Let’s talk about vulnerability!
Gee, that word used to give me the shivers as I never knew who to trust. I used to wear a mask and show a version of myself I wanted people to see. I realised very quickly, I was really damaging myself as I had wounds that essentially wouldn’t heal! And if you imagine that, a wound that refuses to heal, will inevitably leave horrible scars or causing you to bleed out if it’s a deep cut…and die…Spiritually, emotionally, mentally…
…until you pretty much have no soul, no heart, no emotions no feelings or remorse. It’s a sad and lonely way to live. Culturally, it’s ingrained into us to be soldiers and not show weakness. We’ve been taught to mask up and keep it moving. This approach is so, so damaging and actually does more harm than good and if you can identify with this, I pray you recognise your potential, how valued and treasured you are, and how you don’t have to suffer in silence, in bondage, in denial or fear. This was me, and I had decided enough was enough and reached out to people. Before long, those “wounds” healed, closed up and aren’t visible! (I don’t look like what I’ve been through!)
James 5:16 embodies this perfectly, the process of being vulnerable and confiding in people: “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (NKJV). There’s so much beauty in transparency and accountability. There’s even a promise of healing! Like I said, wounds that don’t heal correctly, leave scars. Scars can be quite the picture, but having spirtual/emotional scars can be even more damaging. Healing begins from the inside out. The ESV explains this verse beautifully too: the prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. There’s so much power in prayer, and it’s even more powerful in unity and strength in numbers…and it works.
I’ve witnessed the power of prayer firsthand, during my courtship with my now husband, I needed an abundance of prayer so our relationship pleased God and not our flesh…(if you know where I’m going with that, then you know #thestruggleisreal!) but even now being married, we ultimately look to God for guidance, but we also have a few couples that have been married for some time we go to for advice on how to make our marriage amazing, by admitting our shortcomings and looking for ways to love bigger and better. From the person who wanted to be all hush, hush about my life for YEARS to now frequently being told:”oooh, TMI (too much information) girl!”
There’s so much freedom in trusting the many people God has placed in our lives, and it’s so refreshing that once you start talking, you realise you’re not alone in your struggles and they’re not unique to you. I invited a good friend over to dinner earlier this week and it was astounding how much we both had in common. I realised there’s parts of my own story I’d buried deep and almost even forgot some trauma, anxiety and deep hurt I felt when I experienced it, until she admitted she is going through that exact thing right now. It’s not fair for me to pretend that I couldn’t relate, when right there and then I could, and I felt no shame, but peace and relief that God has put me in a unique situation to encourage her, mourn with her now but celebrate her future ahead! When we open up and admit our worries and fear, there’s someone there to cry with you, to laugh with you, but best of all to pray with you and delight in our amazing Lord! I’m beaming as I’m writing this! It’s such a liberating feeling, to strip off the silly expectations we plaster onto ourselves: to be without blemish, without fault, without problems and just a perfectly well made person…miss me with that, please! It’s not real and it’s self-destructing!
None of us are perfect, in fact, I gave up a trying to be “Little Miss Perfect” years ago. I love how Paul says he’ll boast in his weaknesses so the power of God may rest on him. I can so relate to that, I used to hate being criticised, and to be honest, I don’t really enjoy it now either! (but who does, really?) But never mind my feelings, I need to die to my flesh so I can stop pleasing it, it’s about what’s right for me spiritually and how Christ can really live in me and through me. So, I get my magnifying glass out and zoom in on my shortcomings frequently. I have a godly husband who I allow to lead me and keep me in check, I have friends who I trust to be honest with me and tell me when I fall short, I trust my Pastor to correct me in love. The list goes on; I’m accounted for numerous things by numerous people. Because the truth of the matter is, this Christian walk is hard, did you read that? Let me repeat! This Christian walk is HARD! It’s impossible to walk it alone with eyes shut thinking we’re incapable of: a) being hurt and b) hurting others. Being corrected and/or being accountable to someone is always done in LOVE! Never accusatory, never judgemental, but out of a pure place of love and an earnest desire for us to be all that Christ desired us to be. That’s it right there, the most important thing about being corrected by godly people who have your back is: the intention. Previously, I have had people try to “correct me”, but in reality, it turns out that they were just putting me on blast so that I looked worse off than they did, no empathy, no remorse and no care. Now, this shouldn’t give you more fuel to shut away and hide and think screw the world, but to earnestly pray that God brings the right people into your life to help you heal and recover and scrap those who will hinder your journey to recovery. One or two people versus possibly the tens of people who will love and support you endlessly is not a big loss. I’m not promising you you’ll never experience hurt or betrayal, but when you do, you’ll have the power of God resting on you, so you come out fighting from a different place, from a place of victory rather than a place of being a victim. The way I praise and worship God now, is completely different to how I did 5 years ago. I’m an over-comer, a fighter and a strong woman of God. And nothing or nobody can take that from me, it’s who I am. I know it well and my soul knows it well.
So back to you beautiful soul, I challenge you today to pray that God allows you to be vulnerable with someone today. What are you honestly struggling with that you need help with? What wounds have bled out for too long now? Take it before God first, ask Him to show you the ones you can be completely transparent with, and take the step in faith. I promise you, it’s the most liberating feeling ever. Those feelings of embarrassment and pride are from the enemy. He wants you to continue struggling in silence so he can keep you in emotional/physical bondage. Say NO to him today and forever! The battle is the Lord’s and he’s already won!
Signed, a woman who spent 9 years being insecure, frustrated, heartbroken but set free by the blood of the lamb and the words of her testimony. He did it for me, so He can 100% do it for you too.