I’m all about being “real”!
I drove a friend home today and she commented that it’s probably hard to be “real” when you are a pastor’s wife.
My response: “I’m over that!”
I love being myself, being vulnerable and real as a leader. It’s so obvious how it opens up communication within relationships.
Knowing that, you may find it strange that this statement in Passionate Prayer hit me hard last night while reading. The author writes “…I sought ways that would help me become more open and vulnerable with my Lord…”
It made me stop and think about how often I can sit and hash things out with friends and bring God my conclusion.
Maybe I should try things a little different and hash out my issues with God, then bring my friends the conclusion.
One of my journal responses in the book reads ”Thank you for new insights, a broader view, another glimpse of who you are. Father, search me, know me, purge the wrong within me. Lead me to Your fountain. May You, Lord, be the last and the first thought on my lips.” Then in smaller print I wrote “please help my fatigue subside.”
I am so thankful for this visual evidence of God’s work in my life. That day my fatigue was great. And, honestly, its been heightened again this week. But I didn’t focus on my problem in my prayer. It was an after thought. This is just a small indication that God was my vision, not my circumstance.
I desire to have heavenly lasik – God permanently planted on my vision. But it’s not that easy! It’s a daily surrender, a choice.
So, I’m off, to spend more time in prayer. I need to get real with the One who already knows!
How about you? Do you gloss over vulnerability with God? Or do you hash it all out?
When you are in the middle of a battle you can only hope to survive. Most people don’t think, “Boy, when this struggle is over, I can’t wait to share it with others, so that people can learn from me.” Battle strategies focus on immediate outcomes, not tomorrow’s encounters.
At the beginning of 2 Corinthians, we see a leader in conflict. And as he pours out his heart, he isn’t looking to win, he’s sharing truth for generations to come.
InterVarsity Presssums up the Apostle Paul’s letter: “Second Corinthians is all about relationships—not perfect ones, but real ones …most people try to use strength and wisdom to win their way back. They create just the right leadership image. But Paul chose to pour out his soul to them, trusting that in the process Christ would be revealed. Paul’s searing honesty offers exactly what the world so deeply hungers for: it tells us how to be really real.”
That’s my quest. How can I be really real and yet point others to Christ?
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. 2 Corinthians 1: 3-11
What passage is on your mind today?
(Participating in the writing challenge? Here are the details.)
Have you ever felt scared to be vulnerable? Were you ever hesitant to allow someone to help you? Have you ever had to admit you aren’t perfect? Did you ever confess you didn’t have the belief you needed to make it?
Many people that come to Heart Reflections are asking those same questions. You may have looked at the vulnerability found in Anne Hathaway, or read about stepping out in faith. You maybe agreed with the father needing healing for his demon-possessed son in Mark 9 who said to Jesus “I believe, help me in my unbelief.”
For as much as I profess how real and vulnerable I am… I found myself in an awkward position last week at bible class.
The bible classes that I am involved in are sincere, caring, and honest. We aren’t praying for the neighbor’s aunt’s cousin. We are praying for the real issues in our own life. After the requests went around the table I found my eyes staring at the floor not wanting to speak. But because many of them read my blog, I knew they already knew. They probably knew just from my actions throughout the class. But I didn’t want to say it out-loud! I didn’t want to confess that I didn’t have it all together. I didn’t want to confess that I needed their prayer. I didn’t want to confess that my hope was dwindling again.
“I FEEL THE DEPRESSION SNEAKING BACK INTO MY LIFE AGAIN,” I announced! I immediately looked down. I didn’t want the sympathetic eyes, the “oh, I’m so sorry” looks. Instead what I heard was laughter! I can’t believe they’re laughing at me, I thought. But then when my abs started to kick in, I realized we all were laughing together. Did I really think I could get away with pretending I was fine? They knew from the start! Because they KNOW me.
Did you know friend that there is One who knows you better than you know yourself? There is One who is closer than your best friend (even if you don’t have a best friend or if your friend is imaginary, or in my case, if your best friend is A DOG!) There is One who knows what is going on in your life even when you are hiding those real feelings from yourself. And there is only One who can best fill that empty whole in your heart.
God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.
I’m an open book to you;
even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say
before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there,
then up ahead and you’re there, too—
your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
I can’t take it all in!
Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.
How are you searching to know your personal, perfect God today?
I don’t know about you, but Hollywood doesn’t excite me too much. For me, Hollywood disappoints.
So, it may surprise you that my new favorite quote comes from a Hollywood starlet! Anne Hathaway blew me away during a Barbara Walters interviewaired last evening. Apparently Anne was involved with a not so worthy character. Two weeks after their break-up he found himself in jail and Anne in the middle of an investigation. So, while Barbara asked the tough questions about the situation, Anne said,
“being vulnerable is not being weak”
How refreshing! Someone in Hollywood actually gets it!
Looking up the word vulnerable at dictionary.com produced this result:
“capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt”
Shortly after Anne’s brilliant quote she said “love is not just giving, it’s receiving too.” In other words, she was extremely hurt and needed help. She didn’t cover up her wounds with a smile or mask it with drugs or alcohol. Instead, she faced the hardship head on with the help of family and friends.
Last week’s text from What’s On Your Mind fits so perfectly here from 2 Corinthians 1:
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered… We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers.
Where does vulnerable fit in your life today? Are you facing fears on your own? Or are you relying on God’s strength?
Tomorrow, instead of asking how God can serve us, we’ll look at what areas He is calling us to serve Him. Join us in What’s On Your Mind ’09.
Final question, did you watch the Oscars last night? How about the musical number featuring Mamma Mia with Beyonce and the kids from HSM3!