“I came that you may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus. (Paraphrased from John 10:10)
What does a full life look like? Do you feel anywhere close to experiencing life with the deepest breath? What does it take to reach out and embrace this full life God offered through Jesus?
Sit with that word for a while. For many of us it conjures up heartache, broken relationships, and loss. In fact the very definition and synonyms don’t paint vulnerability in a very pretty light. Vulnerability translates into weakness, gullibility–open to attack. I spent much of my life trying to shut down my emotions so that I didn’t feel vulnerable. I still got hurt. But, I have learned that vulnerability opens me to love, faith, joy and hope. I am not disappointed in these results.
Recently Brené Brown reiterated in her research, why vulnerability is so worth the risk. I contend, it is crucial in turning the page on depression! It is through vulnerability that I am able to move through grief and not remain stuck. And when I do get stuck, I have stopped allowing myself to be vulnerable! Seems illogical doesn’t it? But think about vulnerability in military terms. To take new ground, often we have to scale enemy cliffs (Normandy) or venture into no man’s land to take out enemy fire, or risk great losses to end a war. Vulnerability may contain loss, but it also swells with love, faith, and hope. Becoming vulnerable has resulted in the greatest gains I have in my life.
When we give ourselves over to sin after sin, that’s not vulnerability, that is foolishness. Resulting in, guaranteed loss, and depression, because it separates us from the love of God. Been there, done that. Wise vulnerability is trusting that God wants good things for me, and will do all he has planned for my life, despite my circumstances and losses. Scripture backs the purpose of vulnerability again and again.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to help you, and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have complete boldness, so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:20
Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment. Indeed, he has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24
Can you hope in your vulnerability? Can you open yourself to love, joy, peace and hope. Strangely enough my children are advent symbols. Not in the correct order, but each of them are candles, lighting my journey of faith, and teaching me vulnerability in Christ is gain. God used Jonathan to convince me of his overwhelming love. Joy, (miscarried) taught me about finding joy in the midst of sorrow, Daniel is my promise for a future, and Natalie is hope. Each lesson has its great challenges, but there is no doubt that I am able to love, have a deeper faith, and NEVER LOSE HOPE!
My 1st step into vulnerability was to admit I had made a mess of my life and ask, “What can you do with this, God?” His response, make himself vulnerable on the cross to save me. Where will you start?