Monday, April 1, 2013

The Power in Vulnerability

I realize the contradictory nature this post's title.

Being a Political Science major, I've spent the past four years learning how to minimize one's weaknesses. I've spent hours reading and writing papers on how to reduce one's vulnerability whether you're a nation or a political candidate.

Yet, there's something I never learned from a textbook, a journal article, or class lecture:

Being vulnerable in your own life can be one of the most liberating experiences.

Last week I sat in a circle with four other women that I've shared life with for almost an entire school year now. I knew that instead of just telling them to be vulnerable, I was going to model it.

Truth: I was absolutely terrified and it took everything within me to not bail at the last minute.

I began to realize in my life I've spent so much time and energy trying to cover up my inadequacies, but it came at the cost of the freedom from guilt and shame. I cared more about what other people thought of me than I would readily like to admit.

Last Monday night I shared more of my testimony than I have in a very long time. After I had shakily told the not perfect and pretty side of my story, something inspiring happened: the other women began sharing their hearts - the struggles and messy parts of their lives too.

In that moment, all the fear and anxiety welling up inside me over being vulnerable began to melt away and I could feel the weight of carrying around my lack of authenticity begin to lift.

The secret I learned: I wasn't alone.

There, dear friends, is the power in being vulnerable.

I really believe the enemy uses guilt and shame tactics to isolate us and make us think our problem is too big and scary for anyone else to want to deal with because it makes us ineffective. Yet the Bible gives us a much more satisfying view of community:
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:16)
Is there something that is holding you back from the freedom Christ gives? I encourage you to find a healthy community to be real and authentic with: share your struggles, seek healing and accountability, and pray for one another.

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