I watched a TED Talk on vulnerability recently that really challenged me. The speaker said that we are trained and prepared for struggle, but we are worthy of love and support. Individualism teaches us to pretend that everything is ok, but grace and love and community require us to recognize and admit the ways in which we are not ok. They require us to lean in. This idea of leaning into others and leaning into vulnerability feels like it happens in the dark. I'm not sure what's out there, whether there will be something or someone to support me when I do it. But I know it's necessary. I know I need it to grow.
Four weeks ago I would have scoffed at the idea that I needed to be stronger and love myself more. Three weeks ago that same thought left me feeling at sea, wondering how I would ever build up my inner strength and wondering where I should even start if I wanted to learn to love myself. I started with the Word, diving in, looking for clues to who God says I am. I experimented with admitting to others when I wasn't ok, admitting I needed help, admitting that I didn't have it all together. Today I am so blessed to feel a fledgling strength of purpose and love of self blooming within me.
I'm not finished, not by a long shot, and I know that full well. But God has shown me amazing things in the last few weeks. He has shown me the huge amount of love that is present in my life, the love that surrounds me. Each time I've stepped out in faith and opened up, God has been there to catch me. His Word is uplifting, and His work in my life is evident. I lean into my friends, and they are there. My friends weren't disappointed in me like I feared they would be, instead they encouraged me and affirmed me. Each one is unique, but each has been such an incredible part of this process, in ways they can't even imagine.
Are you leaning on God? Are you building community through vulnerability?
Ephesians 5: 1-2
Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.