The Strength of Vulnerability // Kelly Smith

By August 8, 2018All Posts

There was a time in my life not so long ago, where I avoided vulnerability at all cost. I alone could barely face what was churning in my soul and I certainly could not fathom letting anyone around me in on my daily struggles, my failures, or just how disappointed and angry I really was. I was so afraid of looking weak or even worse, less than the type of holy Christian I thought I was supposed to look like.


That was one of the darkest, loneliest, most isolating times of my life thus far.  It lasted through the remainder of my college days, into my marriage and motherhood. It wasn’t until after I had my first child that I realized the gig was up. I could no longer live this life in isolation, covering up my struggles all to avoid looking weak.


My healing started by embracing vulnerability with the Lord.  I had to allow the Lord into those dark places and to see me as I really am.


In the book of Psalms, David gives us an open look at pure unrestrained vulnerability in his relationship with the Lord.  The pages of Psalms drip with David’s range of emotions, struggles, fears, and pain. They are also so full of his unwavering faith in the Lord’s character to be his everything and his gratitude for all that the Lord has already done.


“O’ Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way?
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart everyday?
How long will my enemy have the upper hand?
(Psalm 13:1-2 NLT)


Whoa. Ever felt like that? I sure have. David holds nothing back from the Lord. What an honest admission! I so admire the intimacy and the trust between David and the Lord, where he feels safe enough to say exactly how he feels without fear of punishment. Is that not what we all want; to be able to share our struggles and emotions so openly and freely? I sure do.


But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.”
(Psalm 13:5-6 NLT)


After airing it all out, David ends chapter 13 by reminding himself in who the Lord is and has been for him. David’s emotions say he is forgotten, but his faith reminds him the Lord has rescued him. This is our truth also.


So how do we get from fearing vulnerability to openly walking it out in our relationships? Humility.


We cannot be both proud and vulnerable.


My pride kept my struggles secret. Humility allowed me to step into the light, failures and all. I had to shed my prideful self-protection and come face to face with my shortcomings and weaknesses. Just on the other side of that was a greater understanding that my strength is not self made, but comes from trusting in the Lord to be my strength.


Admittance of my suffering and failures to myself reminds me that I still need a savior. Admittance of them to the Lord creates space for him in my life.


A space for forgiveness and peace.

A space for the Lord to be present with me, just as he was with David.

A space for the Lord to be my source of rescue, shelter, and joy.

A space to be my all.


“I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name O most high.”
(Psalm 9:1-2)


Today, spend some time reading through Psalms and let David’s words linger in your heart. Ask the Lord to help you trade your pride for his humility. Practice spending time with the Lord and being vulnerable. Be honest about where you are, your hurts, failures, anger, fear, guilt, broken-heartedness, and shame; let it all out and hold nothing back. Let the Lord be present with you today, exactly where you are. Let vulnerability become your strength.


Featured Photo by: Allison Mims


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