Friday, October 31, 2014

This is Me: Completely and Totally Exposed...


"Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant."
Galatians 1:10
 






This post was originally part of the 31 Day Writing Challenge:  31 Fears to Conquer Through Faith--DAY 31:  Fear of Being Vulnerable
  

This is me.  No make-up on.  No forced smile.  No flat-ironed or hot-rolled hair.  No clothes.  No matching accessories.  Nothing.

 

Just me.

Naked.  Exposed.  Vulnerable.  

I'm imperfect.  I've made mistakes.  I continue to make mistakes.  I've hurt others.  I've hurt myself.  I've hurt God.  I've disappointed others.  I've disappointed myself.  I've disappointed God.   

Much of my life, I've learned to put on a happy face...to sweep things under the rug...to pretend like everything was ok.  Not out of being fake, but simply out of not wanting to burden others with my problems...or not wanting to face my own struggles...or not wanting to be judged because of my weaknesses...or not wanting to be vulnerable.  It felt uncomfortable. 

And so I didn't share what was really going on in my life.   It was lonely, and yet my silence gave me a false sense of security and power.  I just plain did not want to appear weak.  I did not want to be vulnerable.
 
Well, I think...I think I might have gotten over the fear of being vulnerable now! 
 
“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.”   Criss Jami

Throughout this 31 Day Writing Challenge, I've been very open and honest.  I've revealed very, very personal information about my life...my struggles...my insecurities...my doubts...my weaknesses...my worries...and, of course all of my fears.  I've shared about my fears of:
Loss
Failure
Conflict
Death
Illness
Being Alone
Aging
Success
Abandonment
Accidents
Being Less
Not Being Good Enough
Making Mistakes
Being Left Out
Being Judged
Broken Trust
Disappointment
Saying "No"
Saying "Yes"
Being Disappointed
Being Disappointing
Rejection
My Weaknesses
Not Being Liked
Hurting Someone
Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone
Being a Bad Mom
Being a Bad Wife
The Unknown
Change
Being Vulnerable

Honestly, I'm exhausted.  I feel very raw, naked, and exposed to the core.  In my mind, the goal in writing these blogs was to simply free myself from these fears.  That was my vision, at least.

I had no idea what God's vision was.  

His goal...His purpose was so much more than that.  Yes, He absolutely wanted to free me from these fears, but He also wanted to teach me about strength and that true strength doesn't come from pretending to have it all together or never making mistakes or being perfect all the time.  True strength comes from sharing my imperfections, admitting my weakness, and exposing the dark areas of my inner self.   

John 1: 4-5 says "Life itself is in Him, and this life gives Light to everyone.  The Light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it." 

God wanted to use my stories...use my vulnerability......use my fears to take me from a place of weakness to a place of strength...to take me from a place of darkness to a place of light.   His Light! 

Because God's Light shined in me, there was healing.  Because I have accepted His Light, I can truly surrender to His unconditional love, His undeniable mercy, His unbelievable forgiveness, and His unending grace. 














I have learned to love myself...be confident in who I am...accept the way that God created me...and feel worthy and deserving of God's goodness.  I have learned to love myself to the core...flaws and all. 

His Light shines in me and now it can shine through me.  By releasing my fears of being vulnerable and following God's lead by being so transparent, God was able to shine His Light through me onto you.  
 

He was able to use my stories to bless you, encourage you and inspire you on your own path in life.  God's plan for us is so much bigger than we ever realize, but we have to surrender to Him and be willing to be vulnerable.

Are you ready to release your fears of being vulnerable to Him?  Are you ready to accept the freedom that comes with being more open and honest about your life?
 
PRAY WITH ME:
Lord, today, I give my fear of being vulnerable to You.  Keeping everything inside of me is toxic.  There is freedom to be gained in the truth.  There is strength to be gained in being vulnerable.  Give me the courage to shout off the rooftops about all that You've done in my life.  Take away my fears of being rejected or judged or pleasing people and help me to focus only on pleasing You and Your mission for my life.  Lord, shine Your light into my fears of being vulnerable and help me to walk forward boldly and confidently knowing that through faith in You, You give me Light and the strength I need to shine within as well as shine to the world.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.

Start from the beginning of this journey of 31 Fears to Conquer Through Faith:  http://christineleeb.blogspot.com/2014/10/31-fears-to-conquer-through-faith.html

24 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much. It was such a journey! God blessed this 31 days so powerfully and made my writing such a ministry to myself and to others.

      Blessings-
      Christine

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  2. wonderful! first time I've happened upon your blog from the 31 dayers fb group. wish I had found it sooner. Being vulnerable is a theme I keep returning too. thanks !

