A New Day, Broken, life making, The Mucky Stuff, The Vulnerable Side, When It Gets Dark

Coming Home

I let go. I let go of the writing. I let go of the processing. I let go of the feelings in an effort to stop The Terrible Awful I couldn’t seem to get away from. Because to write is to feel and to feel The Terrible Awful? To feel the grief, the pain, the death…So much death. So much loss. No, I could not feel it anymore. Because that pain was too great, and so in my effort to survive, I turned it off. I went numb. But in the going numb, I didn’t just numb the pain. I numbed the joy. I numbed the beauty. I numbed the technicolor rainbow pushing itself out from under the rain clouds. I messed up that day I put pen down. The day I no longer let ink bleed black into notepads, desperately hoping my heart would stop bleeding as well.

Little did I know the avenue I’d be walking a year ago when I started writing again. And now, seven journals later I have more than just words brimming. I have thoughts. I have feelings. I have tears. I have so many tears. But I have laughter. And I have smiles. And I have memories. Memories that do more than just dance around the grief I so much want to ignore. I have memories of joy, and love, and beauty. I have moments forever tucked away in this mind of mine. Moments I cherish. Moments I would sacrifice for a thousand times over. Moments I will never get back, and so I tuck them deep into this soul of mine and I hold them oh the more closer to me. And I have truth. I have so much truth. Truth that shines so much brighter than those lies ever could. Truth that reminds me that there is wonderful joy ahead. Truth that speaks to my soul that this story, this story with so much pain and death and ache and brokenness is not over. That there is a plan and a purpose, and that I am loved with everlasting love. A love that reaches into the fathoms of depths and widths and heights and breadths, more so than any of my imaginations could invent or build. Yes, I have truth. And I have spirit. Spirit made manifest from He who creates. Spirit that will never wither away. Spirit that is fed from the life breath of a God who sees more in me than I will ever know. Spirit from the bread of life, He who feeds me. Yes, I have spirit. And I have truth.

I still have so much to work through. Questions I do not understand. Why my dad died so young, and why he will never walk me down the aisle, or see my children, or have another talk with me. Why my brother at 34 was taken all the more too early. And why he could not be rescued from his disease of addiction, of pain and trauma. Why his healing had to be a heavenly versus earthly. Why this disease ravages my body, and keeps me from the career I’ve always wanted, keeps me at the grace and generosity of others instead of allowing me to support myself. Yes, I have so many questions. And I have anger. I have so much anger, and confusion, and I speak it out to Him daily. “Why won’t you take this thorn from me? And why won’t you change my life, and bring the prosperity you promised? And where are those plans to prosper and not to harm me? Where are they?!”  Yes, I have questions. And they may never be answered in this wilderness of life I walk through. But I will not  be afraid to do the feeling. Because perfect Love casts out fear. And God is Love. And Love is in me, because He is in me. And manna will still fall. And the seas will still part. And the rock will still bring forth life giving water. Even in the question, even in the feeling, even in the grief. That technicolor rainbow will still speaks to the promise even with the rain clouds. But He will not flood the earth again. And He will not flood this soul. And death will not bear a sting.

So here’s to starting over, to the writing I love, to new seasons, to feeling all the feelings, to life abundant even with the chance of The Terrible Awful, to technicolor rainbows and promises they bring. And most of all, to spirit and truth. Beautiful, confusing at times, yet ever so consistent and life giving Spirit and Truth.

