New Relationships


A few days ago I wrote about a pattern I noticed with emotional disconnects.  This is a follow-up to that pair of blogs.

It is quite clear that this pattern was widespread but not universal.  Some people simply were untouched by the shift.  We don’t have clear language for what the criteria were that caused or allowed someone to be unilaterally included by God in this group, but it was quite unambiguous who was part of this process and who was not.

It seems that we have come out the other side and again, there is a pattern.  It is pretty uniform and solid.  The shift seemed to have happened two days ago, i.e. Monday the 29th, give or take a little.

The picture I have is of the relationship between a mom and her baby in the womb.  During the pregnancy, there should be deep intimacy.  That intimacy is rather savagely fractured during the birth process.  I just don’t hear of mothers spending too much emotional energy thinking about how their pushing might be causing distress to the baby.  Nor do I think the babies spend much time worrying about what they are doing to mom.

The emotional separation caused by the ruthlessness of the birth process is formalized with the cutting of the cord.  There is no going back.  You don’t reconnect the cord and babies don’t go back into the hopper for another season.  There is a finality to the season in the womb.

Then, after the birth, there is reconnection, but it is different.  The baby and mom are in a different place, and nursing replaces the cord, sound is different, etc.  There is a complex process of learning about each other on an increasingly deeper level.  It takes time and experimentation to figure out how to position oneself with this old/new relationship.

We see some parallels in the reports from the field the last few days.

-The desire for intimacy in the inner circle is back.  In fact, some are reporting that the craving for physical and emotional intimacy is much stronger than before.  This is a knife that cuts both ways.   Those who have a circle they were close to before the emotional disconnect that happened back in early August simply go back to that set of relationships with deeper sweetness.  Those who are single or in a relationship but emotionally isolated, find this craving to be maddening because there is no outlet for it.

-The middle cluster of previous relationships are being re-evaluated and each one is being repositioned so the relationship is based more on reality.  So many relationships emerge rather randomly over time, but now people who have come through this season are suddenly seeing the codependency and other unhealthy features of their relationships and are reconnecting based on new social contracts.

-And on the outer periphery of the relationships cluster, there are some who are suddenly being treated with a hard edge, which is not the same as harshness.  Simply put, as we emerge into this new chapter, there seems to be little tolerance for the people in denial and those who resist growth.  The attitude I am seeing emerge is simply an uncompromising commitment to show no mercy to someone who has broadly and deeply squandered mercy in the past.

Against that backdrop of widespread repositioning in the human relationships, something else appeared which I think is related.

I have received a number of REMARKABLE e-mails about encounters with God in the last four days.  While each one is unique, there is a pattern.

First, the results are disproportionate to the triggers.  God uses some small thing and does a huge work inside.  Sometimes He brings up a brand new issue.  Sometimes He revisits something that we were sure was quite done.  Regardless, there is a God-initiated visitation of significant proportions, almost always done in isolation, not through any planned ministry situation.

Second, the work done seems to be very close to the core of our essence.  While there is a token problem that is addressed, that playing field seems almost irrelevant.  At the end of the process, it is not that we are free or healed, it is that we are different.

Third, it seems as though it is more about God putting something of Him in us, more than the removal of junk or the healing of a sore spot.

Fourth, it seems to be part of positioning us to walk out a portion of our life that we have seen for a long time but have never been able to get traction on up until now.

Those things were obvious.  But when I circled back around and double checked, it became obvious that central to the whole experience was a change in our intimacy with God.  And I use the word change carefully.  It is not just more of what we have experienced already.  It seems as though we can connect with God in a different key of music, on different terms, in a manner we have not experienced before – in a different quadrant.

So that caused me to reword the whole equation.

I think this might have been the sequence.

-God took us into a place of isolation from Him and man.

-He removed something during that time, but more importantly He added a piece of His nature in us that is an interesting blend of truth and love.

-We are now able to love Him and others more, but it is a stern love, one grounded in reality and strongly opposed to being part of the corporate maintenance of a dysfunctional community.

-As a result of our new connection to Him and our emerging adjustment of community, we can move toward a door that is opened.

This will be worth watching.  I wonder what it is all about!

One peripheral note:  some of us are new people, while many of those around us did not go through that sequence.  It creates an interesting puzzle as we seek to redefine and recreate a relationship with other people who are mystified at what happened to the person they knew so well and they are confused as to why the social contract is suddenly being unilaterally rewritten!!!

