This past year, as Freedom Connection has focused on God’s perspective of intimacy, I have been reminded of the importance of keeping God’s design and plan for relationships at the forefront of my heart and mind. As much as God calls us to true intimacy with others, to have these relationships in the right perspective, everything (even our relationship with ourselves!) must be rooted and grounded in our intimacy with God Himself.
What do I mean “relationship with ourselves”? It is important to be at peace in our hearts. Recognizing our worth, being humble and yielded to God’s Holy Spirit, is crucial to having any kind of intimacy with God or others. Often people mistake humility for weakness or misunderstand humility entirely by thinking humility is thinking of themselves as not significant. God places a high value on each one of us, we are significant! We need to be able to value ourselves and the gifts He has placed within us, yet always being willing to be challenged, vulnerable, admit our failures and be committed to growth.
If we are not emotionally and spiritually healthy human beings, without meaning to, we will propel people away from us instead of draw people to us. As the saying goes “hurt people hurt people”. Rejection, pride, independence, pessimism – these all will hold people at bay, rather than draw people into deep, honest, healthy relationships. On the other hand integrity, vulnerability, humility, and people who recognize their own worth, as well as the worth of those around them, has the ability to thrive in intimacy and deeper relationships.
One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 139: 23-24 that says “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Depending on our personal tendencies, we can either gloss over important faults in our lives or we get too introspective and pick ourselves apart. When we ask God to search our heart and to show us what is there, and ask Him to lead us, that is when truth can take hold in our lives and through that truth, find freedom and deeper more meaningful relationships.
I love the illustration that we have used throughout Mission: Intimacy. Let’s take a look at it one last time:
In order to find God’s true design for intimacy and relationship, it must flow out of our intimacy with God. Intimacy must be a living, breathing, growing relationship with God.
The wonderful experience of intimacy with God is so extraordinary because we start with a relationship with God who fully knows us, knows our every thought and intention of our heart, loves us unconditionally and is totally committed to us. Wow!! What a great foundation for the most intimate relationship possible, each of us with God.
We grow and develop this intimate relationship with Him through communication, coming to know His character, and knowing His heart through His Word. This relationship will thrive as you are willing and make the time and effort to come to know Him and as you are willing to reveal yourself to Him. Yes, He already knows you… but your relationship with Him will grow as you intentionally open yourself up to Him, let down any walls that are in your heart, and share your life with Him.
Life with God is a moment by moment relationship that often leads to the unexpected! Doing life with God is not boring as some might think… life with God is the biggest adventure you can imagine!
My own personal adventure with God has led to unexpected experiences and a journey that has not necessarily been easy, but has been worth every moment. God doesn’t promise “easy”, He does promise to be with us and give us the strength and comfort that we need for what He asks of us to do and where He guides us to go. He is faithful. That is who He is, His character – He cannot be unfaithful.
In 2011 God spoke to my heart about starting this ministry, Freedom Connection. He had prepared me, was guiding me and opened the doors. The past years have been an extraordinary adventure! Lives have been touched (most of all mine!) as myself and the FC Board of Directors, and many friends of this ministry worked to forge new paths of open communication about topics that are rarely talked about in a healthy context. It stretched me as I have openly shared my own past struggles with sex addiction in order to give God the glory for how He changes lives (changed my life!). He gives grace, forgives and heals. I have been, and will continue to be; open and vulnerable for the purpose of giving others hope and help them move past shame and addiction into a lifestyle of freedom.
My story is a personal testimony of the lifestyle of freedom that can be experienced through Jesus.
This past year, God has brought many changes into my life; wonderful, yet sometimes heart wrenching changes, challenges and adventures. The way I think of it is that life is a journey. A journey that has times and seasons, hills and valleys, beauty – and at times, even seasons that feel barren; God can be in them all. Through these changes, God has reassured me that He was in the past season of ministry with Freedom Connection, but the time has come for a new platform – a new season of ministry – a new path on my journey.
I invite you to join me on this new adventure! This next season will continue over at my new blog/ministry site called The Journey with Tammy at www.tammybunk.com.
This new platform is not “live” yet, but will be very soon. Watch for it!
Thank you so much for standing with Freedom Connection with your prayers, financial giving, encouragement and your support in a multitude of ways. This website will stay “live” and hopefully remain a resource for many in the years ahead.