Overcoming your fear of intimacy with God can be truly overwhelming.
But, my heart longs to tell you things can change. With God’s help, we can overcome even our biggest fears. Inside, we long to go deeper and find a sacred intimacy with the lover of our souls. Yet, sometimes when it comes to drawing close and leaning in, our past holds us back with a vengeance. Especially, I think, when we long to approach an unseen, yet all-knowing God. There’s nothing quite like being fully known and seen.
No doubt, my embattled past cast a dark shadow of fear in the area of intimacy with people and God. I was scared of getting hurt, afraid of letting anyone see the real me. Maybe, you’ve been there too.
Today, as I sat down to write my blog, this picture triggered me and left me feeling extremely raw and vulnerable.
Overcome by fear, I remember pulling my legs up just like this sweet girl; I was desperately trying to block the blows headed my way.
Regrettably, I had a high school boyfriend who was physically abusive. I honestly hadn’t thought of that night in years, but seeing the picture above brought a tidal wave of memories flooding into my mind. Believe it or not, I never told anyone. That boy and I were intimate, too intimate. And, no one ever suspected. There were never any real outward signs, except once. I lied. Said I fell. But, I didn’t. He’d hit me really hard this time; my shin was badly bruised.
Still, I stayed.
Unfortunately, this relationship left scars of another kind. My mental scars left me scared and often triggered. I was scared of being too close and terrified of opening up my whole heart. Scared to death of intimacy, I shied away; yes, even with God. And, truth be told, I even tried to hide. I especially tried to be unseen by God. Without a doubt, I knew my life was coming apart at the seams. Yet, somehow, I thought I deserved this abuse. I believed the lies. Oh what a tangled web we weave when we are utterly deceived, making us endure too much and stay far too long.
Thankfully, one day I overcame my fears and walked away. Scared. Alone. Beaten down inside and out. Years passed and relationship after relationship ended in ugly, messy ways leaving me a broken girl even more afraid of intimacy.
How to Overcome: Learn to see God as the Gentleman He is
Understandably, I needed a lot of healing after experiencing such injustice. However, I didn’t realize until years later how greatly this time had affected me. I still flinch when surprised or startled. And, of course, I feel very vulnerable when backed into a corner whether literally or figuratively. But, God met me in my fear by being a gentleman. He never forced me to come close or made me feel unsafe. True to His nature, God wooed me back to Him. He lovingly reassured me He had seen ever bit of the injustice I had faced. In fact, I learned how much it hurt God’s heart to see my circumstances.
Thankfully, when God gave me a way of escape, I took it. And, because God showed me in His Word how valuable I truly am to Him, I began to believe it. Not just hearing His truths, but really believing what He said about me made an enormous difference in how I saw those dark times in my life. Even when I hid from God, God had His eye on me.
Listen, my radiant one—
if you ever lose sight of me,
just follow in my footsteps where I lead my lovers.
Come with your burdens and cares.
Come to the place near the sanctuary of my shepherds.
My dearest one,
let me tell you how I see you—
you are so thrilling to me.
Song of Songs 1:8-9a (TPT)
Fortunately, over time, I did overcome my fear of intimacy with God.
And when I did, everything changed. It didn’t happen overnight, but little by little, I began to trust God more. I’m so glad I leaned in a little closer because God is trustworthy and faithful even when loved ones aren’t.
Honestly, I hope my hindsight can help you today. I hope what I’ve learned will give you the confidence to take a step closer and find the intimacy you’re longing for with God. Thanks for letting me share some of my painful past with you. Thanks for meeting me here and cultivating a deeper relationship with me…and hopefully, God too.
Most importantly, I learned scared and sacred are almost the same.
In reality, to overcome your fear of intimacy with God, it might be time to flip a few small things around. Believe me, it works! Our perception changes everything.
When we see things from God’s perspective, transformation is all at once possible.
With God, change always is; Matthew tells us in his gospel chapter 19 verse 6 “all things are possible with God.” Learning to trust in God’s Word will revolutionize your perception of intimacy. And, slowly, but surely, you’ll overcome the fear of intimacy with God. I’m praying you move beyond your scared and experience some breakthrough even while reading this post.
Today, I realized scared and sacred are almost the same word.Interestingly, if you flip just two letters, scared loses all its power and becomes sacred.Click To Tweet
Scared suddenly becomes sacred when we surrender to God. Click To Tweet
Instead of feeling backed into a corner holding our arms up to shield us, God offers us the freedom of finding the sacred and holy in spacious places with Him. Surrendering to God makes our scared become sacred and that’s just the beginning of overcoming the fear of intimacy with God. Realizing God calls us His darlings and knowing He delights in us changes our perspective giving us a wide open spaces kind of mindset. No longer backed into a corner, we begin experiencing the victorious life of intimacy with God.
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. Psalm 18:19 NIV
Seeing ourselves as God sees us sets us free from our fear. Then, we’re free to become fearless.
Moving beyond our fears and into a deeper, more satisfying relationship with God happens when we dive into the deeper truths of His Word. There, we see things from His perspective. In the end, we find our truest identity in the pages of God’s Word.
