Why vulnerability is hard...but worth it

Yesterday wasn't my best day.  I'm assuming you've had those days too.  I started out okay, but then someone said something that rubbed me the wrong way.  And then, there was criticism of my work and no matter how correct the criticism is, it still feels like micro management. I'm just saying. 

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My response...well cranky.  I snapped. I became defensive. I felt vulnerable and needed to stop the bleeding immediately. With a quick retort. With a biting comment. And before I knew it, I looked and felt less like Jesus and more like Oscar the Grouch. 

Being invulnerable

The fact is, I prefer to be invulnerable. You know, that friend who seems unaffected by what people think of her. That person who takes constructive feedback and doesn't feel or sound defensive. That person who is comfortable in their own skin. 

If you've been reading the blog the last few weeks, you know I've been reading Sara Hagerty's book, Unseen. In my latest chapter, she talks about her two oldest who were adopted from Africa. 

When they first brought them home, they were afraid they would struggle with abandonment and attachment. They had been left to wander the streets and raised in an orphanage.  Surprisingly, their early days in America were filled with easy play and bright eyes.  Her counselor friend called them invulnerables.  People who had gotten so used to not being vulnerable that it didn't affect them - they just carried on. 

Why being invulnerable is not the answer

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For this type 1 on the Enneagram who always wants to get it right and perfect the first time, it sounds like a dream.  No problem with changes. No problem with someone not approving. Easy play and bright eyes.  That's what I want. 

And then Sara said something that bordered on meddling.  You and I, we want to hide that part of us that is messy and doesn't have it all together. But from God's perspective?  He loves that part of us.  He want us to climb up on his lap and allow Him to do the work that only vulnerability can produce in us. 

You see, our messiest days prove that we can't do it on our own.  We can't pull our big girl pants on and do the thing perfectly. We will show up messy and emotional and many times we won't get it right. But God doesn't need us to get it right all the time. Instead, He's inviting us to walk hand in hand and let Him define what getting it right looks like in His eyes. 

Wisdom from the Hallmark channel

Sometimes I make my friend Katrina watch the Hallmark movies.  Yes, they're a little cheesy. If you know me at all, I add a little fun to the mix by asking her during commercials if she can guess what's going to happen.  (They're mostly the same, you see). 

“Your personal best is always enough.”

The one we watched last weekend featured a former Olympic skier.  She was feeling discouraged when coaching a rising star skier and her dad gave her this advice. "Your personal best is always enough." You know what Hallmark?  That'll preach. 

Our personal best is enough.  God knows us. He knows what we're capable of. He knit you and I together in our mothers womb (Psalm 139).  And sometimes, you and I, when we have a bad day, are harder than we need to be on ourselves.

Sometimes the prescription to hard and messy is admitting our need. Sometimes the prescription to feeling like we've failed is to acknowledge that our personal best is good enough.  Sometimes the prescription for our hard days is not in hiding our vulnerability, but embracing it.  

I don't know about you, but yesterday I wanted to run home, climb in my recliner, and hide under my Chicago Bears blanket. Until....

Until I realized that God does his best work in me when I choose to be vulnerable enough to admit I need Him. I can't change myself.  Only He can change my life from the inside out. 

Hey friend!   In what ways is God inviting you to be vulnerable with Him this week?  I'd love to hear from you! Whether it's to answer this question, request prayer or just say hi, feel free to email me or complete my contact form and I'll be in touch!  

Danielle Allen