Copyright August 2011 by Arthur Burk

From the Quarterdeck, in Anaheim

This entry was posted in Awe, Intimacy, Spiritual Growth. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to New Relationships

  1. Doris says:

    In my previous post, I mentioned a renewed relationship with an old friend who is one of few I can truly be intimate with right now. What is recognizable from your blog is that the very thing that broke down my group of ladies was a false sense of intimacy! I don’t know how to explain it but after five years you would think we had reached a place of intimacy where I could be me and be recognized for my gifts and none of that happened. I beat myself for a while regarding that and suffered the slings and arrows of failure that were sent my way by some in the group regarding the lack of intimacy and then others saying the level of intimacy was too scary. So once I let go of that, and waited, God is returning TRUE intimacy thru this renewed relationship and we are both going thru everything you are stating in this blog. She too has ended a group and we are discovering that we have been put together for a new purpose, one which registers high on the birthright of the Prophet (we are both prophets.) So your blog gives me hope and i feel the embers of a fire burning again. halleluiah! Now we wait for God to unfold the rest of the assignment. I love the fact that there is no fear here in this place. I am beginning to feel dangerous again!

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    • Yes, Doris. That is very familiar. Places where we thought we had intimacy and did not are being exposed for what they are.

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      • Rosa says:

        That statement just gave me clarity. Is there a possibility that this window may have started some time before August for some people,or am I being my usual,slightly off-beat ,not quite in sync self. Because I have been experiencing disconnect in various relationships for awhile now, and I am still not sure which ones will come back together or not. And how about forming completely new relationships?

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        • Hard to say Rosa. On any given day, everyone is on their own journey. Once in awhile, we see these patterns that seem to occur for a lot of people at once. It is hard to wrap my head around the two dynamics. For this pattern to have worked out in our lives, we had to have been on a particular kind of journey for awhile first, yet, there seems to be an overarching influence that is larger than our journey.

          It simply underscores once again that life is an art form, not a science.

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        • Annie says:

          Rosa, I have a similar experience to you with regards to the timing. I relate strongly to the topic at hand, but for me it has also been in a window that started earlier this year…with breakthrough that happened round May/June and a new freshness in relationships that has been going since then.

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  2. Kim says:

    Wow! Thank you for putting into words what I have been going through! Just as Noeleen posted about her struggles with not showing mercy, I too have been struggling with the tension of when/how to show mercy to those in my life who seem to be “abusing” it. This is new territory for me and I’m relying on new intimacies with God to understand how to walk this out. It is wonderful to know that I’m not the only one taking part in this shift.

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  3. Noeleen says:

    Sorry – I still don’t get this. ‘…an uncompromising commitment to show no mercy to someone who….’. In the story of the prodigal son, who surely must have been up there with the squanderers of mercy, I know that he had made the decision to come home and was ready to say sorry and do his bit, but the Father was watching for him. He showed mercy. He shows mercy. I’m just looking at Matthew 18. Jesus is telling them about their responsibility to make sure they’re intentional about not sinning. And I can see that if someone refuses to listen when challenged they should be treated like Gentiles or tax collectors. But there’s a protocol. And then he’s very clear about not limiting how many times someone should be forgiven and clear about what will happen if someone doesn’t show mercy.
    I was thinking about Gomer this morning and how she was stripped of everything but that was with the deliberate intention of bringing her back, was it not?
    When I read the words ‘hard edge’ I think of a scalpel or axe or scissors which can be helpful and life-giving in the hands of someone who has skill, experience, insight, discernment, sensitivity, gentleness, humility….otherwise a mess can be made.
    I’ve been struggling and I’ve watched myself relentlessly challenging behaviour that I’m not happy with but I’m not comfortable with this not showing mercy

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  4. Gayle says:

    Thank you for confirming what God is doing in me!

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  5. Mary-Anne Simpson says:

    Absolutely spot on, I did not get it the first time round, but this is just where I am.

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  6. Salome says:

    Arthur, I can only thank you for this article. I am thankful to hear that others have experienced same of what I have encountered, not having the words myself to explain it. Sometimes God dances with me in beautiful choreography and tells me how far we have come. In other moments, I am being stretched to start running with God as if He is in a hurry and there are leaps and bounds still to achieve. For my limited mind, He is sure sometimes strange/weird and I can only listen and contemplate and wait….. for the evidence of His truth to manifest. I am always well surprised by my King.

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  7. Alison says:

    I also have a dream this week. I am looking at where the phone box stands in our village, and it’s new but only the framework is there. Then I see the same framework of the phone box outside the village hall [up against the wall of the building]. I am also leaning on a stone wall viewing this.

    The phone box represents communication, and thus I see is a new framework of communication both signally and with community as the village hall represents community.

    I love this post today as its confirming much.

