"To be vulnerable is to voluntarily place yourself, for the sake of a larger purpose, in a situation that could bring pain." - Paula Rinehart
If you are anything like me then the word vulnerability probably makes you cringe, your palms sweat, and your mind race. Typically, at the precise moment that word enters a conversation I begin to formulate my escape plan so I don’t have to enter the foggy unexplored realm of fear that surrounds vulnerability. Truth be told, my whole life I’ve been terrified of being vulnerable. Most people fear spiders, snakes, the dark, heights or even flying, and sometimes I fear those things too, but the thing that keeps me awake late at night is my deep fear of being vulnerable. It’s probably because often times I associate vulnerability with rejection, heartbreak, intimacy, embarrassment, loss and rarely have experienced vulnerability that yields love, joy, honesty, happiness, and acceptance. BUT does that mean I shouldn’t be vulnerable? No! Of course not! Vulnerability is the definition of love and is vital in our relationships with others and most importantly, in our relationship with Christ.
God has shown me so much about vulnerability during the last season of my life and given me undeniable bravery in areas where I never thought possible. My not being afraid to make myself vulnerable made me susceptible to the winds and waves of maneuvering relationships. Through out my vulnerable season God helped me to declutter and reorganize my relationship closet. I was able to restore once thought to be broken and lost friendships, strengthen family bonds, and release unhealthy relationships that were weighing me down.
To say that these things came with out tears and heartbreak would be me simply not telling the truth. I participated in countless dreadful conversations that went the complete opposite of how I had planned them perfectly in my head. I cried for three solid hours at a Mexican restaurant while eating a burrito, lost somebody that meant the world to me, and finally opened up to the person who taught me about vulnerability in the first place, only to have them reject me. I walked away from all of these instances with beautiful scars and stories that are now precious to me.
When we choose to be vulnerable we have to remember that we're choosing the outcome, no matter what it is. Sometimes things go our way, relationships are healed and strengthened, but more often than not we’re thrown a curveball and things fall apart. When we choose vulnerability often times we are choosing to hurt. The beautiful part is God, the author of our stories, can bring redemption and healing to any situation and any hurting heart. He won’t leave us in our brokenness like people often do, but instead He works through that brokenness to draw us closer. When I succumb to the realization that I’m not in control of most situations and I definitely can’t control others people’s feelings towards me then the walls that I sometimes put up between God and I shatter, and I run straight for His arms. The more vulnerable I am with the people around me, the closer I feel to God. Now that’s beautiful!
I dare you to be vulnerable and see what happens.