Vulnerability

So when I started blogging I told God that I didn't want to write about certain things. Really, I tried to bargain with Him about this whole writing thing. I knew deep down that He wanted the raw, real stuff to come out and I was a little scared at the vulnerability that would come with that. Vulnerable...not a friendly word for most of us. The thought of being vulnerable sends some of us into a panicked frenzy. One definition of vulnerable is "to be exposed". Wow. That is the perfect definition to explain why so many of us shield ourselves and keep the truth inside. The thought of being exposed is the part we can't come to terms with.

Exposed makes me think of pictures.

 In photography, exposure is the amount of light allowed to fall on the picture when it is taken. Light is the most critical element of a picture. If the lighting is bad, the picture is bad.  Exposure is necessary for a picture to be good.  So what about this definition of vulnerability? Does vulnerability equal exposure? The simple answer is yes. When we choose to let our guard down and be "for real" we expose our sin, our hurt...our everything. For me, every hurt sent me deeper within and my fortress got very tall and thick...it also got darker and darker. At some point, we make a decision, whether we know it or not, to keep people and God out as a way of guarding ourselves against more pain or regret. The thing is, when we choose to seclude our hearts from the outside, we don't leave any room for healing. When we choose to hide we are choosing to go inside that fortress, lock the door and stay there. When I built my fortress it did not make my pain go away...it made me go away. I forgot who I was. The familiar stirring of God's spirit became a numb place because I was too busy guarding. At the smallest hint of light, anger or pride or religion would come out and fight to keep it cold and dark in there. Really, it finally came down to me being to weary to keep fighting.
I have mentioned before that dissatisfaction is the first step to change and that is what did it for me. I looked in the mirror and suddenly realized I had been so busy guarding I wasn't really sure who I was. I knew my pain very well since I had been guarding it for so long but the me God created...I didn't know her at all.

I remember when I first started having these conversations with God one big thing kept coming up. I kept asking God "what if I get hurt again?" What was His answer? "You will get hurt again." "What?!" I would say. "That's not fair!" "Your right" he would say "but its not about the hurt, it's about the healing". I stewed over that one for awhile. I got angry. I was very, very tempted to go back in the fortress and lock the door but I kept asking Him questions and we kept talking until I finally started to get what He was saying. It's foolish to think I can avoid pain in this world. In fact, it's impossible. But do I want to hide from the world because of that? Did Jesus do that?

Of course, it always comes back to Jesus.

Talk about exposure. God himself took on my nature just so he could feel the pain I feel, weep the way I weep, laugh the way I laugh. He exposed himself to my shame so I could be free of shame. He exposed himself to pain so He could take my pain away. What it really comes down to is the fact that God made himself vulnerable for all of mankind to see who He really is. How can I do any less?

See, the amazing thing about light is that when it hits darkness you see no darkness. What once was cold becomes warm. What once was lost becomes found. My pain, in the light of Jesus, begins to fade. Something comes back to life when we open that fortress and expose ourselves to His light. We begin to see ourselves through His eyes. Yes, sin still exists and I still have to feel pain at times but the light of God's truth is so much greater that I actually find security in being vulnerable. I find freedom in putting it all on the table. Why? Because that simple act of surrender lets the world know, and myself, that God is enough.

Oh, and yes, being vulnerable takes serious courage. But, believe me friends, it is so worth it. Your fortress will never bring you peace. Your isolation will never heal your heart. Open yourself to the light of His truth and it will be enough. The more you expose yourself the more perfect your picture will become. What do you need to expose to God's light? What healing do you need to receive so that the real you can stand up? My fortress has quickly begun to crumble and I can hardly contain the warmth and light I feel from God's presence stirring inside of me. Be brave. Be real. Be you.

"Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders" Deuteronomy 33:12


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