Unlocking A New Level of Strength

September 29, 2017

“Why do you have a weird rock in your drawer?” my eleven year old daughter Sydney asked.

Oh, the mysterious rock. I’ve been holding onto that rock for several years now.

This rock birthed itself at a writing and speaking conference called She Speaks. At the end of the last session, they asked us to still our spirit and listen for one word from God to write on a rock.

Joy has been my theme word for years. I’ve been on a journey towards joy to keep a promise I made to our 3 yr-old son Jenson before he passed. A promise that I’d be okay and would figure out how to live joyfully like he did.

I felt confident about my word for that rock. Simple. Easy to write. Three letters.

I opened my hands and shut my eyes more out of respect than anything. And then it came…

Holy static.

The wires must be crossed. Maybe I’m picking up the word for the person next to me. This is not my word.

I quieted my spirit again and opened my hands ready to receive the “right word”.

Again the same 13 letter clumsy word I almost never say, rarely think about, and for years have run from impressed itself. I closed my eyes one last time to triple check. Come on JOY.

I reached for a Sharpie in the middle of the table and started writing my word on the rock. The first letter looked like an awkward “w” or a beginner trying to write a cursive “m”. The pen dipped into creases and crevasses I didn’t see on the surface. And there it was staring back at me…that word I love to hate.

vulnerability (or wlnerability or mlnerability 🙂 )

I started to chuckle. The rough edges of the rock took my normally neat handwriting and made it far from perfect. It looked amateur-esque like someone struggling to find their way. Just looking at it made me feel uncomfortable. Somewhat embarrassed. A bit exposed.

Vulnerability is like that – it requires putting ourselves out there. It’s through our imperfections and broken places that God reveals his strength and glory. And as we take the risk to be vulnerable, we experience life, relationships, and joy on a deeper level. Yes it can be scary. But the downside of potential hurt sure beats a life of loneliness in a tower of isolation.

As Brene’ Brown shares in her Ted Talk ‘The Power of Vulnerability’, people who connect most deeply with others do so as a result of authenticity. They “let go of who they should be for who they are.” They “believe what makes them vulnerable makes them beautiful”.

Think of all the friends and people in your life you feel closest to. People who touched your heart in profound ways. The friends you want to grab coffee with and share the really-reallys of life.

Did little Miss Perfect come to mind? More likely you thought of your friend telling a story about how she lost it with her husband and kids or the friend who laughed as she shared one of her most embarrassing moments like when she fell down the escalator at work face first (…more on this story in a future blog entry).

We connect deepest with people who aren’t afraid to open up as the relationship progresses. People who share their real struggles and events that have deeply impacted them.

So get ready to unlock a new level of strength and connection through vulnerability. Who is that friend you can open up more with? What is that crazy, embarrassing story you can share to help someone else know they aren’t alone?

Risk being vulnerable.



Categories: Courage Growth joy relationships vulnerability
Tags: blog, brene brown, connecting, connection, god, imperfections, joy, proverbs 31 ministry, relationships, rock, she speaks, ted talk, ted talks, vulnerability, writer,

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