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The Power Of Vulnerability

The Power of Vulnerability

A short simple text

“Hi Ruth !!!! Just want to say that we love you and we miss you !!!!! Hope you are great!!!!”

Tears came spilling out of my eyes right on to the screen of my phone, the truth was I was not great in fact, I was not even good. I had a choice then and there to reply with my normal response.

“Doing great!!! Hope you are all well, too ..Miss you bunches”

I sat for a moment and allowed all the feelings to invade every part of my heart and soul. My regular response is to tell myself to “suck it up or to fake it til you make it” and that attitude has served me well for many years. I had been able to pull myself out of a dark or a lonely place, but this day was different, and I knew I stood at a cross-roads of decision making. I could send that response and my friend who was literally on the other side of the world would think all was well, or I could let her know the truth.

After the tears subsided a bit, I picked up my phone and sent these words-

“Thanks so so much for reaching out..honestly it has been a rough few days so your text means so much to me love you both so much… miss you friend”

What happened next should not have surprised me but not even 5 seconds after I hit send the phone rang and it was that friend. She cried with me, prayed with me, and encouraged me. We hung up as she was beginning her day and I was all but ending mine. I felt loved, cared for, and noticed not just by my friend but by Jesus. Circumstances had not changed, but my heart’s posture towards them had.

I had made the decision to be vulnerable, not one I am good at. Oh, I am great at being transparent. I will tell you what is going on in my life, but not always how I really feel about it. You see vulnerability opens us up to further hurt and I for one am not a fan of that. I decided to take a risk with someone who could have only confirmed the voice I was hearing in my head… “You are always going to be experiencing this and your emotions are out of control so get it together. “Count it All Joy” as the scripture in James talks about. The voice I often hear and which has a twinge of religiosity and shame in it, the voice that sounds like so many well-intentioned believers and if I am honest has been my response to many in the same situation. But those words never found their way into my heart that afternoon, as she spoke life, love and yes validation.

Why? Two reasons

1. My friend truly listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit and heard from him what I needed to hear.

2. I took the risk and decided to be vulnerable and to trust.

Brene Brown , shame researcher, and one of my personal heroes says it best –

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it's having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage.”

Call it courage, call it risk, or call it sheer stupidity, I know during the season I find myself in one of the ways to make it through this time, is to show up as me. I know all the right things to say and to do, but maybe during this time God is not asking me to do the right thing, but to just be the right one. Even as I type it feels weird and somewhat self-serving. I know I do not want to waste this season or this time, which I get to sit and be, so today even if you judge me I am going to be vulnerable and trust the one who made me to take care of me.

CS Lewis says it so well-

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

From my heart that is being repaired by its maker –

Make Monday Matter by choosing to be vulnerable with someone and love someone who has been vulnerable to you.

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