    Thank you

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  8. Derick Gross says:

    Arthur your posts just illustrate to me what the Body of Christ is all about. Caring for one another and helping out. And i want to share my experience. With my post i replied that i am so tired. Well i can understand why i was so tired. Something that happened about 16 years ago was suppressed in me by fear.What happened to me in this season is a new kind of fearlessness. I faced the giant! And had this feeling that it would be better to die than to live with fear the rest of my life. I am not completely healed. I have continuously strived to be healed to be better relational to people and friends who would find my mannerism interesting. But now i do not want to change myself anymore. I have peace absolute shalom with my being, with my weaknesses. I had a remarkable visitation from the Lord, and one thing for certain is a new standard in my life. I see my weaknesses now as part of the fathers poem, “i am an epistle of Christ”. And know that He makes all things good in His time (Ecc 3:11)

    Thank you Arthur for your time spend, i really appreciate it, i am grateful for you!
    Regards
    Derick Gross

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  9. Mike Clarke says:

    Arthur, Spot on! My thoughts on this. 1.Moving out of intimacy of relationship with God tested my commitment to His word. He promised never to leave me nor forsake me…. So? 2. Moving out of traditional relationships. The people concerned may or may not be aware of the season of disconnect but what is for sure is that they know they are dealing with a different person now. They now have a choice to make. Adjust to the new AUTHORITY or goodbye WHICH BRINGS ME TO 3. THE ISSUE OF RELENTLESS INTOLERANCE AND OPPOSITION TO WILLFUL DYSFUNCTIONALITY. My sense is that most of the people who engage with Sapphire have had to deal with the issue of learning to suck it up and get on with it. I feel like God has shifted from Father to King. For the people who went through this brief season the PT and equipping are over. We have now got some mountains to capture and as some famous military leader said “The only purpose of victory is occupation!” IT IS TIME FOR US TO BECOME FEAR FREE, HOPE FILLED, PASSIONATE & PROACTIVE LIFE GIVING BUILDERS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD!

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    • I will say that this post connects with what I have been undergoing…never being able to gain traction because I was never recognized as a daughter….people consistently ignored me…and blatantly squandered the gifts of wisdom I gave abundantly through exercising the gracious gift of mercy…But then god healed some major disconnects inside me..and surely the scoffers have been shocked at the change in me.
      I have changed and they have resisted growth….I can not continue to relate to their blatant disregard of the message and the message bearer. The Father gave me a message to share with the hurting/brokenhearted, and it is a message containing HOPE and NEW LIFE. I have been equipped and am not a slave, I am a daughter of the King and THEY better buck up because to me they are so blatantly out of line in this godly new order.
      “Go to the rear,” the Daughter of the King says…and Start over!” This is what I feel like saying to the dysfunctional ones…stuck by choice in the old paradigm …Time for us to be FEAR FREE and to STEP OUT. Amen. “Will the Mercy Gift please remove the doormat off of their backs.” Done. Amen.

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  10. Lisa says:

    Thank you, Arthur. I resonate with most of what you have said. There was a definite shift. I am grieving in some instances over reworking some of the social contracts on the other hand there is new freedom. It’s a glorious and terrifying time all at once. But mostly it is glorious. Like being born again again. What does it all mean? I have no idea. But it is different. And it feels much more real.

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  11. Donna says:

    Just a few minutes ago I was beginning to write you and ask if you’ve noticed any shifts in the last few days. In my world and across my Facebook friends, today in particular seems to be inexplicably brighter. I resonate strongly with about 80% of what you just wrote. I’m one of those where nothing externally has changed, but something inside is very different.

    As for encounters with the Lord, this morning I woke from a dream where I was told the strength of one of the women in my church leadership was the key to me stepping into my strength. The dream washed over me with deep relief and comfort, as though many things had been resolved. And as the day has gone on, I can’t escape an internal reality of hope and resolution. Whatever this is hasn’t connected dots with my soul. Nor can I yet see the change in my intimacy with the Lord. But something is certainly different.

    If there is any hope of bringing value to Facebook, they have begun reporting what we posted a year ago today. And one year ago on this date I reported walking in a very similar situation. Here it is: “Many things may not be right with the world, but oh my word! Without even trying, today so much is right with my attitude and expectations about the world. Somebody slipped me the steady, promising, empowering goggles. Or the yellow pill of bliss. In any case, I like it. Its all gonna be good.”

    Thank you very much for your blogging about this particular item.

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  12. Bobbie Maybee says:

    Thank you! This explains the combination of aching, yearning restlessness I’ve been experiencing.
    Bobbie

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