn’t only vulnerable, it is absolutely sacrificial. It is absolute in its sacrifice because where there is intimacy there will be hurt. Intimacy costs the intentional sacrifice of emotional hurt because close proximity with another, any other, will bring hurt, disappointment, misunderstanding and other unpleasant emotions. These emotions can be managed or avoided by isolation and isolation can be maintained in a crowded room or marriage relationship.
Intentionally running into hurt requires the sacrifice of our soul that is otherwise self-protective. Without acknowledgment and attention to the emotions that come with exposure, we will eventually develop habits of avoidance and callousness of the very heart we are asked to share. Hurt is temporary when we submit to the Healer. Healing starts on the inside and it is a benefit of knowing God, whose very name includes the declaration of His healing.
I spent the first part of my life protecting myself from any real exposure and the result was easy, but shallow. Marriage doesn’t negate that possibility, it simply affords the opportunity and possibility of depth and living beyond the restriction of isolation. For me at least, I can only hope to walk in intimacy when I allow the Healer to tend to my soul. With His healing and restoration, I can wake up to die to me again.