Earlier this year I explored the question, “who sees the real you?” I talked about how being real requires us to be honest and authentic. Another characteristic of being real is having the ability to be vulnerable. Showing vulnerability is hard because it’s in our nature to protect ourselves and always hold a little something back.
One of the biggest reasons it’s so hard to give ourselves away is due to so many past personal hurts. Maybe we’ve been rejected by someone, or even worse betrayed by them, and those particular scars seem to run especially deep.
“Nothing is harder than being vulnerable after you’ve been hurt. When that happens, your first reaction is recoil. You want to retreat back into yourself, avoiding the possibility of ever being hurt again.“ – C.S. Lewis
Lewis hit the nail on the head with this statement. When someone hurts us, our number one reaction is to withdrawal. We’d like nothing better than to hide from our feelings; in fact we believe the best way to protect ourselves is to simply feel nothing at all. Eventually we deaden our pain to the point that to take another risk at love would simply be too much. Therefore, we shut our hearts off believing it would be better to ride it out with our feelings tucked close to the vest, instead of leaving them hanging loosely from our sleeves.
Nothing is worse than being wounded by someone we love, but how do we find the courage to overcome our fears so we can move on and learn to trust again? The answer to that question lies in our relationship with Jesus. Before we can fully trust someone to begin with, we must first learn to trust Him.
Jesus is the way
Jesus is the ultimate role model. He’s the only One who will truly understand how we feel. He knows how torn and tattered ours heart are, and He aches to help us mend them. In John 14:6 He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” Truth means “sincerity in action and character; an idea that is true or accepted as the truth.”*
Our Savior has the truest character of all, and when He tells us He loves us, we can trust that what He’s saying is true. When we learn to trust Jesus by accepting His truth, He in turn shows us who we can trust. Jesus doesn’t say we will never be hurt again, but when we place our full obedience in His hands, we are able to look beyond what we see with our eyes, and allow Him to help us see with our hearts.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, and irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
Please pray with me:
I look to You today, asking that You take each and every piece of my heart that has ever been broken and mend them with the truth of Your love. Thank You for all the people in my life who love me. May I never take them for granted and be ever diligent in loving them back.
Photos © Salina T Gibson
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