Bathing us in the light of His love, we get a glimpse of how beautiful and safe intimacy is with God. We love because He first loved us. God gives us our vision. Therefore, we see. Seeing God as trustworthy becomes our norm. Through the lens of the Bible, we see God for who He really is and we learn to see ourselves as He sees us too. Finally, we are one in spirit.
But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:17 NIV
Finding our identity in Christ helps us overcome our fear
Sweet girl (or occasional guy reading this blog), if intimacy is what you’re longing for, you won’t find it in the gym, an affair, in a bottle, or a shopping spree. You might walk away satisfied for a brief moment, but it won’t last long. Even the good things we try to mask our fear with leave us bound in chains of regret if we’re not careful. However, I have the best news for you! There’s freedom beyond our fear. There’s a spacious, sacred space where we can live bold and brave as one with the Spirit.
Yes, indeed, this place has a name. Not surprisingly, it’s Jesus.
Consequently, you can experience the great exchange. With Jesus, surrender brings satisfaction. And, we trade our scared for His sacred.
Overcome your fear today and find freedom through intimacy with God. Be brave. Live bold.
In closing, I want to address an important issue. Sadly, there are still those of you who are experiencing some really scary stuff in your life right now. I want to encourage you to surrender your scared to God and let Him bring you into the sacred. Get help getting out if you need it. Please, don’t stay silent. For help, call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at the numbers below. Or, go to their website here
Prayer: Father God, protect those who need protection. Please, be a shield around them. Bring them out of the darkness and into Your great light. Transform our hearts. Renew our minds. Help us overcome our fear of intimacy with You, God. There is no fear in the perfect love of Jesus. Draw us closer, Lord. Make us ready. Make us like You. We surrender our scared for the sacred, spacious place of life with the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Hey, if you’ve enjoyed this post, I’d love for you to join me in this journey of walking in wholeness and living in victory here on the blog. When you subscribe below to AmyElaine.com, you’ll receive an ebook I’ve made just for you.
Finally, kick fear to the curb with this 30 day plan where you can move ‘from fear to freedom’ and ‘live bold and brave.’ Seriously, there’s power in this From Fear to Freedom Tour! So, check it out at flourishingtoday.com to experience all God has for you.
Be assured, I’m praying you receive your breakthrough today!
Additionally, to better understand how God sees us, try reading What Does it Mean to Be Kept by God. Or, listen to this episode of Real Victory Radio about Finding Intimacy with God with special guest, Dr. Brian Simmons, lead translator of The Passion Translation Bible.
© Amy Elaine Martinez and AmyElaine.com, 2016-2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amy Elaine Martinez and AmyElaine.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Oh my, Amy ! What a blessed post !
So glad you were able to get out of that scared moments in life and enter into a sacred relationship with Christ
I know the scar that physical and sexual abuse can cause. But fear need not be the end .
So glad to be part of this freedom tour along with you.
Thank you Diana! I’m so glad to be getting to know you better thought this your too! There is freedom in Christ! So grateful we’ve both found it!
Wow Amy! This is SO powerful!! Thank you for vulnerably sharing on such an ‘intimate’ subject. (No pun intended) 😉
Sadly, I can relate to so much of this. Perspective and identity really do make a HUGE difference in our trusting God and allowing Him to get close to us! I’m so thankful that He never stops pursuing a love relationship with us! He is the kindest, most knightly gentleman!❤️
Love your thoughts here! And, thank you for your sweet words of encouragement! God is the ultimate pursuer- I think that might just be my favorite attribute of His character. He will never stop chasing us down in love! Thanks for commenting!
You knocked this one out of the park friend??? Great job!
Oh thanks Gretchen! It really came as such a surprise as the words spilled out across the keyboard and onto the screen. Thanks for your words of encouragement!
This was so encouraging. As someone who has been emotionally abused in the past, I too found (and sometimes still do) it difficult to really allow myself totally intimacy when it came to my faith. Thank you for this hope inspiring post!
Thank you for reaching out in response today. It is a continuing struggle, but so very worth it! Thanks for reading!
I’m just beginning this journey. I am scared. I am scared of men, friendships, family, people, myself lol, which makes life oh so fun! However, little by little, God is showing me He is trustworthy but I still have so many barriers due to so many things that have happened.
Thank you for being a voice of gentleness. People can expect so much of you sometimes and expect you to move on swiftly but that’s just not possible sometimes. Some wounds are so deep and painful, they need a gentle hand.
Thank you for sharing.
Blessings from Ireland xxxx
Oh what a wonderful article. This makes me see that I am not alone, in my grief or my fears..not only do I have a Lord who loves me & longs to heal me, I have sisters in Christ who understand the feeling & the sorrow that comes from a shattered soul. The souls who long to be loved…the hearts that love despite the darkness of the pain..the spirits that still dare to Hope after being beaten with the reins of injustice. How Beautifully & Brave is their reflections!
You are not alone sweet friend! I’m so glad you found this to be a balm for your soul today! Yes, we have “a Lord who longs to heal us”- I love that!
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