As soon as I hit the send button, the nerves start to come. Did I share too much? Will people judge us?
The missionary newsletter: it goes out to 182 people and is linked on facebook. 164 people have clicked that link to read it.
Over 300 readers, only a handful of responses.
Some days I get tired of being vulnerable.
It’s something I’ve felt often lately.
And I know some of it’s my own doing; I write a blog. I make a choice to share vulnerable things about my life, many of them spiritual.
But I also have a job that requires me to share. We write newsletters and try to figure out what to tell people and what to keep private, how much is too much and what isn’t enough. We have financial partners and prayers partners that want to be kept in the know, as well they should. This is their ministry too, and we don’t take that lightly.
Our physical, emotional, and spiritual well being is tied into what we do here, so we make another choice to reveal things to bosses and coworkers that we perhaps wouldn’t choose to do otherwise.
Some days I feel like I’m naked.
Because you and you and you can see all my innermost thoughts and issues and all the things I haven’t gotten right yet and the truth is that it scares me. It scares me that you know me.
I want you to know me, but I don’t want you to know me.
Because if you really know me you might not love me.
I write this blog and I’m naked. I write the newsletter and I’m naked. I sit in the next meeting with bosses and coworkers and still, I’m naked.
I am exposed.
And I just want to climb inside the biggest coat and put on a hat and hide in the corner where you can’t see me anymore, where I can mess up and no one will know, where I can cry and scream and it’ll just be that girl in the funny coat in the corner and you won’t really know that it’s me.
“You’re vulnerable because you’re secure in who you are,” he says. He, the one I pledged my forever to, sits across from me at the table and speaks tenderly to me, to my tired spirit.
“You didn’t have to share as much as you did [in the newsletter], but you made a choice to. You’re secure in who you are.”
“So, you don’t think I’m one of those crazy over-sharers (you know, the ones whose feed you block on facebook)?”
He just laughs. “No.”
So I have to go back and read the e-mails that say, “Thank you for your honesty,” the texts that read, “Thank you for your transparency and vulnerability.”
I have to remember that it matters. And that it is worth it.
That it’s worth it to share pieces of my own story that someone else may be encouraged. That it’s worth it for Jesus to get glory for redeeming my weak and messy life.
And I look to the Man that hung naked on the tree, his life, his guts poured out. For what is more vulnerable, what is more helpless and open, than saying, “Not my will, Lord, but yours be done”?
What is more vulnerable than pouring out your life like a drink offering?
He went to the cross willingly. He wore a thorny crown and not much else and said, “Here is my life, world, emptied out for you.”
So maybe I can keep pouring my life out with the pen, keep typing words and letting them fly into space where all can read. Maybe I can keep owning my weakness and physical ailments and issues and keep letting you know me.
Maybe I can.
Maybe I can live out the words of that spiritual father C.S. Lewis: “To love is to be vulnerable.”
So, I’ll keep trying to love you the best I know how, by sharing my life, my heart, and letting you know me.
And you, reader, keep writing those e-mails you may not get a response to. Keep sharing your heart, keep asking questions, and keep letting people know you. Carry on with love.