Ok so I know I need to update...I have more coast pictures and redwoods and sunsets and Arches National Park in Utah! But I want to pause for a moment. To say this.
About 4 years ago or so...my first couple of years of college...I was in this super vulnerable place. For the first time ever, I was just very honest with myself and conversations were going on with lots of different friends around me and I just started to realize the power of vulnerability.
I think it has power...for a few reasons.
1. For our past issues... maybe it's suffering. Maybe something crappy happened to us that just weighs on us or that we don't understand. Or perhaps we did something. Something that is so far removed from who we are now but nonetheless, we know we did it once. And maybe the emotions of that weigh on us. I think in these situations, we have to know a couple of things:
- 2 Corinthians 1:4-5 tells us that He will comfort us in our troubles, SO THAT we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. I think that in order to provide this comfort with those who might be walking through the same things...we ourselves have to be willing to share what happens.
- John 5, where Jesus heals the crippled man by the pool...He tells the guy to "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." One time I heard someone preach on this passage and a huge part of it was about the phrase "Pick up your mat and walk".... the mat. The sick, nasty mat that the guy has been laying on, defecating on for THIRTY-NINE years... "Pick it up and walk." Carry that thing with you. SHOW God's glory in where He has brought you from. Get up. Don't get stuck in it, don't walk in that sin, don't drown in that suffering anymore. Get up. But take the mat...and show God's glory in how He has healed you. You have to be vulnerable to be willing to carry around your mat.
- I don't have a verse for this one...but we've all been through healing processes. And to kind of go along with my first point...some people are further along in the healing journey. We can't gain their wisdom unless we, as the un-wise, learn to open up.
2. For current issues, namely, current sin:
- James 5:16 tells us to "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." I mean there it is. Confess your sins. Name them. Be honest and vulnerable. Pray for each other. Be accountable. Find healing.
I learned a lot in that vulnerable season of my life. But then life got hard and I went through this weird depression which was so unlike me, and afterwards I started running away from a lot of things I used to know. I closed up. It was easier to just help others and not deal with myself.
This trip, God has no longer let me do that. I had to quit running. And it sucked for second. I don't like some of my mats. I would rather put them down. And there are some other things I would kinda like to keep hiding. But then I realized... especially with past mats. It's important to not shut them up. Because we start to THINK they are things we have to be ashamed of... when really, we are just stinkin' robbing our GREAT God of His glory that He deserves. I wanna give that glory.
Sorry this is long...I want to end with this. I wrote this poem in a class my sophomore year of college. I don't pretend to be a great writer by any means, ha, but it got good reviews for the class so I feel okay putting it out there. haha. It's called "Little Soapbox"...because seriously, I preached vulnerability like crazy back then.
We shared life stories the other day
But I could see in your eyes that you were offering only so much
Replacing details with
And yeah, I just don’t know
But I know that the pain lies in what you avoid putting into words
It just wasn’t a good time you say
But the darkness of your past covers your eyes
I’ll tell you why.
Because no one talks.
Because we’re taught the past is supposed to be just that.
Almost as if it doesn’t even exist.
But we’re dying to talk
Because we’re dying for someone to listen
To know the real us
To forgive our mistakes
And to understand our suffering
And the thing is
When we do step out and talk
We fling open the floodgates of realness
Allowing those who identify with us to rush in
Because really, we all have a lot more in common than we thought.
Because true healing lies in your words.