Wednesday, February 25, 2015

the risk of vulnerability

Loving people and being vulnerable takes courage.

It also takes humility.

And great confidence.

COURAGE because you're risking being hurt. You're opening up your heart and life to someone who may wound or use you. There's no guarantee of being received and loved. You're entrusting part of yourself to them, with no promise of being trusted in return. Loving people in a godly way, well, the way Jesus loved, takes all that we are, and leaves no room for insincerity or selfishness. It's all, or nothing. That takes guts.

HUMILITY because truth isn't always pretty. Sharing testimonies of God's faithfulness often involves sharing some of my worst failings. My greatest victories have risen from moments of human defeat. I'm not proud of my past, but pretending I don't need Jesus is false and prideful. And being vulnerable often involves asking forgiveness - admitting you're wrong. And for someone like me, who likes to be "all together", that's hard to do.

And finally, CONFIDENCE because I know Whom I Have Believed. Being vulnerable is just a trap for being miserable if I'm not confident in the love of Jesus. Because no matter how a conversation turns out, or what I've done, or what someone has done to me, I know Jesus loves me, and if my heart is bent on loving and serving Him with everything I am, then the opinions or comments of others do not matter. He does discipline those He loves, but it's to grow them to be like Himself, not to condemn them.

I am not an expert in vulnerability.

But I am learning.

I used to pretend I had it all together. After all, I was the model child, from a model family, and someone like me *must* have it together and no one should ever be able to question that.

The road to unconditional love and vulnerability for me has been rocky, difficult, and painful.

Asking forgiveness. Admitting when I've had a hard day. Loving people regardless of what they've said or done. Telling the truth about a situation, even if it might make me look bad or weak. Being honest with myself and the Lord about my heart. Allowing others to speak into my life without justifying my behavior, or taking offense. Not covering up my sin, but being honest about it's consequences and using my story as a launchpad for a passion filled life with Jesus.

If there's one thing I've learned on this journey of what it means to love unconditionally and be vulnerable, it's this:

Loving well and being vulnerable is not weakness. It's strength. 
It leaves you without a cover, but it leaves you free.

4 comments:

  1. What you share is good. But... I'm curious, could it be better? I am a Christian as I understand you are, but the Bible I read tells me to love God with my whole heart, soul, strength, and mind. Then it says to love my neighbor as myself. My question to you, the author, is which love you are speaking of? Vulnerability, I understand, comes in my relations to God, but vulnerability in human relation comes only as I become close to another. It is not a factual ingredient to loving everyone. One question for you to ponder, does love demand that a woman give herself away to all men she meets, or does it mean she loves all but saves herself for one? I am hoping you will understand I do not mean to criticize your writing, I just want to comment with my own heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous - I think I know what you're getting at, and I understand why. That's a pretty popular topic in today's world of Christian young ladies. It's not really the point I was trying to make, although I maybe I should write a follow-up about what I've learned there too. ;)

      Simply speaking, here's the 'umph' behind the post:
      My heart's desire to be like my Jesus. So how ever He loved people, that's how I want to love people. And He died an excruciating, painful, humiliating death, naked, on a cross for the people who spat in His face and killed him. And He still loved them, and more than that, forgave them. That's being vulnerable, in one sense of the word. And that's the kind of love I want to have, and that's the Jesus I want people to see when they interact with me.

      Blessings to you in your walk with Jesus! Much love <3 L.

      Delete
  2. Hi LIza! I love your blog and your written comments! For such a young woman of God, you are a blessing and will bless so many other people as you walk this journey of life with Jesus! His love has no bounds! I love this scripture I read today in Isaiah 55:12 - For you (Liza) will go out with joy and be led forth with peace. The mountains and hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you (Liza). And all the trees of the field will clasp their hands. Amen!! BE BLESSED! Joyce Diepold

    ReplyDelete