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Detoxify, Healing From the Inside Out, The Vulnerable Side

Hungry Bellies, Hungry Souls

It’s been a hard month. Writing has been so hard. But it has also, I think, never been so necessary. You’ve got me in the vulnerable places. And I can’t guarantee I’m going to say the right thing. But I can guarantee I am going to say the most honest thing. I remember years ago when I first started writing. Years before I even began to think of publishing. I just wrote for me. To get thoughts on paper, and out of this cage I called a head. I remember then my fear of vulnerability. And that’s another blog for another day. But I remember how much God impressed upon me the necessity of it. “I made you to be a storyteller,” He told me. “Tell your stories. With your whole heart. That’s all I’m asking.” And from that day on, that has been my motive. To tell this story the best way I can, with the most truth I can. Life is a fickle thing. It wavers and shifts. It ebbs and flows. And sometimes it just downright hammers and chips away at us. There is no perfect formula because we are each different. And the pain I ingest one way you will ingest another. And there is no one way to do things. Except, in Him. He is the only one way that agrees to all of us. And I don’t have answers. I have questions. I have emotions. I have hormones. I have needs. I don’t have answers. But He does. He always does. And in Him there is fullness. There is joy. So I’m telling you this to say that I may not have the answers, and I’m asking for grace as I walk these coming days vulnerable and honest and visible. I am probably going to make mistakes. But I am always going to point back to Him. He is my answer. He is my joy. He is my life. Everything else is just icing. And I believe He likes icing. So I know I will get my cakes with icing too. But for right now, as I walk through this wilderness all I need are the basics. And I’m OK with that. Cloud of smoke by day. Pillar of fire by night. I just need the basics.  

Pain has come to an all time high. Sleep became my pain management. The more I slept, the more I could ignore the passing realities. And so I gave into the exhaustion. I let my body slip in and out of consciousness, as a meager opportunity to forget current pain. And then I’d awake once a day starving, ravenous, ready to eat.

Food became and has become a bully to me. It is the thing that taunts me and rubs in my face all that I want, and all that I can’t have. It’s not just the food, although that in itself is enough. It is what the food represents: Life, joy, normalcy. I find myself watching people on such a critical level these days. Every move, every twitch, every flip of hair and reaction of face. And in those moments I find myself anxious to study why they are different. What did they do different?. Why do they get to be healthy and I don’t? Why can they eat, why can they eat whatever they so choose without a thought to the reaction? It is low to admit, but I have found myself jealous of babies multiple times as I watch them pick their squares of cheese and assorted vegetables and cram eagerly and satisfied into their mouths. And I try to distinguish what I have done that makes my body so unwilling to cooperate and theirs so eager to the opposite.

And so we come back to that time of day, every day. When my stomach can no longer ignore the call for food, and hunger takes on an almost animal reaction. I dread that part of the day. Because I know that whatever decision I make it will be the wrong one. If I don’t eat, if I ignore it, the pains come. Mixed with the nausea of a blood sugar level much too low. I leave myself to dry heaving and blackouts. And the mind games that follow from just wanting so much to eat. If I do eat, it does not matter what I choose, I will get sick. I have tried broths, and juices, vegetables, fruits. And some days I just give up caring and choose what sounds good. Big, hearty, casseroles of the soul that make me feel like I’m not really living this life that I am trying so hard to avoid. And then I get sick. And it is a choking sick. It is a crippling sick. Pain that curls me up onto the floor gasping, retching, begging for relief. Sometimes it lasts only a few minutes. Sometimes it lasts much longer. And if there is any good in it, it is that I am so exhausted afterwards I am able to sleep again for several hours. Able to escape again.

Food just doesn’t taste the same. It tastes like fear, like pain, like regret.  And the hungrier I get, the less sounds appealing. I sat on my deck watching the wind between the leaves this morning. I sat and we talked. “Food doesn’t taste good anymore. Nothing tastes good anymore,” I told Him. “When will it taste good. Will anything ever taste good again?” I sat with Him on that porch swing and we rocked while the breeze swirled around us.

What do we do when life no longer tastes good? What do we do when the pain overtakes beauty? When the mundane becomes reality and suddenly there is no longer pleasure on the tongue, on the soul, but bitterness that takes its place? What do we do when grief is greater than joy? What do we do then?

