What if the beginning of someone else’s freedom comes from your vulnerability? I’ve heard many of your thoughts and have appreciated the comments and additions to this conversation. And I want to say thank you for joining in. Thank you for sharing what’s on your heart. People get to love us more when we let them into our mess. They cannot love a mask of who we are. But yet we keep coming back to this darkness, this hiddeness that is so easy for us. It’s easy for me to think, “I have nothing to say. My words won’t matter. What If I’m discovered? What if I share who I am and THEY don’t like me?” And I know you have felt that too. Today I heard this from a precious sister:

“This idea of vulnerability is not new to me, and I’ve read a few books about it, and I’ve talked about it, and I agree with it, and it seems like most people are all for it, but then to actually act on it, feels impossible. It seems like we’re all for it up to a certain point, but the really ugly stuff has to stay hidden. That we can admit that we get upset at our kids and that we don’t always like being moms, but if I were ever to admit that I’ve screamed hateful words at them because I let my selfish temper get the better of me, then I will be judged, found guilty and condemned. The fact that I want to share my thoughts about this with you and join into the conversation, but that I’m doing it through a private message rather then in a “comment” that others can read, proves to me that even though I agree with be vulnerable, that I’m not willing to go there.
The Spirit has been impressing on my heart over the past year this idea/truth about myself. That I’ve equated agreeing with something as the same as believing something. That I agree with His word and all the beautiful promises that He gives His kids, but that I don’t/won’t believe it for myself. And because of that I can’t walk in the freedom He says I have, because I still think I have to earn it. For some reason, I’m very resistant to it and He and I are working on that right now.
The thing is that I don’t feel like I have anything to offer… because I myself feel broken and still full of pain from all the crap that I’ve gone through In my life. I could quote scripture and give a speech about identity in Christ and about how Jesus came to set the captives free, but wouldn’t that be BS, because I don’t even believe that for myself. How am I suppose to bring good news if I haven’t experienced it for myself.
I equate it to trying to sell a weight loss product to someone, because I really want it to work for them, but that I haven’t experienced the results for myself.
As I’m writing this, I’m wondering first of all, “why am I sharing this with someone I barely know, and what in the world is she going to think?” But I want to be vulnerable I really, really do, and the only way I’m going to learn is by doing it, right? I don’t know, but I’m going to try. Your being open and honest about being open and honest, makes me want to be open and honest. ”

My heart breaks when I read these words because  I know she is not the only one. You are not the only one. I am not the only one who wants to believe and yet….

I think it has to do with glory. Our glory. God’s glory. More on that tomorrow. I think it will be a good one. But for now, words of hope:

Crossing the Swamp

Here is the endless
wet thick
cosmos, the center
of everything–the nugget
of dense sap, branching
vines, the dark burred
faintly belching
bogs. Here
is swamp, here
is struggle,
closure–
pathless, seamless,
peerless mud. My bones
knock together at the pale
joints, trying
for foothold, fingerhold,
mindhold over
such slick crossings, deep
hipholes, hummocks
that sink silently
into the black, slack
earthsoup. I feel
not wet so much as
painted and glittered
with the fat grassy
mires, the rich
and succulent marrows
of earth–a poor
dry stick given
one more chance by the whims
of swamp water–a bough
that still, after all these years,
could take root,
sprout, branch out, bud–
make of its life a breathing
palace of leaves.

Mary Oliver

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And more. the very best words.:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,   (a palace of leaves!)
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
    that have been devastated for generations.
Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
    foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
And you will be called priests of the Lord,
    you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
    and in their riches you will boast.

Instead of your shame
    you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
    you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
    and everlasting joy will be yours.

“For I, the Lord, love justice;
    I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people
    and make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants will be known among the nations
    and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
    that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”

10 I delight greatly in the Lord;
    my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
    and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
    and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness
    and praise spring up before all nations.

Gimme some sugar, Sugar!

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