Over a year ago, I was sitting with the Lord and heard Him whisper, “Whatever is concealed can rarely be healed.” I was like, “Um, come again Lord?” I knew what He meant when He said it, especially since I was in a tough season and nobody really knew how I was doing, but I still wasn’t quite ready to hear it. On the outside I probably looked fine to most people, but on the inside I was dealing with loss, uncertainty, and feelings of being disconnected from love. These words from God have become super healing for me as God used them to invite me out of hiding and into greater vulnerability with community. The kind of vulnerability that allows others to know us, care for us, and actually carry our burdens.
I know from my own journey and being involved with so many lives over the years, that lots of people feel lonely, at least some of the time. What I have recently discovered is that, often, loneliness is a result of not allowing others into our struggles and what we are facing in life. We sometimes think people should be mind-readers and know how we feel, and, as a result, be super intentional with helping us. The truth is we can’t put that expectation on others (even our spouse or best-friend), instead we need to choose to allow others into our journey through using our words.
I have found vulnerability to be super challenging, not something that comes naturally to me. Having to admit we don’t have it all together and letting others into our struggle (with the thought that they may judge us or misunderstand us) takes humility. It is much easier to respond “fine” to the question “How are you doing?” than to risk to letting people know what is really going on in the inside. I like that acronym of F.I.N.E. that I heard many years ago: Frustrated, Insecure, Neurotic, & Emotionally Unstable haha. I think there is some truth that we may be feeling some of those things if all we ever do is answer with “fine” when asked how we are dong.
The enemy doesn’t want us healed and walking in the life God intended for us. The enemy knows if he can keep us in darkness with circumstances that have happened to us or things we are up against, then he can defeat us. The enemy loves the darkness when God who is Light only works in the light. Imagine having open heart surgery and the physician letting you know that they’re going to conduct the surgery in dim light…you would be like “Wait, what? Umm NO!” It’s the same with God and how He works with His children. If we want freedom, healing, and deliverance from our enemies we must choose the light (both with Him and with those that He has placed around us). I’ve found that it’s not enough that just God knows us in our deepest spots, we were created to live transparent lives with those around us too. When we don’t live lives of vulnerability, we are just off, even if we can’t articulate why we are off. Maybe it’s shut down, maybe it’s not being the joyful self you were created to be, or maybe it’s feeling a blockage in another way. We were not made to do life alone (God said that same thing to Adam before Eve showed up). Our culture glorifies the self-made man/woman, yet I am convinced heaven doesn’t have the same view. Sharing our lives and burdens with others was God’s idea, not ours. Galatians 6:2 tells us to “carry one another burdens thus fulfill the law of Christ.” Well, if we don’t allow anyone to know what we are going through it makes it real hard for people to carry our burdens (Galatians 6:2). #justsayin
Since these words, I have stepped into more and more vulnerability with the people around me. I began a Soul Care group of married men that I have given permission to ask me whatever they want and invite them more into my life. My wife and I just got back last week from a five day marriage intensive where our lives and our marriage were known / brought into the bright light so they could be cared for by others.
Take some time today to ask the Father if you’re hiding from others or if you are stepping more and more into the invitation of being known by those around you. If you’re hiding ask Him why. Then find one safe person to express this to and ask them to pray for you. I guarantee you’ll find more healing in community with others than in being alone and going through life with a “I’m fine” kind of attitude.