As I was preparing and studying to teach our ladies bible study on vulnerability, the Lord showed me that transparency is not the same as vulnerability. You see, transparency is sharing about circumstances that I am going through, dealing with, or have been through. I do transparency well. I share easily with others and have often said to myself, 'I am to open.' On the other hand, vulnerability is sharing about what the circumstance or situation is doing to me. It answers the question of how I am handling it and what I am feeling. It's the real deal. It is how I am reacting when no one sees me. It is about admitting what I am allowing the circumstance to create in me. Sometimes it is bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, depression, or doubt.
Being vulnerable is not an easy thing for me to do. Do you know why? The answer is wrapped up in one word; rejection! When I am vulnerable or when you are vulnerable, we risk rejection from the person we are being vulnerable with. Let's face it, all of us want to be accepted. We want people to like us. We need real connection with people. God designed us with this need. Vulnerability is the key to that connection.
I think there are many people who are being transparent within the Body of Christ, sharing about circumstances and asking for prayer requests, but the vulnerability is lacking. I realize we must use wisdom with what we share and whom we share the intimate details of our lives with, but there is deeper degree of vulnerability that I believe God wants His children to have with Him and the world around us.
Vulnerability is the secret side of strength. When we step out and take the risk to be vulnerable, we are attacking the giant of rejection head on. When we take the first step to vulnerability, God then takes the next step and raises up the very strength we need to cover our weakness and fear.
The real deal is this; we must start taking the first steps to being truly vulnerable in our relationships. We must begin to be honest with where we are at, and sharing, whether good or bad, what is happening within us. We are yearning for deep connection with our brother and sisters in the Lord, and yet, we are drowning in loneliness because of our fear of rejection which prevents us from being vulnerable. God is not the only one we are to be vulnerable with. We need others and He knows this. He is ok with that. He designed us this way.
Let's face it, we are going to be rejected by people our entire lives. Not everyone is going to like us or react the way we want them to when we are vulnerable, but we cannot let that stop us from taking the risk. Our first step in reaching out in vulnerability could be the key to helping someone else to be vulnerable with us. It is then, that we experience the connection we are longing for and we gain great blessings in the relationship. Vulnerability truly is the secret side of strength.
I have decided that I want to be not only transparent, but vulnerable in my relationships. This will be challenging and difficulty at times but the risk is well worth what I will gain. In being vulnerable I become empowered to be who I was created and purposed to be. And when I am rejected, I must remember, and you must remember that even if we are rejected by people, we have a loving, eternal, Daddy that will never reject us!