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    1. Thank you so much. Yes, being vulnerable and being genuine about what's really going on in our lives is so important. I think when we show our darkness to the world, God can shine His light into us and onto the world even brighter!

      Blessings-
      Christine

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Susan. I appreciate your desire to reflect on your own fears. We women need to be bold and courageous and put on the armor of God!

      Blessings-
      Christine

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    1. Thank you, Keri! It was a beautiful journey that I will always treasure!

      Blessings-
      Christine

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  5. A beautiful post. Well done! I can so relate to keeping it all in and not sharing. I have broken through more often of late but have a way to go. I pray that the author and perfecter of your faith completes the good work that he has begun in you.

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    1. Beautifully written, Jo. I really appreciate your encouragement. I completely understand. I was raised in a "sweep everything under the rug and pretend everything is ok" family, so that was a very difficult pattern to break. But now, I've learned that there is so much freedom in the truth and allowing others in more often. Still difficult to do, but I've definitely freed myself from a lot of those fears now. :-)

      Blessings-
      Christine

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  6. Aw, you're beautiful in the 'bare and exposed' photo! I'm glad you've written your way past your fears and into a more loving relationship with yourself. After all, God tells us we must love our neighbor as ourselves (and if we don't love ourselves, there ain't no loving the neighbor!).

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes, it really has been a journey through my fears as well as learning to love who I am and how God created me to be as well as the path that He has me on now. So true how important it is to be able to love ourselves so that we can love others! :-)

      Blessings-
      Christine

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  7. Lovely post and great encouragement to all of us! Love how God has spoken to you this month!

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    1. Thank you so much, Holly. I love how God spoke to me too. Actually it was quite interesting to read back through my posts and not remember writing a lot of it. That's how I know that God speaks through me so powerfully when I write! I'm honored and humbled to share His words with others!

      Blessings-
      Christine

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  8. I felt as I was reading this that it was about me...so many of the same struggles of openness and not wanting to burden others - keeping it inside. Writing my series has unleashed so much for me and allowed me to finally say what I needed to and feel fairly safe...kind of. I had to step away sometimes and wait to publish a post...I wasn't ready. I will definitely be going back through your series, I know what you were writing and sharing about will be great for me to read as I have struggled with those same things! So courageous of you to post all natural and open - you are kind of my hero right now! you looked amazing both ways! thanks again for this post - glad I found my way to your series even if it wasnt until the last day!

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    1. Thank you so much. I love it when people can relate so much to my struggles as if they were their own. That's really powerful! I totally understand about not wanting publish or post! There were many times throughout this series that I wrestled with God about my posts, but I was obedience every time because none of this was about me. It was only about what God was going to do and say through me.

      Praying for you as you move forward and be more open and vulnerable in your own life!

      Blessings-
      Christine

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  9. Sweet and loving encouragement. You look equally beautiful in both photos.

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    1. Thank you, Mary. The without make up picture was exactly how this series made me feel--completely exposed. But I also learned that when I am completely obedient to God and what He's asking me to do, there will be amazing freedom and blessings. I feel free and blessed! And I pray you will too!

      Blessings-
      Christine

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  10. "True strength comes from sharing my imperfections, admitting my weakness, and exposing the dark areas of my inner self. " ...will be tweeting this!

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    1. Did I write that? Lol! Seriously, I read through some things I wrote and inspire myself. hahaha! That's not to give me any pats on the back. That's just giving God all the glory because I don't even know what I'm writing most of the time! He gives me the words to write!

      Thanks for that encouragement!

      Blessings-
      Christine

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  11. I enjoyed reading your post. You are beautiful inside and out (and without any makeup). Your transparency is refreshing. It reminds me of 2 Corinthians 12:9, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." (~Jesus) When we are weak, His sufficient grace and perfect power stand out. Keep shining brightly for Jesus!

    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment! By the way, this post of mine might be an encouragement to you: http://bornagainandblessed.blogspot.com/2014/06/fear-not.html . You might also find the book Fearless by Max Lucado helpful (you can also find my review on my blog :)).

    ~Urailak (Fruit Bearer on FB)

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    1. Thank you so much, Urailak. I will definitely check out your blog post and Max Lucado's book. I love the bible verse from 2 Corinthians. I used that verse in one of my blogs. God's purpose was for me to be transparent and vulnerable and draw people towards Him. I feel blessed by the love, support and encouragement I've received.

      Blessings-
      Christine

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  12. You are amazing! It takes strength to be vulnerable. I can't imagine just how exhausting it was to write through the entire 31 day series, but I know it took strength. Well done!

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    1. Thank you, Susan! Yes, it was very exhausting, but also freeing. God was so good and so faithful every day to give me the strength I needed to write about so many personal and difficult things. It was an amazing journey!

      Blessings-
      Christine

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