The Beauty in Vulnerability
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Remember how it felt when you were open? How wonderful to love without abandon? To jump and free-fall because you believed someone would catch you? Wasn’t it amazing to have unadulterated trust with no fear of repercussion, and how liberating it felt to have no doubt? Its like the way my 2 year old Kingston runs up to me, arms outstretched, and says “UP! Mommy, UP!” It never crosses his mind, that I’ve had a 12 hour day, my hands are full of groceries, my purse is falling off my shoulders, the blisters on my feet are bleeding and everything on me hurts. It NEVER crosses his mind, even for a second that he’s not getting picked up. And he’s absolutely right. I gird my loins and we go “UP UP UP”.  Just so I can see the smile, followed by the laugh that lights up my life. And steal a little sugar from a tiny face smeared with God knows what! 

It's so easy to forget the pure blessing that comes from the ability to be vulnerable. Yet over time, LIFE. Happens. Slowly our perspectives become tainted and clouded by pain, betrayal, pressure, and disappointment. Altering the way we view love, friendships, partnerships, opportunities, and even the way we see ourselves. Now the bright eyed, happy go lucky you, has been replaced by someone who gives a side eye and half smirk, but never shows all her teeth when she smiles a smile that doesn’t reach her eyes. We let people in a little bit, but reserve the right to implement the #nonewfriends clause in our friendship contract, cause LISTEN, you just never know! Sooo hows that hard heart working for you? #inquiringmindswannaknow

Isn’t it funny, that the new “refined” you, still longs to be the “open” you? Every now and then, she tries to sneak out. You see her when you get excited about a new business opportunity, or decide to get your healthy fit life together. She’s positively radiant when you reignite your spiritual relationship with God, or get ready to take leap of faith and make a major life change. She’s a bundle of excited nerves when you are getting dressed for a first date, or even date 4000 with the person you pledged your life to because maybe, just maybe, tonight will be the night that you guys reconnect. That you forget everything, remember each other, and fall in love again. But just when she’s climbed high enough to peek her head above the wall around your heart, “refined” you whispers of all the times you tried before and it didn’t work out. “I'm not being negative”, she says. “I’m just saying….be careful. We don't need to get hurt….AGAIN!” So instead of living your life like it's golden, you just settle to living life as is. Safe. Under control. Alcatraz. Sacrificing days, moments, experiences, happiness, and fulfillment, all under the auspice of a misguided attempt at self preservation. 

My favorite book tells me in Hebrews 3:15 “In that day, if you will you hear God’s voice, harden not your heart because of trouble.” So the same book that tells us to “guard our hearts” in Proverbs 4;23, implores us not to confuse protecting our heart and hardening our heart. Sometimes its almost impossible to delineate between the two. But God knows. Every pain. Every disappointment. Every embarrassment. Every heartbreak. Every failure. Every lie. Every brick life handed us that we used to build Fort Knox around our hearts, God knows. Yet He is still speaking. Still calling you. Because you belong to Him. And that bright eyed, happy go lucky girl hidden under the new refined skeptical you, hears the call of her Father. She peeks her head above the protective wall each time God entices you with tasty morsels of promise, illuminating the potential of who He created you to be.  Now, in no way am I suggesting to continue engaging in relationships or behaviors that are toxic and potentially detrimental to your life, but what I am saying, is be real with you. Have the presence of mind  and self awareness to realize when your skepticism is unwarranted and your fear is causing you to miss out on your promised abundant life. 

Don’t stop putting yourself out there. Keep trying. Never quit! Don’t stop believing. In yourself. In your hopes. Pursue your dreams. God grants us the desires of our hearts, when we are in His will, because our desires line up with His plans for us anyways! So be wise, but not cynical. Kind, but not weak. Be patient and perceptive, yet not skeptical. Be content never complacent and discerning without judgment. For your life is a conglomeration of journeys wrapped in beauty. And that beauty, has purpose.