Food is such a basic necessity of humanity. It is the quickest reminder of these practical bodies. It is the quickest reminder of a soul hungry for more. To be satisfied. To be filled. It is what we were made for. And lest we forget, our ever grumbling stomachs are there to remind us. Or is it our ever grumbling souls? They grumbled through the wilderness. And the manna fell. And they grumbled again. And the quail fell. And they grumbled again. Filling, and filling their baskets full, their bellies full, only to watch the manna spoil before them as they took more and more never satisfied. And we do the same. Grumbling through the wilderness. And the manna comes. The bread of life. Taste and see that the Lord is good. But instead we stand and stare and whisper, “What is it?” Taste and see that the Lord is good! And still we stand to the side. “What is it?” Taste and see that the Lord is good. When do we reach out. When do we partake of the miracle He has brought to the dessert? The bread with which we can live on for years. The only food that sustains? When do we fill our baskets, fill our bellies, fill our souls, and know that it is good?

It is not the food I am hungry for. It is life I am hungry for. Life abundant. And time and time again, His manna falls from heaven. Taste and see that the Lord is good, He says. And I only stare. I do not partake. I do not taste. My grievances become greater than my joy, and I am blinded to the goodness. Oh may my hunger never leave. May it stir this belly inside of me, this eternal soul. May it grow and grow until I reach out, until I realize that man shall not live on bread alone. No there is far more to be benefited from. The truth? I am fed. I am full. I am satisfied. I know hope because of His calling. I know riches because of His glory. I know power because of His resurrection. And I know fullness because He fills all. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Taste and see. Do not stare at it. Do not stand to the side and whisper, “What is it?” Do not watch from the sidelines, while the mediocrity of culture eats away at your fullness. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Dig your hands into the Bread of Life, falling from heaven into the souls of men. We are hungry no more. Life abounds and we are filled. Oh that our eyes would see, and our lens be changed. Oh that we would taste and know that the Lord is good. He is my fill. And in Him is my fullness. And I am hungry no more.

Psalm 34:8 | Ephesians 1:15-23

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Detoxify, Healing From the Inside Out, The Plans He Has for You, The Vulnerable Side

This

Lord, This is hard.

This.

Miss Wankeral, my grammar teacher, told me to never leave a “this” alone. “A marriage is always necessary”, she says. “It must have a partner”. This rock. This doll. This something. But what is the “this” in this situation. This time. This trial. This learning. This acknowledgment. This job. This task. Yes, all of those. And more, I suppose. You are drawing me out. That is a truth I know. You are drawing me out and taking me to someplace new. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Yes, you are taking me to someplace new. A place of healing. A place of still waters and green pastures. You’re teaching me to walk away from the things of this world. Be in the world but not of the world, You say. That has always been so hard to understand. But I am finally starting to understand it. It means to let go of everything I see but cannot understand and to hold on to everything I cannot see but can understand. Let go of culture, let go of things, let go of people, let go of money, let go of dreams. Hold onto your love, your joy, your peace, Hold onto You.

Yes, this is hard. It is hard to give it all over to You. Yes, the hard things are the things I’m not ready to give over to You. There, that’s the truth. That is the “this”. The grammar that exposes my heart. This is hard, this giving over is hard. This letting go of the hope that my way could be better than Your way. I don’t want to give up my comfort. I don’t want to give up my choices. I don’t want to bend my back to Your will, to surrender to every possibility. I want to keep this fist clenched, and this is the hard. The faith to trust that Your will is better, every time. The faith to believe that despite what I hunger and crave it may not always be what is best for me. The truth that being in the world is not the same as being of the world.

I don’t want to give these things up, especially not to You. Because if I give them up to You, I know that You may not give them back to me. These relationships. These comforts. These indulgences. These desires. These things I want so much even though I know, secretly, they only hurt me. These images I have of myself, of where I should be heading. There they are again. My should be’s and want to’s. Oh how they creep.

