First of all, it’s been a bit since I’ve written anything here. Let me say, we just moved. IT’S BEEN A LITTLE CRAY CRAY. MOMMA IS LOOSING HER MIND.
In the midst of all of my crazy I’ve started to write my next book (because I’m a freaking lunatic). It’s a killer. And I say that because IT IS WRECKING ME.
I’m writing about relationships; friendships to be exact. Intimate, deep friendships.
What I’m finding is that when I use the phrase “intimate friendship” my Christian peeps immediately think of an accountability partner. YUCK.
Before you throw stones, hear me out.
We were designed for intimacy.
Yes, we were designed for intimacy with a spouse. But, we were also designed for intimacy with someone of our same gender (again, PLEASE. Don’t freak out)
It’s biblical. Moses/Aaron, David/Jonathan, Naomi/Ruth, Jesus/John – just a few examples of crazy, deep intimate friendships.
I’ve found that in many Christian circles we are taught that we can/should only experience deep intimacy inside of marriage. Which is true sexually, but emotionally, spiritually, mentally and even physically (without it becoming sexual) I can’t find a biblical stance for that.
In fact, I find a strong counter argument.
Jesus and John LOVED eachother. Moses and Aaron kissed eachother – intensely and repeatedly (don’t shoot me, that’s what the text says).
This is something that is pure. God-designed. And something WE ALL CRAVE.
Why else do we reject it so much? Because we want it so badly, that we’re terrified we might get a taste of it and it will be ripped away.
I remember when one of my best friends and I first met. I was TERRIFIED. I knew it was real. I knew it had the potential to be everything my soul craved. And it scared the hell out of me.
I wanted to run.
As fast as I could.
I couldn’t handle the idea of another heartbreak. Especially not one with someone like her. Someone who I could tell it could be SO GOOD WITH.
Well, that journey has turned into the makings of a deep journey between me and the Lord in figuring out how to push through my fears of rejection and fighting for the gold that is God-designed: intimacy within friendship.
Where there are no walls.
And absolutely everything is out there.
It’s real and it’s what we need.
When we’re young we need the love of a mother and father. When we grow up we need those two roles filled again. They just look different.
One is met through our spouse and the other is meant to be met through an intimate friendship.
No matter how much these needs were met or not met within your childhood, the needs still remain as an adult.
The role my dad played in my life has shifted – much of those needs are now met by my husband. The role my mom played in my life has shifted also – there is a need for a friend to fill that nurturing role for me.
One that my husband just can’t be.
Because he’s a dude.
When we put the pressure of the both of those roles onto one person (ie: a spouse) we will become very frustrated. Because they aren’t designed or capable of fulfilling both roles.
And this is where we cross into the accountability thing. Somehow we’ve known this was a need, but we didn’t want to call it intimacy, so we labeled it “accountability”.
Do you know what that word actually means? It basically means a willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions .
An accountant is simply one who knows all of your stuff. They know where all of your interests are and they know how to guard them and agree to partner with you in taking responsibility for them.
But, we’ve turned it into this awkward confession time, where I don’t really know you intimately, but I’m supposed to dump all of my garbage onto you and listen to you tell me how to deal with the garbage and then you’re job is to make sure I keep taking my trash out.
THAT DOESN’T SOUND FUN.
What if, instead it looked like this: I’m going to push through my insecurities and fears and let you see me. ALL OF ME. And I’m inviting you to do the same. Let’s both put it all out there. Let’s choose to love what we both really are and guard the areas we are not strong in, instead of hiding them from eachother. Let’s know ALL OF IT. And let’s fight this thing together.
When you’re known and you feel loved in that place, it’s empowering. Like CRAZY empowering.
When I feel like this, I feel like I can TAKE ON THE WORLD.
But, when I live in fear of being known, I live insecure. I live in hiding. I live in isolation. And that place can become comfortable. Normal even. Almost so normal that leaving it is TERRIFYING.
But, as I march onward, I am meeting my Father’s eyes. Almost as if he’s saying, I’M FOR THIS. I DESIGNED THIS. YOU NEED THIS.
I was sitting on my couch the other night with my now intimate friend – and I needed to talk about something that was terrifying. I didn’t want her to know. I didn’t want her to see. I wanted to run and hide. And I even tried to. But, she pressed on.
The Holy Spirit continued to urge me to open up and be exposed.
I felt like I was going to throw up.
Over and over again.
But, instead, I opened my mouth and laid my insecurity out there.
ALL OF IT.
That moment was incredibly freeing. Not only for me, but it opened the door for her to do the same. And, within a moment, all guards were down and we were being known, seen and loved. Just as we were.
THERE IS STRENGTH HERE PEOPLE.
I am not perfect at this, but the deeper I dig, the more determined I am to fight for this.
To fight for the intimacy that I was created for. Because, when we live from that place we may just step into the most authentic version of ourselves.
When I am living in freedom here, I love better, I wife better, I parent better, I minister better – it takes time. LOTS OF TIME TO BUILD THAT LEVEL OF TRUST.
But, it’s so worth the investment.
Just like intimacy with a spouse, this level of friendship intimacy isn’t to be given to just anyone.
But, God wants it. He designed it. He champions it.
We weren’t meant to live alone.