Embracing This Life of More

These past months have been quite something. All my energy has been spent on simply surviving-putting one foot in front of the other.

A year ago, all my energy was focused on myself and my healing. I resigned myself to this life of second best. Let me explain that. I had my life planned out before my accident and then all of that seemed to have been taken away. I was striving to accept my life as it was then but I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was less. I still had hopes and dreams but I couldn’t grasp them. I didn’t know if it was even possible to grab them without having them slip through my fingers. Recently, I had the opportunity to go to Ukraine. I was simply excited to travel not knowing that the country itself would stamp itself on my heart.


This summer has been one of the most life-changing ones in my short life so far. This summer was hard, but oh so holy. First, I started to get back into hospital nursing, then I went to Ukraine. I was nervous and didn’t know how my brain would react. I was pushed beyond my limits but God was sweet in that. In it, God was showing me I could have a life that I had dreamt of-a life of more. Here are just a few things God is teaching me as I embrace this life of more-more love, more freedom, and simply more God.

  1. Contentment doesn’t equal complacency. This has been something I’ve been wrestling with lately. I want more out of life but it’s hard to explain because people assume I’m not content with my life. In my wrestling, I’ve come to the decision that it’s okay to have plans and dreams but to hold those dreams lightly. I’ve come to the mindset that I’ll be okay if cross cultural missions is in my future. And I’ll be okay if it’s not.
  2. God can still use me. I was terrified standing in front of people and sharing my story but it’s not about me. It’s about God. I think I knew He could use me, but I didn’t quite see how. Sharing my story and about the God I love made seeing that possible. I shared. My speech didn’t have to be perfect, but He used my story to bring Himself glory.
  3. It’s easier to embrace the new me when I attach pleasant emotions to the new me. I’m pretty sure I went through every emotion this summer from heartbreak to joy to terror to happiness to anger to surprise. I’m pretty sure I can encapsulate this whole summer using the word “surprise “. I didn’t know what to expect but God blew my expectations out of the water. I’m definitely not the same Sara who left the States. My soul is lighter and I’m learning the sweetness of trusting God. In the past year, I wrestled with accepting the new Sara because I didn’t know (believe really) that God could use me as broken as I was. God though put people in my life to show me that He could still use me, my thoughts are still needed, and He loves me-the new me-more than I could ever know. Because I’m bravely accepting the new me doesn’t mean the door is shut to everything that I used to love but I’m looking forward not behind now.

As I’m chasing after and embracing this life of more I realize this starts with an attitude of expectation. What’s done is done. Here I am, sitting at the feet of Jesus, patiently waiting with expectation of this life of more that He desires to give me-more love, more freedom-simply more life.

Barely Brave

I finished 100 Days to Brave. I don’t feel any more Brave but I’m now armed with the tools and a road map to be brave.

Being brave is not an immediate change. You don’t flip a switch and now you’re brave. It doesn’t work like that (I wish it did), but rather it’s a process. If you continue to take the next brave, right step, you’ll be braver tomorrow than you were today.

As I finished reading the book, here are some of the tools in my toolbox to help me be brave.

  • Prepare for change. Hebrews 13:8 states, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”. Whatever change is coming-because inevitably it will-Jesus never changes. We can be brave in the fact that even if our circumstances change drastically, Jesus is constant. That said, you need to prepare for the inevitable change by spending time in God’s Word, talking to the unchanging One, and keeping your eyes on Him.
  • Be brave in the waiting season. Waiting is hard. Be brave enough to be patient-not just outwardly, but inwardly.
  • Be brave to know when it’s better to hold on or let go. Sometimes, it would be easier to let go. Don’t let go because it hurts or because it is hard. Hold on. It takes bravery to hold onto something when it’s definitely easier to let go. On the flip side, be brave enough to let go. You can’t grab on to next thing if you’re still holding on to the last thing. Let go of that dream. Let go of that relationship. Annie compares it to monkey bars. Let go even if you don’t see the next monkey bar. She writes, “I have seen, over and over again, that simply letting go is a powerful catalyst God will use to move me toward the next best thing”.
  • Life is hard. Mike Foster, the founder of People of the Second Chance, said, “Life is messy, hard, and weird. We don’t need to be surprised anymore”.
  • Brave people don’t let failure define them. Failure is inevitable. When you fall down, get up, brush the dirt off, learn what you did wrong, and move on.
  • Embrace divine detours. God sees the whole story while we only see a snapshot. Be brave in trusting that He is good, He loves you, and He has a good plan-even if it looks nothing like your plan.
  • Brave people persevere. “Brave people realize that we rejoice in our sufferings because it leads to perseverance and perseverance produces character and ultimately, it us to the hope we have in Jesus.” Brave people don’t give up on hope because they know it is worth fighting for.
  • Brave people take care of their bodies. Jesus has a purpose for your body-with all its imperfections and sickness. He wants to use you, as you are, to bring glory to Himself. He doesn’t make mistakes. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, so respect it. Exercise. Eat well.
  • Play. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Have fun. Take pictures with the statues at the zoo. Dismiss the lie that your career will fall apart if you spend some time having fun. Blow bubbles. There is something therapeutic about carving out time in your schedule to be carefree for a moment. God made laughter. Enjoy it.
  • Brave people carve out time for a sabbath and rest. They realize that there are time that you need to stop and rest. It takes courage to unplug, and walk away from your calling for a bit, believing God will still provide.
  • Be generous-with your words, money, time, and wisdom. Nothing you were given is yours. You may think you have nothing to offer anyone, but that’s a lie. It might be a meager offering, but I guarantee that someone needs exactly what you have to offer.
  • Let’s all be brave. Bravery and courage affects people the same way being near a confetti popper will make your life different and better and more amazing. It’s kind of like a domino effect. Making brave choices in your life is going to change the world. At the very least, it will change your world.