Come unto me, You say. Come to me and I will give you rest. Yes, You are right. It is exhausting; juggling all my desires on spinning out of control plates. Fooling myself into believing that a tight grip on my desires equates to a tight grip on control, a tight grip on life. I have no control. And maybe I have life, but what kind of a life is it? It is not an abundant one, not with this fist so tight. Not with these plates spinning, always spinning, and falling off, and flying off. And where did that one go? And how did I forget to watch this one? And when did that one break?  Yet still I cling, except when I cling so desperately to anything but You, nothing goes the way I hope for.  And the very medicine I need is the very medicine I pull back from.

Surrender.

No, it does not taste good. And rather than swallow, I choose to hold it in my mouth, continually tasting the bitter I so believe it to be rather than giving it chance to soothe and heal. Come unto me, all who are weary, and I will give you rest. You know me so well. Yes, I am weary. Weary of the conditions of this world. Weary of what culture says I must be, how much money I must make, what I need to be happy. Weary of how this disease drags and pulls and blurs. Yes, I am weary. And the burden grows with each clench of my fist. And the very thing I hold to is the very thing that causes this disease to spread. I came that they may have life, and have it to the full. A full life, that is what you want for me. A full life, full of every possibility. Why then do I let this fear grow inside of me? Why do I tell myself that surrender brings loss? Why do I choose to ignore truth. Because surrender sews possibility. It is a door not a wall.

I swallow the stuff.

I swallow the liquid medicine I have held onto for so long. I swallow and let it soothe, let it coat. I swallow the medicine and realize it is not so bitter. Come unto me, You say. Oh Jesus, let me come, here I am. Take me. Take my heart, take my desires, take these plates. I reach out to you and with it I realize I have let go. These hands no longer make fists. These hands, clenched for so long are now open. Open for possibility, open for life, open to hold Yours. And as you take my hand, I feel it. I feel that balm, as it coats and soothes, warming my innards, the deepest places of me. Warming all that is in and around me. This balm that sinks to the bowels of my heart. This balm that instantly heals. This abundant balm. And as it sinks I realize it’s not as hard as I thought. And as it heals I realize that my this has changed. Yes, my this has changed. And there is no more hard, there is only easy. There is only rest. There is only You. There You are. Come unto me, You say, Come unto me and I will give you rest.

And oh!  What a rest it is.

Isaiah 43:19| John 17:16| Matthew 11:28 | John 10:10 

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life making, The Mucky Stuff, The Vulnerable Side

Always Winter and Never Christmas

I laid in bed all day. Some moments curled into a ball tighter than I can curl my fist. Other moments with groans deep and husky, gasping out a pain that struck so deep I could not tell if it was physical or emotional. I never thought I’d be here again. I never thought I’d feel this, this pain. Not again. I never expected to be in this place of waiting. Again.

Yet here I am. Sick, once more, hurting once more, waiting once more. And as I look through the window spotted with thick drops of rain, I ask myself a question, unwilling to hear the answer: How long? How long will this carry? How long do I go through this?

Does your heart wonder? Does it wander? Do you look to the night sky for a babe king to bring hope?  Do you hear your heart, your soul cry out in anger, in pain, as I do? How long? How long Oh Lord. How long? How long does this ache carry? How long does this urge to be more, to do more, to know more last? How long?

And I know it all too well. I know it as I lay in my bed. I know it as I walk downtown streets.  I know as I look up to a full sky with stars that paint pictures of something more. I know too well.

Always winter and never Christmas. My heart falls to the ground as I learn the true meaning of the phrase. I sit in the middle of my apartment and cry. How long oh Lord? How long must I hurt? How long must this be the best way I serve you? In pain? It seems such a paradox. The very antithesis of what He came to give. I came that they may have life, and have it abundant. I look at my body, eaten up by disease, gaunt and bony. This is abundant? I ask him. This is what you came to give me?

Always winter and never Christmas.

Does your heart wonder? Does it wander? Do you ask Him as I do? This is abundant? This is what you came to give me?

In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.

If you ask the Father for anything… Anything. Can this be true? I sit and wonder. Anything.

