Something incredible happens when we allow ourselves to feel vulnerable, but step out anyway.
There are others who put their hands up and say 'I feel vulnerable too!'... I feel scared, I feel alone, I feel like I can't do the things I really want to do, I don't feel like I am good enough...
Then come the stories about taking brave steps.
Conversations around courage take place, and those things that we might have said a firm 'no' to before, now become a what if I just gave it a go?...
A text message from a friend applauded me for my writing, but concluded she could never be brave enough to share her writing with others. I replied with this:
I feel vulnerable and awkward all the time when I write a new blog post and I probably worry too much about what other people will think. But I'm learning not to take myself too seriously, and just write anyway.
She was surprised that that's how I felt, and I was surprised that she was surprised!
Aren't my flaws so obvious?! I am a mess of pieces, some of them put together like the beautiful jigsaw I hoped I would be - but most of them full of gaps, unfinished or broken or missing.
No one has it all together.
Our faults and flaws make us feel uncomfortable, and exposed.
To cover this feeling of exposure we try to put our best face forward.
Whether the arena is the big crowd, or the small gathering, or the one on one or just the social media. We're all guilty of making out like we've got it all together.
The truth is we're all human, we all have broken bits and struggles and fears.
But then we own them, we don't allow the broken bits to define us or steal our value...
Or hold us back from living out our best life.
"The world has enough women who live a masked insecurity. It needs more women who live a brave vulnerability"*
To live this kind of brave vulnerability means to take the mask off in front of the mirror first.
I'm a little bit scared: scared they won't like the real me, scared that I'm not enough, scared I don't have what it takes.
It's okay. We all have those thoughts and maybe there's someone in your world more scared than you, who needs to see you being brave so that she can too?
Take it off in front of the mirror and then, maybe tomorrow, we can leave the house without it.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.
But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.**
Delight and affirmation comes when we allow ourselves to take off the mask and see ourselves truly as we are - and sticking with the free life! Vulnerability before God, and others means a life of freedom from fear... because His affirmation is all we need.
* Ann Voskamp
** James 1, MSG