// Haley Schurz
GOD DID NOT walk alone. His design includes relationship with Him and with one another. In Genesis 2:18 (MSG), God says "It's not good for the Man to be alone; I'll make him a helper, a companion." At that time, it was just Adam and God, and God said that a relationship with Him alone was not enough!
We have a vertical relationship with God, but we also need a horizontal relationship with God in others. (See Eccl. 4:9–12 NLT.)
If we're honest, many of us don't involve others in our lives because of shame. We don't want them to know what we're going through or the pain we're feeling. We cut ourselves off from people—thinking that we're protecting ourselves. But we're really cutting off a pipeline that we need.
Even Jesus demonstrated the need for connection. When He went to the Garden of Gethsemane, He asked three of the disciples to come with Him (Matt. 26:36–38). If Jesus needed people, how much more do we?
When it comes to connections, we need to identify where we are. We all probably fit in one of the following four categories:
1. No Connections: You don't have connections except for God. You may be with people, but you're really not connected with them.
2. Unhealthy Connections: When you spend time with people in your life, do you feel drained? Let's take care of our souls.
3. Fake Connections: Do you put on a happy face but inside feel like a mess? Let's get past the fake and be real.
4. Real Connections: These are people that love Jesus. They will love you through your stuff—no matter what—and you can love them back. They are friends that will give you grace and truth.
I encourage you to connect and let others see the real you. There's a grace in each of us for one another. Open that door. Come out of isolation. You're precious and beautiful. The "real you" is what the world needs!
[Editor's Note: This article was adapted from Haley Schurz's Kindle the Flame® 2016 message.]