Vulnerability is scary

lizzie-1

I’ve been learning just how hard it is to be vulnerable. I’m finding it difficult to even publish my thoughts, let alone be vulnerable with real people in my life. How can we go from sharing everything as kids to putting up an impenetrable wall as adults?

My life is centered around working with kids and as a teacher, I have heard it all. I love that kids are so honest that it hurts. They seem to totally get this vulnerability thing. So, what does this have to do with you and me?

Well, if I am to live in a community of Christ centered believers, then I should be able to get past the “I’m good” response when someone asks me how it’s going. I want to be honest in my answers so they reflect trust and vulnerability to the people that I call my brothers and sisters in Christ.

There’ve been times when I have been brutally honest with how I’m doing and most people don’t know how to handle those responses. I’ve seen people stammer to try and find the right words to fill the void and look nervous because our interaction has become heart-level.

Why is it, as adults, we fear the hard stuff?

Why do we not want to let people in on how we are really feeling?

And why is it so hard to let people in?

I had the opportunity to spend one of my summers in a rich, Christ-centered community. Going into that summer, I thought that I was a vulnerable person. I thought that I had opened myself up to people before. But that first night as I tried share my life story, the good and bad, I tensed up. I couldn’t bring myself to fully enter into the kind of vulnerability I needed.

And this didn’t go away overnight.

It took me weeks to open up to a handful of people but as I saw friends begin to enter into the kind of vulnerability I only dreamed of, I saw the impact being vulnerable could have.

And I loved it.

My friends no longer shouldered the burden of hardship completely on their own. The shared it.

At the end of summer, I saw myself be open with people in a way I could never understand or imagine. One night, I remember publicly confessing, in front of eighty other people, sin I was living in and summoned the courage to ask forgiveness. Another night, I remember standing in front of those same friends, shaking as I shared the pain that I was going through and saw how I could lean into community.

How can you step into vulnerability?

I’m not perfect at it and I often find myself reverting to surface-level responses but I want to try and live in the light that He offers.

Jesus, teach me to be vulnerable.

Lizzie

The first post. Like ever.

tahoe-1~This has been a long time coming~

Life is a messy, wonderful journey.

I would love it if my life could be as spectacular and perfect as the pictures I scroll past on Instagram and Pinterest, but the opposite is true. In a good way. Instead, life is messy, full of make or break moments that have shaped who I am.

Life is meant to be lived, enjoyed, and most importantly, not perfect.

There have been numerous times when I have scrolled through pages and pages of fashion tips, life advice, and home décor, wishing that even just a sliver of my life could measure up to those perfect images. But that’s not truth. It’s far from it.

How many hours have I spent thinking any less of myself than what my Heavenly Father wants, because of what I choose to spend time on? It saddens me to think that I have considered who God created me to be anything less than perfect. While I have been in search of the “best” life, God has been offering me the abundant life. He has been offering it to me with relentless pursuit.

And I finally decided to say yes.

I’ve tasted what it means to live the life that God has offered me, to live fully surrendered to the Spirit.

And I never want to go back.

There have been days that I’ve woken up, exhausted, dreading the work I had before me but somehow, I still had butterflies in my stomach, thinking about what God was going to do that day. There is gratitude and joy in the mundane when you are alive in Christ. There is no expectation to be perfect and to live a perfect life, but to be okay with the place that God has put me in, being content in the moment.

When trouble comes, my hope is that my identity would be so deeply rooted in Christ that my world does would not crumble around me, that I would not be consumed by the things that will fade but rather by the things that are everlasting.

But even if my world does start to fall apart, I know that my hope is not in people, not in things, and not in my circumstances. My hope is in the One who created me. I have seen His faithfulness and goodness be poured into my life. I have felt the weight of what He has done so fully that all I can do it sit, speechless, praising the One who created me.

When has it become okay to live a safe life?

If I am rooted in Christ and believe that He gave His life for me, then how can I say that risking it all, laying my life on the line is meant for someone else, not for me?

Throughout the Bible, God has called us to go, to live as sent ones, to finish the call of the Great Commission. We ask God to raise up people to go but we forget that He has called us. You. Me.

A bolder prayer is to ask God to raise up the workers for the harvest and to use us, fully expectant that God might call us to the other side of the world, being willing and eager to go. Let’s not be okay with choosing the safe life, the life that sees us worrying about physical safety and monetary stability. Instead, let’s ask God to increase our faith, to help use become eager to go, and rely on His strength as we take a step of faith.

I hope you are encouraged today!

Lizzie