What do I want? I sit and think. I curl back up into that ball tighter than my fist. I cry. I think. What do I want? What do I really want? I want this disease to be gone. I want to finally rid myself of this disease. This disease that consumes. This disease that overwhelms. This disease that makes me do the very thing that I do not want to do. What do I want? I want to be healed of this disease. Not that one. Not the one the doctors see and monitor. Not the one that brought me to this night. No, I want to be healed of this disease of sin that consumes and overwhelms. I want to be made new.  This is what I ask. This is what I want. This! In my heart of hearts. In the deepest places, this is what I want. Have mercy on me, Oh God, because of your unfailing love. Heal me. Make me new. For it is by your stripes we are healed, it was your sacrifice. Blot out the stains of my sin. Heal me. Make me new. Wash me, and I will be white as snow. Oh give me back my joy again, you have broken me, now let me rejoice. Heal me. Make me new. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, Oh my God, renew a right spirit in me. Heal me. Make me new. Do not take me away from your presence. Oh God, do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Do not let this disease have hold on me. Heal me. Make me new. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and make me willing to obey you. Heal me. Make me new. Give me a heart that seeks yours. Strip me of this disease. This disease that ravages the soul, that eats its fill on the selfishness of the heart. The only thing in me that is truly mine. The only thing that was never from You. Let me be only what you have made me to be. Let my heart hold only what has been placed into it by you. Take this disease, take my sin. Heal me. Make me new.

If you ask the Father for anything.

Truly, truly, I say to you.

If you ask the Father for anything, in My name.

If you ask in My name, He will give it to you.

Oh, that you would give it to me. In Jesus name, Oh Father. Heal me. Make me new. Above all else, give me a heart that seeks after Yours. For you have come that we may have life. That it would be abundant. Oh Father, heal this heart. This heart that wonders. This heart that wanders. This heart eaten by disease. And give me a heart of flesh.

Does your heart wonder? Does it wander? Do you ask Him as I do? This is abundant? This is what you came to give me? Oh that we may know life abundant. Oh that our joy may be made full. Oh that even in the cry of ‘how long’ we may have healing. Healing in our bones. Healing in our lives. Healing in all of the broken places. But most of all, healing in our hearts. That we may know life abundant. So that our joy may be made full.

|John 10:10|John 16:23,24| Psalm 51|

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The Plans He Has for You, The Vulnerable Side

Wanderer

I am Hebrew. I am a sojourner. I wander just like my ancestors of old. I wander in a wilderness I was never made for. I was made for a promised land. I was promised that land. The land of milk and honey. I was made to dwell. I was made to live. I was made for life abundant. And yet, instead of living in that land, instead of taking what has been given to me, instead, I choose to grumble.  I choose to walk away from the promise. I choose to wander. 

I screw up. I make mistakes. I say the wrong thing. Do the wrong thing. Think the wrong thing.  I see the wounds of the past and I fall back into old thinkings. Old ideas. Old habits. I screw up. I make mistakes.  And I think that what I do tells me who I am. I think that what happens to me tells me who I am.  I let my beliefs define my identity. I screw up and I see a screw up. I make mistakes and I see a mistake. I say the wrong thing and I see something wrong. I let my beliefs define my identity. Just as the Hebrews in the wilderness. They wandered. From idea to idea. From lie to lie. From complaint to complaint. They wandered. Wandered in the wilderness. Wandered from who they were. Wandered from their identity. They let their ideas define themselves. They believed what they saw. Even in sight of a promise from the One True God. Even in view of the promised land. They let their ideas define their identity. The land through which we have gone, they said, is a land that devours its inhabitants. We saw the Nephilim; and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight.

We do not become what we see. But we believe we are what we see. We see screw ups and we believe we have become so. We see mistakes and we believe we have become so. We see the giants, those greater than us, and we become like grasshoppers in our own sight. And then, when we believe, others follow. And soon, we cannot see who we are because we have a crowd to negate it. They see what we see and they confirm our belief. They see what we see. There also we saw the Nephilim; and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight. We cannot see who we are, because we believe otherwise. And through our own belief, we invite others to believe also. And we become also in their sight. We become like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we are in their sight.

