It was quite painful, the night our hearts broke wide open and everything laid bare for one another to see. The days following would be even more difficult, as we began to process the deeper meanings of what was said and not said for so many years. There in the healing brokenness is where He pulled my heart close and asked, “Why are you afraid to be loved?” “That is ridiculous! I have no such fear! What does that even mean? Seriously, Lord, what are you implying?” He said it again, even softer than the first time, “Why are you afraid to be loved?” I sat there silent.
“Letting yourself be loved is an act of terrifying vulnerability and surrender…To let yourself be loved means breaking down your walls of self-sufficiency and letting yourself need and opening your hand to receive.” – Ann Voscamp
It was a few days later when I read those words and then I understood.
Giving love is often done quite naturally. If your child falls and scrapes his knee, the usual reaction is to love by providing comfort. Or when a friend is hurting, we are offer love by being encouraging. For the most part, giving love was not the problem. The problem was I was not receiving the love that had been given.
Many times I had gone to quiet places in my heart and tried to work things out on my own. But did I really find vulnerability to be terrifying? Vulnerable means you are “capable or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, open to moral attack or criticism, open to assault.” Yes, that sounds terrifying. When one is vulnerable, they are no longer self-protected. Vulnerability is surrender; an admittance that we require help beyond ourselves. It is opening up your heart with the looming possibility of experiencing great pain. In essence, vulnerability is an act of trust.
I wish I could write that the question proceeding was a simple, “Whom do you trust,” type of question. But it wasn’t. Because He already knew the answers I would give Him. “I absolutely trust You Lord. I trust You will make all things work together for good. I trust You have a purpose and a plan for my life. I trust You as my Refuge, as my Provider, as my Healer. I trust You in all of these things.” I gave Him the answers though He hadn’t asked the question. He waited and then said, “Do you believe that you are enough?”
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20 NASB
“For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did.” Romans 8:3a
“But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” 1 Corinthians 6:17
“Ultimately it comes down to this,
that the real cause of our trouble
is failure to realize our union with Christ.”
– Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Do I believe that Christ in me is enough? It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. I may be guilty at times, but I am no longer condemned. I may be weak, but in Him I am made strong. I may be busted and broken, but I am fully His beloved. Because I am His and He is mine, I am enough. He in me makes me enough. And if I am made to be enough, what is stopping me from being vulnerable? Though wounded or hurt, criticized or attacked, disappointed or discouraged, I am enough.
I can only imagine the unworthiness the disciples felt as Christ stooped low and washed their feet. How they must have wanted to pull back in protest, much like I do when someone bends low to shower me with His love. It’s humbling to say the least. But therein lies the beauty…for without vulnerability, one will never be able to receive and experience love in all its fullness.
“Who is this coming up from the wilderness,
Leaning upon her beloved?”
Song of Solomon 8:5
By: Andrea Bomstad