The very act of openly sharing something so personal with someone else always comes with great risk.
What a gift it is when such vulnerable sharing is reciprocated with great trust, causing the friendship to be further strengthened and deepened.
God did not design us to be self-contained, isolated, and alone. God designed us for honest, authentic, and real community.
God’s Ultimate Community is His Church: born again believers who have been placed by God in His Family.
But because we currently live in a warped-world, caused by sin, our being vulnerable, open and honest with one another is sadly a SCARY RISK we don’t naturally take with one another. Instead, we prefer to wear masks to keep us safe from the pain of being judged, forfeited, abused.
I’ve been there. Perhaps you have, too. I know the distinct sting and pain from a risk gone wrong:
I have risked honestly opening my raw and real heart to someone I hoped would tenderly listen, seek to understand, “walk in my shoes” and come alongside me to help process and bear a personal weight I currently carried.
Only to be rejected. Condemned. Left “naked.” And even exposed and “hunted down” by others who joined with this “Hearer with loose lips.”
Immediately, a Tsunami of Senses hit me…Shame. Embarrassment. Betrayal. Fear. Isolation. Condemnation.
And though blindsided, brittle, and broken, I instinctively constructed massive, impenetrable structures of skepticism and doubt around my heart. I tell my self over and over (that lovely "self-talk") "No one can be trusted with my heart." "No one will fully welcome me if I show I have flaws." "They will always come to me with “an angle.”
So...On the inside…my heart begins to shrivel and dry up. Even though I lay all the pain and grief before Our Heavenly Father, I grow cold, hard, and extremely wary. Extremely.
On the outside…this facade begins to show up practically in my life with my daily attempts to look polished; to appear “together”; and to be “in the know.” Have a look at other practical examples that show up. Any of these sound familiar to you, too?
And as I live with these "impenetrable structures," my relationships, my ability to flourish in community, my whole well-being begin to suffer...suffocate. No matter how hard I try to compensate.
God designed us for community that is authentic, open, honest, understanding, patient, forbearing, edifying, and the list from Scripture goes on.
So now what?
With the reality that we ALL are broken, fragile, and infinitely needy should draw us to a common level of “one another-ness.”
The key word here is “should.”
The “should” stands for how God originally designed us: for “one another-ness” community aligned to His Design.
But this side of Heaven, the reality is that “one another-ness” will not come naturally or easily to us. Instead, our very sin nature makes us bent on “hiding” from one another; not willing to be known or to know others.
Our world desperately, more than ever before, is crying out for the authentic, genuine, honest, reliable. Whether this be in a product, a service, or a person our world truly wants the “Real Thing, baby!”
How can we be a part of giving the world the “Real McCoy” it is truly craving for?
It begins with you. It begins with me.
It begins with you and me being willing to be known and to know others as we are, and committing to walk alongside each other in mutual bearing and processing the weights, flaws, struggles, fears, temptations, addictions, and failures of one another.
And yes, of course this includes the celebrations, victories and blessings we each encounter! (Though I must say this aspect is much less risky than the former)
How about you?
How willing are you to put your life, your reputation, your whole self at risk by taking steps of honest, open, authentic community?
What might be standing in your way of moving forward in taking such a risk?
What personal changes come to mind in how you might cultivate authentic community among those God has placed you? In your own family? In your church faith-family? In your neighborhood?
What might you be willing to stop doing that might make being authentic difficult for others around you?
What might you be willing to start doing that might make being authentic easier for those around you?
What might be your next step?
What support might you need to take next steps toward growing in deeper, authentic community?
I am passionate in providing women like you with a safe place to process and bare your authentic self so you can experience the personal joy and fulfillment of living further aligned to your God-given design!
We are designed by Our Creator, for community!
Helping you live aligned to your God-given design,
P.S. If something inside you is being stirred as you read this article and you would like to further "flesh it out," I encourage you to connect with me, be it by sending me a simple private message or scheduling a call with me.
I am someone who is safe, committed, and professionally equipped not only to tenderly listen, acknowledge, and grant space to articulate freely, but also to come alongside you in such a way to help unfold new insight, awareness and possible next steps you never thought possible!
My God-given passion and ministry is to come alongside women like you so you can further live aligned to your God-given design as never before... For personal joy, freedom and impact in making a difference right where you are!
Let's connect! Click here.