You know those dreams/nightmares of speaking in front of a classroom without your clothes, or showing up for a big presentation completely unprepared? Yikes. Talk about embarrassing and vulnerable, right?
We live in a society that calls up many different definitions of the word “vulnerable,” especially depending upon context.
Some view vulnerability as susceptibility to harm or attack. They might picture an unguarded castle, ready for an enemy to invade and take over. In today’s world, there are certainly cases where this definition of defenselessness is true.
Others see vulnerability as weakness. They may picture complete exposure or nakedness (like that stressful dream).
Some hear the word “vulnerability” and get itchy and uncomfortable all over… because emotional and spiritual vulnerability in particular can feel really unnatural, hard, and counter-cultural.
Others have tried to be vulnerable in the past but that openness has actually brought harm in relationships. So those same individuals who once tried to live vulnerably have now built back the walls around their hearts to try to withstand future hurts through self-preservation.
I understand all of these definitions because I can relate to each of these trains of thought. Here’s the thing though. I don’t know that all of these understandings of vulnerability apply to those of us who believe in Jesus and want to live in light of the Gospel. I came to ask an important question a few years ago, and I want to explore the answer with you:
Is vulnerability really worth it?
Is it worth it to bring down shields and defense mechanisms in order to connect with others?
Is it worth it to take off the masks we wear and let ourselves be truly seen?
Is it worth it to live differently from the world around us by getting uncomfortable at times, and showing our scars and telling our stories?
Is it worth it to open up again, even after we’ve been hurt in the past or our vulnerability was not met with respect?
These are hard, complex questions. But after six years of digging in to the question of whether vulnerability is truly worth it, my answer is resounding and resolute.
YES. Vulnerability is worth it, and is so important if we want live authentically as Christians in today’s world.
Over the next month, can we explore this topic together? We’ll talk about vulnerability and living a life truly surrendered to the work God wants to do in our lives. We’ll discuss what healthy vulnerability looks like, and how to practically live that out in a world that tells us to cover up the hard parts of ourselves. We’ll decide what it looks like to even be vulnerable with yourself, with others, and with God. We can chat about boundaries and finding safe people to practice vulnerability with in real life. And if you really want to dig deeper, I’m going to share books, podcast episodes, and resources you can check out to learn more about this topic (see number 2 below).
If you want to make sure you’re a part of this conversation, there are two places I’d love for you to follow along:
- Social Media- Instagram or Facebook– I’ll post daily thoughts on the topic there, and we’ll have a chance to chat more directly in the comments!
- My Email List- On Fridays for the coming months, I’ll send a newsletter to my email list, with exclusive extra resources on this topic, worship music that aligns with the theme, and extra questions for reflection. I’m calling these emails “Freedom Fridays” because I believe in the power of vulnerability to bring freedom, and because you’ll know to look for them on Fridays! You can sign up here to receive them below (if you’re not already on my email list!).
I pray that no matter what you’ve been through, what scars you bear, or how you’ve learned to survive in this world, our friend Jesus will guide you in a vulnerable life that is truly surrendered to Him.