But it is not our sight that defines. And it is not their sight that has power to define. Our definition comes from Him. And it is not a changing thing. It is an ever fixed thing. We are who we are not because we have made ourselves so. We are who we are not because they have made us so. We are who we are not because culture says we are so. We are who we are because Christ says we are so. We are not grasshoppers, no matter the sight that sees it. We are His. We are owned by the One who paid ransom for us. We were bought with a price. So do not become bondservants of men. Identity is not a changing thing. What I do is not my identity. What happens to me is not my identity. What I am exposed to is not my identity. My identity is Christ. He is who I am. And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life. In Christ you too are filled with the Godhead- the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit- and reach full spiritual stature.  Do not see what others see. Do not see what you see. See what He see’s. The one who defines you. Do not wander from that Promised Land. From that Abundant life. Do not wander. For we are His. We have been bought with a price. We are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life.  We are His.


Be who you are beloved. Be who He has made you

Numbers 13:33 | I Corinthians 7:23 | Colossians 2:10

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The Plans He Has for You, The Vulnerable Side, Uncategorized

Seeking Peace

I prayed all summer for an answer to a question I didn’t even really know how to ask. Isn’t that how it goes. We know what our ideal is, we know what we want, but we know our ideal really isn’t an option. We know we have to pray for something, but all we know to pray for is a way out of the tricky.

But when the tricky overwhelms us like a tidal wave, how do we pray? What do we pray? 

I didn’t know what to pray. Change was coming. Whether or not I wanted to, choices had to be made. Summer would only last so long, and as the fall comes, so comes the crisp wind of change and change brings choices. Choices like going back to school. Choices like getting a job. Choices like making a plan. Choices like making something work, even when everything around you refuses to: finances, people, health, schedules. It doesn’t matter how many planners I buy. It doesn’t matter how many schedules I go over. How many budgets I write out, how many good intentions I may have. I may be willing to move, but I can’t change the mind of those rocks and hard places. 

And I was stuck, whittled deep into this place, surrounded by more than one rock and more than one hard place. 

I waited for things to resolve. I waited for answers to come from groanings I couldn’t even give word to. I let God hear my groanings, and I let them suffice as prayers. I prayed for a word. I needed a word. I needed Him to tell me what to do. Whatever He said, I would do. Because it was obvious I didn’t have control. I knew I couldn’t do anything but what He was directing. Just tell me what to do, I said. Give me a word and I will do it. Tell me to go to school, or tell me to find a job. Just tell me. I will find the strength. I will figure out how to make it work. Give me big green flags. Give me a word. Give me open  doors, give me open windows, I’d even take a small crack. Just give me something!

Isn’t that what we say?

 But nothing came. I kept straining to hear. I listened for the voice. For the still, small voice. But no matter how quiet my life got, there was no voice. Not a loud one. Not a quiet one. Not a door. Not a window. I didn’t get a thing. In fact the only thing I seemed to get was a lack of peace. The more I prayed for a job, the less peace I seemed to have. The more I prayed about going to school, the less peace I had. And the less peace I had, the more confused I got. 

We are made for work. We have always been made for work. Since the moment God put Adam in dominion over the garden, we became garden keepers. We were made to work, to keep. Our gardens may be different, but the call is the same. Thorns and thistles grew up from the curse, not from our purpose. Work was not always a toil. Work was not always a thing to be wary of. We are made for work. But I couldn’t seem to find peace about it. 

And that felt wrong. It felt wrong to not want to work. It’s what we are made for. It’s what I was made for. I was made to be busy. I’ve always been busy. So, how do I justify what I was made for? How do I say OK to the life that includes no job, how do I say OK to the life that includes no school. How in the world do I say OK to the life that doesn’t include either. Hadn’t I gotten all the time I was allotted to be off? Didn’t I need to pick myself up and get busy? How in the world do I say no to a culture that says go. Culture says move. Culture says stay busy. Culture says do more. Always more. But there wasn’t any peace in it for me.

