I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me,
Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
(Jesus’ prayer in John 17)

I woke up one morning in the midst of a dream. God was showing me what it is to have deep emotional bonds with people. We draw energy and life from these bonds. Without them, we die inside.

We form healthy or unhealthy bonds over time, in moments when we are most vulnerable. In our vulnerable moments, we reach for protection and connection. We destroy the bonds when we’re unaware they’re happening and trample others.

We need strong, healthy bonds with God, the source of healthy connection. No fake religion. This comes over time, with many hours in his presence.

We need healthy bonds with people. Jesus prayed we would have many of these bonds. This is how we’ll know Jesus is the real deal. Without Jesus, we cannot experience deep, sustained connections. Jesus said this also is how the people around us will know he’s the real deal: when they see our deep, connected bonds with each other.

What’s it like to experience those connections? Mutual. We experience each other in our deepest inner chambers. We feel transparent, known, and at rest.

How do they happen? Gradually, over time. In our most vulnerable moments.

What’s your part? Be emotionally intelligent, aware, and intentional. Protect and nurture the bond. Sometimes that means moving through conflict until we reconnect.