vul·ner·a·ble adj. Susceptible to physical or emotional injury.
Being in a vulnerable situation has me running for the hills. And I suspect it has a lot of other people running for the hills. There’s something about being vulnerable that’s scary. Being vulnerable to others is basically putting yourself at their mercy and that’s 110% terrifying. At least it is if you’re me. As for being vulnerable before God, well that’s a whole other can of worms, but a can of worms that the Bible has plenty to say about.
Over the past few days I’ve been thinking a lot about vulnerability. I guess I’ve been feeling pretty vulnerable. I’ve been struggling. Struggling mentally, struggling physically and struggling spiritually. And that’s left me in a pretty vulnerable situation. A situation I wanted to avoid at all costs and somehow, tried so hard to protect myself that I ended up exactly where I didn’t want to be – in the middle of a crowd of people who were worried about me, vulnerable.
Being vulnerable will mean different things to different people, so I guess I should probably explain what it means to be on a personal level before we go any further. To be, being vulnerable is putting my life out there, being completely honest with people, with God and with myself. It’s something I struggle with, and something that people who know me know how to deal with (ish). I build walls around myself to protect myself from vulnerability, to keep out those things that make me vulnerable. The only problem with this is that as soon as I let down those walls for just a second, vulnerability sneaks in and then it can’t get back out, and it manifests until I crumble. Something that my close friends are very used to by now. An unideal situation to say the least. And I’m working on it. I’m working on being honest, and it’s hard. Sometimes it’s so hard I don’t even know where to begin.
I started thinking about how I struggle with being vulnerable before God – that is being honest with Him about my struggles, my fears, my questions. Yes, He already knows all of these, but the act of actually putting them out there before God is something massive. And something I’m not quite sure I’ve ever managed. A quick Google search revealed that being vulnerable before God is something a lot of other people have also thought about. So how do we become vulnerable before God? By being open, by being truly honest. By bringing our stresses, our struggles and our worries to Him in prayer. One article I read was called “Baring your Soul to God” and that’s exactly what I’m trying to say. In order to be truly vulnerable before God, we need to bare our souls, our deepest darkest secrets, the things we don’t want anyone to know about us. Those are the things that we need to give to God, in truthful, honest prayer.
I read a beautiful article about the vulnerability shown by Mary in John 12 (you can read the full article here). The following quote is the opening paragraph and I just feel it sums up vulnerability before God so well:
“Have you ever poured out your heart to someone, only to be met with indifference? Have you ever explained how deeply you love them, only to be told in a cold voice that they don’t love you back? We think the solution is to NEVER be that vulnerable again. But God asks us to be this vulnerable all the time – with Him and with others – if we want true joy. In other words, the thing we think is the worst possible thing, is actually the best.”
I want to end with this – a talk by Brené Brown on vulnerability. I think you’ll enjoy it. If that’s even the right word. It’s well worth 20 minutes of your life.
Until next time,