Vulnerable: The quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
Shame: A feeling of regret, self-hate, and dishonor.
Redemption: The action of regaining or gaining possession of something.
For years, I have refused to be emotionally vulnerable. I believed that being vulnerable didn’t mean there was a possibility to be hurt, but a guarantee. Over time my heart became more and more hardened to letting people see who I really was, developing shame for who I was. At the age of 15 I was sexually assaulted by a much older guy. As a result, I shut down all of my emotions. I thought that if I didn’t let anyone see the pain I was in, it didn’t exist. If I didn’t share my story with others, it never happened. I was in denial of my own reality and emotions. Not feeling angry, hurt, or betrayed sounds really great, right? It comes with a price: the absence of joy, love, or acceptance. It is impossible to selectively numb emotions.
The enemy comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy. The Father comes so that we may have ABUNDANT life! (John 10:10). We can’t have this abundant life if we are living in the bondage of shame. We have to break the chains with vulnerability and embrace the reality that our Father in heaven is able to redeem and restore the areas where we are broken. When trauma happens, big or small, it takes our willingness to be vulnerable. We must reclaim that vulnerability to reclaim our lives.
For the first time in my life I am embracing vulnerability. Shame is a feeling that can be overcome by the action of being vulnerable. I am learning that sharing my story can inspire and bring hope to others and as a result I have built deep relationship with others, felt a sense of joy that has been missing for far too long, and discovered freedom like never before in being who God has created me to be. Embracing the redemption of the Father has changed my life in a drastic way.
So how do you practically embrace vulnerability?
By Ally photo cred: Averie Woodard
God used Ally's journey in her Discipleship Training School to walk into her newfound freedom.
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