NOTE: I wrote this with my recent Women’s Retreat in mind. We had such an amazing experience together! I know a huge part of that came from our willingness to be vulnerable and to share with each other even when it was hard. I was so proud of them and felt privileged to get to share in their growth. So without further ado …
I find one of the hardest things to do sometimes, especially when I need it most, is to allow myself to be genuinely seen. Can you relate? For me, it’s like a coin with one side representing pride and the flip side being insecurity. When I’m fearful of being open, it’s usually a coin toss as to which side wants to keep me shut down.
On the pride side of the coin, I have thoughts that tell me I should be stronger/better/wiser/more capable than I am currently feeling so I fear being exposed. On the insecure side, my thoughts tell me I am silly/stupid/foolish/selfish/unworthy for my feelings, that I will be judged for my thoughts, and no one will understand anyway. My pride says I should be past it already. My insecurity says no one could love me this way. Both leave me feeling unworthy and if I’m not careful, unloved. Whew! The enemy is exhausting.
Thankfully God has so much more in store for us! He doesn’t want my life or yours to be dominated by pride or insecurity; He wants it to boldly shine with His love. Part of how He replaces the ugly with beauty in our lives is by our openness with each other. He tells us in Ephesians 4:2, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love,” and in James 5:16, “Make this your common practice: Confess your faults to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.”
I want to be whole and healed. I want to be treated with gentleness and humility, and to extend that treatment to others. I bet you do, too! I know a big part of how we get there is by choosing to be seen—genuinely seen—by the people who love and understand us most. Their support, encouragement and their loving challenge almost always helps us to grow. In doing it God’s way, we throw away the coin of chance and allow ourselves to genuinely move forward. How awesome is that?!
For Further Thought: Is there anything you need to get out there in the open? Spend some time praying for discernment and don’t be afraid to try! If this is a new idea for you, make sure you pick someone who is safe, who cares for you and who won’t project their issues on you. Share, then pray together and ask them to continue praying for you. They don’t need to have the answers, but just knowing they’re there really does make a difference!