Closeness. We all crave it. Whether its closeness with your spouse, friends, or your favorite blanket. We all want to be close to something. To have the feeling that someone knows us fully, and still chooses to love us. I have that desire. It usually sits front and center of my mind, as an enneagram 2 (sos). I literally crave love above everything else.
In September of 2017 I got married. And, I honestly thought that I was walking into my “closeness”. After all, a marriage is as close of a relationship as you can get right? At least when it comes to humans, every single aspect of marriage is intertwined and it's my belief that your spirits are as well. So there I was walking into what I thought would fulfill that last craving of closeness. I celebrated the day the way everyone does; with a beautiful white dress, family and friends all around, videos, pictures, first dances, and a commitment. To choose to be close with someone through everything. No matter what life threw at us, it was me and him until the very end. (All I need in this life of sin.. Anyone?)
I am left looking back on that day shaking my head at just how naive I was. I am a Christian, so I know that ultimately my fulfillment comes from God. That relationships, friendships, family, and even food, don’t truly fill us up. I knew that walking down the aisle. But what I didn’t realize is how broken people are. I didn’t know that when I let all my walls down and allowed someone to try to fill the craving of closeness that only God could fill, I would be obliterated into dust. This isn’t everyone’s case, but my marriage ended up being abusive, and I was still seeking closeness in all the wrong places. Getting hurt deeper each time I looked for it. I tried my hardest to fulfill this desire for being fully known and loved by a human being that just wasn’t capable. So now I’ve been left in the dust of a broken heart searching for healing and still craving closeness.
Maybe you’ve been abused, maybe you haven’t. But, whatever your story is no single human being can fill the craving of closeness we all seek. I know this because I have tried it. Have you? Have you looked for closeness in things that just never satisfied that ache in your chest? Maybe it was famliy, friends, alcohol, sex, vanity, but none of it changed anything. You numbed it with those things, but that feeling was still there and now you’re wondering if it will ever go away. I don’t say this to say that people can’t love you well, flaws and all. Or that you’ll never find a relationship that is satisfying. Because, you can. But no matter how great their love for you is, it will never match what Jesus can do. Jesus is the only human being to ever embody perfect love. He is the one to heal other humans in an instance. He is the one people got on their knees and worshipped because of the change that occurred within their hearts when they encountered Him. And best of all, is that He desires a relationship with you. He wants to be close to you, as close as you will let Him be. He won’t overcrowd you. But He will step in as far as you allow and change your entire world.
There is a word for this kind of closeness, and it’s; abide. This word is used a lot in church but it is so much more than that. It's not a term that was created by Christians in the Bible a long time ago. It is a posture we have in life. It’s something we are doing unconsciously everyday. It's an action and we are all abiding in something. We just don’t call it for what it is because that word “abide” sounds biblical, when the truth is, it’s totally natural. Its human to desire closeness and therefore abide. Because that’s where closeness occurs. In abiding. For far too long we have abided in relationships, jobs, vanity, money, social media, and in people when humans just aren’t capable of fulfilling that craving for closeness. Placing a person in a space meant for God will always end poorly. Abiding in Jesus IS easier. It’s just difficult to see when you aren’t aware of where you’re abiding currently.
Here’s the thing, Jesus doesn’t work transactionally. He just wants to be with you. (Follow me on this abiding thing.) Abiding can be easy, it doesn’t require much. It’s defined as accepting or acting in accordance with. It comes from a Germanic word which means to wait, even older than that meaning is the archaic meaning to live or dwell. When I read this I couldn’t help but see the words as saying that we should wait on and dwell with Jesus. When Jesus said in John 15:4 “Abide in me, and I in you..” I think he simply meant for us to live with Him, to wait with Him, to dwell with Him. And best of all He wants to do the same. He wants to wait with you when seasons are hard. He wants to live life with you. Right now. Including whatever mess you may be in. You don’t have to change anything. And,no matter what season of life you’re in; He just wants to dwell in it with you.
So here is my question for you, what are you abiding in? Are you living for your work, dwelling in your sorrows, and waiting for fear to leave before you make your next move? If you are, here’s the key: Abide in Jesus and He will Abide in you. This truly is a closeness like no other. He knows you better than you know yourself. He knows your future and your past, and none of it makes Him flinch. It’s not too big or too much. You’re always enough. And just right, according to Him.
As you abide in Jesus you will notice changes in yourself. Jesus has a way of changing those around Him. Making us better, and making us more ourselves than ever. He will come alongside you closer than anything you’ve ever felt. And those closeness cravings? They will be a distant memory.
Lastly, while human relationships are complicated and can be frustrating, a relationship with Jesus isn’t.. He asks that you abide in Him. That you trust Him and become a branch attached to the greatest vine. While you’re attached to that vine you will experience the closeness you crave. And not only that, but growth, love, power, and a joy like no other. Jesus puts it like this. “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be in full.” (John 15:11) Jesus laid it out for us. The closeness we crave is found in abiding. Abide in me, and I in you. So that we may experience not only OUR joy in FULL, but His joy as well.
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Maggie is a Psychology Enthusiast, Writer, and an Advocate for Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing. She has walked through brokenness and learned that she’s not alone there. She wants to bring radical, relatable, and raw content that allows people to see into her journey and find hope there that illuminates their darkness. Connect with Maggie to learn more.