Sorry for posting a little late this week, but I’ve been playing the part of busy traveler with a ski trip to Breckenridge with the college group from church. Any time I get the opportunity to travel I jump on it, plus traveling with my Christian brothers and sisters makes for an added bonus! Going to Breck may not help me achieve my dream of filling every page in my passport, but it’s always a fun trip with new challenges at every turn and slope and this year was no different. (But really though, there should be a passport for interstate travel just for funsies? Funzies? Fun-zies? Whatever.)
Challenges, as I was saying…
This year’s ski trip to Breckenridge has been no different when it came the obstacles I had to face – by choice and by circumstance, spiritual and otherwise. I went down my first blue slope. I managed to fall only six times throughout the whole trip. And I allowed myself to be vulnerable through the power of prayer.
Though it is something I’m still not comfortable with – I don’t think you ever do become comfortable with vulnerability – it is something that I’ve had to allow into my life since I started my blog. If you’re a writer or if you create in anyway, you know what it is to be vulnerable. With every stroke of a paintbrush, with every word you write, vulnerability or rather the fear of being vulnerable is always right around the corner ready to stop you from creating.
When we’re confronted with the fear of vulnerability, all sorts of doubts fill our mind. Will it be good enough? Am I good enough? Will it even matter? What if people hate it? What if people think I’m crazy? What if I AM crazy?
With each new article I write, I’m putting into words a small part of my soul and putting it on display for the world to see. And that’s absolutely terrifying. To share your soul with even one person is the most vulnerable thing you can ever do.
So when my college minister challenged those of us who went on our annual ski trip to Breckenridge to pray with another person in the group, I found myself staring my fear of vulnerability in the face once again.
The challenge was more than just simply praying with someone. It was more than simply asking God to help us through the next semester or for Him to help us be more patient or kind. It was about really opening up to another Christian with what we were struggling with. It was an act of confession, an invitation for a deeper sisterhood, a desperate plea for grace and mercy.
Before this past week, I had never really prayed with anyone. Sure I had prayed for other people and asked them what I could pray about for them. But praying with someone was a completely different story. Naturally, I put the challenge off as long as I possibly could.
I was a huge procrastinator on this challenge having waited until a couple of hours before our “deadline” per say. I was a procrastinator in that I couldn’t decide whom to pray with. It sounds dumb, I know, but bear with me. There was a part of me that wanted to pray with everyone in the group. I was so excited to have the opportunity to grow closer to a sibling in Christ that I wanted to repeat the process with everyone who went on the trip. But there was also a part of me that didn’t want to open myself up to anyone.
However, it finally came time for me to pray with someone and God provided the opportunity. I was out exploring the town and looking for a coffee shop with two of my friends Bekah and Sarah. We found a shop I had gone to the year before, ordered and found a seat.
Once we all sat down with our drinks, we had another moment of procrastination where we asked each other about what we got and if it was any good.
What did you get? How is it? This is amazing! So good! There’s so much whipped cream on this I don’t even know how to approach it… I think I need a straw.
But then we had this awkward pause and we knew it was time to get down to business – to confess our struggles, ask for prayers and help, admit that we need Jesus and that we need each other. It was time to allow ourselves to be vulnerable with each other.
So how do we do this? I think we’re just supposed to say something we’re struggling with and would like prayers for. Okay.
I went first – fumbling with my words and not really sure what to say or how to say it. I didn’t want to be vulnerable. I didn’t want to put that part of myself, that part of my soul into someone else’s hands.
The lie that it’s not that big of a struggle was like a broken record in my mind.
That’s not a real struggle. It’s not that big, not that bad. You can hardly even call it a struggle.
But when I finally confessed my struggle, when I finally said what I needed prayers for, Bekah said, “Me too.”
So we prayed together, out loud, in public and it was then that we knew the weight of vulnerability had been lifted and the lightness of liberation took hold. It was then that we realized it was okay to be vulnerable especially in the presence of another believer.
Through vulnerability, we can grow closer to a sibling in Christ. And when we stop fearing vulnerability and allow someone to see even a small part of who we really are, we can finally learn what it is to be set free.
It’s like looking down the steep slope of a blue run and then taking the plunge feeling like you might cry or maybe even die from fear and exhaustion. But once you’ve left the flat landing and you’ve found yourself on the base of the mountain realizing that you’re still in one piece and that you actually did it, there’s nothing else like it. When you take the plunge into the thing you fear, you will find that you can say, “I no longer fear you.”
So find someone you can share a part of your soul with, ask for prayers, pray with them and learn that it is okay to be vulnerable.