If you had the keys to let hundreds of innocent people out of jail but the only catch was you had to unlock all the doors completely naked, would you do it?
Weird analogy right? Don’t worry I have a point.
This word vulnerability, is opening my eyes to some huge and powerful truths. When we are brave enough to share our past, our hurt, and our bumpy road to figuring life out, it can be terrifying. We feel exposed, naked really, but for those who are brave enough, it also allows SO MUCH freedom both for us and the one who needed to hear our story.
Brene Brown, who delivered one of the most popular Ted talks to date, has researched vulnerability for more than a decade. Her goal was to “outsmart” it. She wanted to see how she could have those deep connections with people without having to let het guard down allowing herself to get hurt. 10 years of research, focus groups, and interviews she found, much to her surprise.
“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known” –Brene Brown
About a year ago I finally was brave enough, and got the opportunity, to share my testimony with my sorority. 15 years after sitting in the same chapter room I came back to tell what God had done in my life. The calendar is different but we shared the exact same fears, insecurities, desperate need for a guy to bring us happily ever after. I walked in their exact same (totally adorable) shoes.
I stood in front of 225 of the most beautiful women Georgia Southern had ever seen. I thought I was going to throw up or pee on myself or both. I poured my heart out.
After I finished speaking I felt naked Exposed. Cold and sweaty at the same time. I went home that night and journaled this:
Last night I had the opportunity to share my testimony with ADPI! I have never felt more where I am supposed to be. Mother Teresa says “Calcutta” is everywhere we just have to look. I never would have thought to find Calcutta in the mansions of greek row but father I couldn’t be more thankful for this opportunity.
Since that terrifying moment in the chapter room God has given me the sweetest little warriors for Jesus to encourage and mama while they are away from home. He has made doors fall down and windows fly open to share more of Jesus with the most open hearts hungry to hear a better way than hangovers and heartbreak. He took my “too little too late” and made it “abundantly more than I could ask or imagine”. Redeeming my past and making beauty from a mess.
Here’s my encouragement: To break down walls we have to get uncomfortable. The best place to start is sharing our story. What has God done, and what He is currently doing in your life that is hard to share but could be the key to unlock prison for others, AND as a bonus, yourself.