 

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.

 

Its a battle isn’t it? Accepting the peace of God. It is the thing we want most in life, and yet, really what we want is for the peace to line up with what we want. Because I had total peace about going back in. But how do I have peace about staying out? And how do I tell people that? How do I do the thing that people will raise eyebrows at? The thing that seems wrong to them. How do we accept that the peace of God is often counter cultural? 

 

Come to me, all you who labor, and I will give you rest. 

 

I didn’t feel like it was fair. I still don’t. I am tied to legalism. I am tied to should do’s and need to’s. I am a people pleaser. I even please those people I don’t know. So how do I look them, those people, the ones with the eyebrows that go up, how do I look them in the eyes and  tell them I don’t think I’m supposed to get a job just yet. How do I tell them that even with only a year left, I’m walking away from school?

 

Be strong and courageous. The Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

 

I do it with courage. There’s that word again. Courage. Yes, I do it with courage.  I do it with strength. I do it knowing that my God, my Father God, my Creator God is with me. I do it seeking peace, not pressure. Culture gives us pressure, but God gives us peace. I choose peace. I choose Him. I choose to follow His thoughts, not mine. I choose to let the peace of Christ rule in this heart.

 

Colossians 3:15 | Matthew 11:28 | Joshua 1:9

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The Vulnerable Side

This Thing Called Vulnerability

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9, NIV

 

Somehow I’ve gotten myself a blog that is pretty much centered around my being vulnerable. Problem is, one of my biggest fears is vulnerability. The idea of opening myself up to strangers and friends alike, and laying there raw and open, just waiting for whatever may come… well, it’s terrifying to me. But God has been challenging me more and more to expose myself to vulnerability. Because truth be told, there is power in vulnerability. There is power in having a confidence so firmly rooted that I can be open, and allow myself and the goings on of my life to be exposed, so that they can be a help to others, however that may be. Brené Brown says that to have vulnerability you must have courage. She then goes on to say how the original definition of courage, the one that comes from its Latin root word for heart, “Cor” (pronounced kerr), is this.

“ : To tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. ”

 

When I heard that, it gripped my heart so firmly and I knew that God intended this to be more than a definition for me. It was a calling. This is what I am supposed to do with my life. I am called to tell the story of who I am with my whole heart. I am called to have courage. To be strong and courageous.

I would say it is quite the coincidence, but nothing is coincidental when walking the paths of God. You see, this verse, this easy verse that I learned long ago in Sunday school as a girl, this verse that I am embarrassed to say has come to be nothing more than empty comfort, this verse was the theme verse of a kids camp I worked at in Poland this past summer. I was surrounded by it for 3 weeks, and yet even then was so unaware of its power.

They say the best way to cook a frog is by gradually increasing the heat of a pot of water. Thus, the frog becomes unaware of the heat as it is being cooked. I don’t know if that is really true, but it is a great metaphor. And we as Christians are much like these frogs. For we are constantly surrounded by the intense heat and power of the word, yet somehow we become so comfortable with it. We grow oblivious to its ability to bring forth death or life. Until today, I have been oblivious, I have been that frog, swimming in water, unaware of how it could affect me, how it could change me. But I don’t want to swim in it unaware. I want to feel the heat. I want to be fully aware of the power I have been immerged in.

And so while I am terrified of what is to come, what is ahead for me as I lay myself open and exposed, I am reminded that there is no need for fear. For the Lord my God is with me wherever I go. He is even there in unchartered pages of blogs and writings. And I pray that I will walk into these pages, into this calling, with scripture as my weapon. May I not forget its power, but instead walk with confidence, knowing that I am protected. Lying there, open and raw, for all the world to see, with all my vulnerability an essay to be read by others, I am protected. For the Lord my God is with me wherever I go. 

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