When You Feel Like You’re Naked

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.

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16 thoughts on “When You Feel Like You’re Naked

  1. Love this. This is the same struggle I have had. When I wake up the morning after posting to my blog, wake up to the reality of what I shared, my introverted self wants to hide. Permanently. But God’s there in the sharing, so I find naked becomes a way of life. And freedom with it. Keep it up. You’re a breath of fresh air.

  2. Erin, thanks forthe refreshing way you hare your heart. You are breaking down shame for others and yourself. Vulnerability is the enemy of shame … and shame cannot survive an atmosphere of empathy. Hugs to you.

  3. Erin, I’m a new reader of your blog. Find it very helpful and inspirational. You help to put my life in persective. Thanks so much for your personal honesty.

  4. Have loved you and your vulnerable ways since the day I met you. You inspire me with your words and actions. I pray for you and the rest if the Dupes daily and consider it my honor to do so! God has commanded that I stand in the gap and intercede with prayer. I am obeying with love. Miss you dearly and would love to see you when you furlough. Blessings.

  5. The gift of oneself is the greatest gift of all. Those who know this receive it. Those who don’t let it pass by for lesser things. You could give me no greater gift, my love. Please don’t stop.

  6. My daily blog only got I 8 total replies until I stopped blogging. And my monthly newsletter receives replies from less than 1/10 of the total recipients. But through the years I’ve heard comments from those who don’t reply, “I really enjoy reading your newsletter.” So that knowledge keeps me sharing. I’ve found most people really appreciate my honesty. There are those who are misinformed about what a missionary should “be” like, but you usually can sense what your supporters are like. I’ve always told it like it is, because I feel people need to know, and God blesses it. Especially when God gives you a gift to write well. That’s what I think!

  7. Yo, Erin! In my work, way up in Alaska, I see about 15 therapy clients a week. I’m always explaining the paradox of love and vulnerability. I was reading your quote on Facebook, which I followed to your blog. I like what you’re saying on here.

    Every week, I write a quote on my dry erase board. Every year, I cycle through roughly the same set of 52 quotes. This week, your quote is up there for my clients to read. It will be up again next year, and the year after that, and so on.

    “I want you to know me, but I don’t want you to know me…” – Erin Duplechin

    So . . . thank you.

    – Dzak

    • Matt, I seriously have no words! Very, very honored to have made it on to your quote board. Keep on with the amazing work I know you’re doing to help people.

      Side note- I always love seeing you and Andrea’s pictures of Alaska- so beautiful!

  8. Hi Erin! You are such a light in the darkness! I’m thankful for you because you are real! You are making a difference for the Kingdom of God!

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