Vulnerability. For me, as of late this word has had tons of contexts, some good some bad. But it has been a clanging theme, one that I cannot seemingly get rid of. Do you think God is trying to teach me something?
Vulnerability starts with my physical surroundings. It’s not always easy being a woman walking, shopping, riding in combis. I have learned the art of saying, “no” in some subtle and not so subtle ways. And in Botswana where women are not respected, and yet in the midst of a culture where respect and standing is so vital, there is a constant balance of knowing that you don’t have rights in the same way. I am surrounded at times in work and after hours of the reminders that it can be challenging and yes, vulnerable being a woman here.
And where does this vulnerability lead me to? Well, it has led me to frustration, anger and hurt but ultimately it has led me to lean on God for His protection and His wisdom.
But what has been the hardest lessons, the times of being vulnerable that aren’t so easy to see?
Honesty. No, I am not just talking about honesty in terms of lying about what I ate for lunch (yes, okay, it might have been nibs from a care package, stop judging!) But rather for the first time I was able to be honest with how I felt, and to stop lying even to myself.
It was hard to get to that point, to push through the years of garbage and to finally see clearly. I praise God for how He brought the right people to challenge me in becoming vulnerable. And yes, it frustrated me, and scared me half to death, but well, growing and being challenged is so important.
I was also very prompted to be vulnerable in my work – I have been blessed with many new opportunities, etc. etc. but working constantly, feeling the weight of everyone’s burdens on my shoulders is hard. No, its near impossible to do for a year. So I was able to be vulnerable at work too – to be able to say “I can’t do it all” was not easy. But its freeing, its allowing God to work. I know, it shocked me too – apparently I am not in control.
So yeah, it’s a struggle, because being vulnerable doesn’t always mean you get what you hoped for. Being vulnerable has come with a metaphorical slap in the face. And yes, it makes me want to crawl into a hole and never return. But I can’t – oh its tempting, but that isn’t an option. I didn’t fight my way through struggles and garbage, just to return to it. I praise God that He is in control. That He sees my efforts, and cares for me.
Its been a choice to be vulnerable. And you know what? It is amazing to me that I can lay everything before God and just say “here I am Lord… it’s not pretty, but you know all of my thoughts and my every deed, and yet, you love me.”
And so in response to all of this… it has to be praise. I praise God for all He has done and all He is doing. And too, its being in supplication – I need you Holy Spirit. I can’t do any of this alone.