Embrace Intimacy And Intoxication

Author: Max Ford

Picture: Pixabay

Embrace Intimacy And Intoxication

Young people experiencing depression and anxiety can find freedom, says Max Ford.

Being a young person today is complex. Reports in The Guardian earlier this year revealed some troubling NHS statistics.

The number of times a girl aged 17 or under has been admitted to hospital due to self-harming in England has risen by 68%: from 10,500 to more than 17,500 a year over the past decade.  

Meanwhile, although depression and similar mental health issues are linked with girls far more than boys, suicide rates are found to be higher among boys.

This makes for difficult reading. Young people are clearly crying out for something new and fulfilling.

What can be done to address such huge and complex issues? 

Depression And Anxiety

I believe one thing young people are craving is intimacy.

My life was transformed by an intimate encounter when I had just turned 18.

Difficulties at home led to severe depression and anxiety for a prolonged period of time. I was also prone to daily panic-attacks and sleepless nights.

Daily living became a gargantuan struggle. I was always exhausted because of the mental and emotional energy spent simply trying to get through the day.

Eventually things came to a head. I had to leave my studies and job and I could not even be with my friends.

At this time, my Aunt and Uncle in America invited me to stay with them.

My Uncle took me to a youth conference at Steubenville Franciscan University, Ohio.

I arrived feeling more frustrated and disconnected from God than ever. Feeling so broken, I was unsure whether I would ever be able to trust God again.

I had no energy nor desire to engage with what was happening.

I tried to hide at the back whilst my desperation steadily grew worse.

"I Don't Even Know If You're There!"

Eventually, in a moment of raw and unsentimental decision, I said to Jesus in my heart: “I WILL worship you. I don’t feel like it, and don’t even know if you’re there! But if you are, please come! I need you!”

Thanks to this little prayer, the floodgates of God’s heart opened.

I instantly felt every sense of absence within me replaced by an overflowing sense of His luminous presence.

I felt His deep love for me, far deeper than anything I had felt before.

From that moment. I made sure I was at the front for the rest of the conference.

God began a process of healing for my broken heart and my trust in Him has since grown deeper and deeper.

Embrace The Call

I believe young people need to experience intimacy with Jesus today.

Intimacy is so important because God created us to be close, that He might delight in us and we in Him.

Embrace Liverpool is a youth event, which takes place on Saturday 25th November 2017 at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral during the National Youth Weekend. The theme this year is CALLED.

As God called me to Steubenville, I urge young people to respond to His call and to experience His love at Embrace. 

The day will include an exciting mix of great talks, fantastic workshops, Mass, adoration and lively praise and worship.

I will be sharing more about the call to intimacy. Other speakers and performers include Ros Powell, Archbishop Malcolm Mcmahon OP, Jo Boyce and the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Renewal.


God our Heavenly Father looks at each of us through the lens of Jesus, as His sons and daughters.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux understood that our souls thirst for God and the only thing to quench that thirst is to become “God-intoxicated".

I would like to encourage young people to not be afraid of Jesus, especially if you are experiencing any of the issues mentioned earlier.

We can trust Jesus with our hearts. He will undoubtedly show up at Embrace.

Will you?

For more information, visit:

  • Max Ford is a founding member of the Holy Spirit House Fraternity and a worship leader who is part of One Hope Project.

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