I used to think transparency and vulnerability were the same thing. I am learning that transparency allows people to see you but doesn't really let them in. Vulnerability allows people to see you AND know you. If you have good people around you, they can speak truth into your life. They can hold you up and lead you to Jesus when you don't have the strength. They can also hurt you.
This discovery showed me that I am great at transparency but not so good at vulnerability. I've spent a lifetime keeping people out so I wouldn't get hurt. That was helpful when I needed that protection as a child. It is not so helpful now. In fact, it costs me so much.
During my life, I learned to build walls around me and only let people in so far. It wasn't their fault. These were tools I put into practice long ago. To be honest, I didn't realize I was doing it until God showed me that I keep even Him at arms length. Here's the tricky part about discovering things about yourself - when your eyes are opened, you have a choice. You can keep operating in unhealthy patterns, or you can walk through healing. At first thought one would say, "I choose healing!" But the reality is, healing can be painful. When we start the process of healing and we are forced to look at our "safety nets", letting go of those are hard.
But that is when we have to choose healing over comfort.
As crazy as it sounds, we believe it's more comfortable to stay in the unhealthy because it's what we know. Let me get a little scientific here for a moment - our brains are hard-wired to reject pain, so we will revert to what we know rather than move into something that's uncomfortable - even if it's good for you. Does this sound like anything you've experienced in life?
The truth is, God has more for us than staying stuck in an unhealthy lifestyle. We may feel safer in the dysfunction, but in the end it will destroy us. At some point we have to be willing to step out of that "comfort" and allow God to do the hard work of healing our hearts and minds.
The amazing thing about a relationship with Jesus is that He can heal these broken parts. He gives His love freely, we don't have to do a thing to earn it. Just invite Him into your heart and He's there!
Healing is a journey with many layers. I am grateful that God doesn't leave us stuck in unhealthy patterns. He moves us into transparency and vulnerability to give us a rich, full life.
1. Can you think of any unhealthy patters you're stuck in?
2. Did anything you read today resonate with you? If so, what?
3. What changes would you like to see in your life?
4. Write down an action step you can take to start walking out those change?
If you find yourself in a place where you do not have healthy community (friends, church family, groups) around you, feel free to contact me to chat more about this topic.