So let’s all grab our tool boxes and road maps. Let’s continue on this adventure of brave. Let’s all be brave.

When God Gives You Your Dreams

I don’t know if I can put into words my experience in Ukraine. God has done a myriad of things in my heart these past 3 weeks.

  • Just because something is hard, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I don’t love sharing my story-standing up in front of people and reliving the hardest season of my life. I grew in that area as God pushed me to share my story and glorify Him. I was able to share because God gave me His strength every time I stood up there.
  • God gave me glimpses of my dream of living overseas. Several times during the past couple of weeks, I was overwhelmed by the love of God. The simple fact that I was able to leave the country was a bit overwhelming. A year ago, I thought all my plans of living overseas were out of the question. I couldn’t see how, in the state I was in, that it would ever be an option. Now, I realize I’m not ready right now as the past two weeks and the time change wiped me out, but God, in His goodness, gave me glimpses of what could be.
  • God loves me sweetly, even while He is shoving me out of my comfort zone. The first week of camp went well. It was exhausting, but I was pacing my energy well. Then came Sunday. The Pastor asked me to share with no warning, no notes, and no preparation. Inwardly, I panicked. I don’t like speaking in front of people and definitely not without notes-my safety blanket of sorts. When the words flee out of my brain, I can look at them and remember where I was. Trying to pull myself together and not panic took a lot more energy out of me then I dared admit. On Wednesday, when I was asked to watch a child, I said yes, but inwardly, I was questioning everything. I was tired. I couldn’t speak to him. I couldn’t run after him if he took off. The time came and he just simply cuddled in my arms and laid his head of my shoulder. God never ceases to amaze me. He knew I needed baby cuddles-someone to just let me hold and love him. The Sunday before and that day, God was shoving me out of my comfort zone. He was pushing me, but that evening, He was showing me that He was only doing it because He loved me-more than I could ever know.
  • Bravery isn’t made up of the grand moments. It’s made up of the small moments of brave decisions. When the pastor asked me to come up and share my testimony, I panicked. I couldn’t do it. What if all the words flee my brain and I’m left standing there dumbfounded. I made my way up front, but in reality, I wanted to disappear. Then I opened my mouth. Suddenly, all the words I had spoken that past week flooded into my brain. I had been brave every day in telling a piece of what God had done in my life that standing up and telling them that was not impossible.
  • A smile is the same in any language. One of my favorite things was to get the kids to smile. I couldn’t really speak to them. I didn’t know Ukrainian or Russian, but I could love them and get them to smile. I could understand their smile. It meant that they felt loved and safe.
  • Jam sessions with Jesus are needed. Corporate worship is great. Slower songs with good melodies are great to offer God reverence. Sometimes, though, you need to turn up the volume, sing at the top of your lungs, and dance to your hearts consent.
  • Sometimes taking a step back is good. Taking a step back is not a defeat. It’s allowing space for you to be the best you can be. Taking time for yourself is good. You can do a million things adequately, or with rest, you could do one thing exceptionally.
  • End well. People don’t remember the middle, they remember the end. Don’t let the end trail off, but give them all the energy and love you have left. Finish well.

This is just a smidgen of all God has taught me these last weeks. I’m still processing everything and it will take awhile to wrap my head around everything God did in my heart.

The Year Of Me

The Year of Me.

This is what I titled this year. It sounds selfish, but it’s really not. It’s only been a year and a half since I almost died. By God’s grace, and only God’s grace, I’m standing here before you. I wished the process would move a whole lot faster, but like a wise friend once told me, “You almost died. You can’t except to bounce back to your same bubbly self so quickly.” It has been a year and a half. I think I should be all better. I think other people think I should be all better. They have less patience with me when I still have trouble getting my thoughts out, or when I walk slower. I guess mostly that is me transferring my impatience with the slow healing onto others.

I had ambitions before my accident that 2 years after college, I would have paid off my student loans and be getting ready to move overseas. I had it figured out that if things went as they were going, in 25 months I would be debt free and be financially able to support myself overseas. I guess God had different plans. I was living in Akron and then I had to move home. It just seemed like everything that was moving me forward closed down. And I even took a few steps back. Last year, after my accident—in the deepest part of recovery—I would never have considered going to Ukraine. There was just still a lot going on with me that I didn’t think traveling overseas as possible. God, though, kept opening doors, closing others and pushing me forward. I have no idea why but God seems to want me to go and isn’t just opening doors he’s flinging opening the doors and removing any barrier that I place in the hopes of slowing things down.

The year of me.

This year, I decided to pick one or two things and excel, rather than commit to a lot of things and not be able to follow through. I chose being a Jr. High youth group leader and being the nurse at Mansfield Christian. I think I did those well. The extra energy I did have was put into my healing—driving, swimming and managing my fatigue. I’ve seen God do some remarkable things already, and we are only halfway through 2018.

Also, in this journey, I’m striving to know Jesus more personally. John Eldredge writes, “What is missing in our Gospel reading—in our attempts to “read” what Jesus is saying and doing in own lives right now, this week—is his personality, undraped by religion”.

If you read the Gospels with an eye out for his personality, you realize that he’s playful, sassy, cunning, and fierce. You can kinda make sense of some of the things he does, because you know his personality. A couple things I have already learned in this year I’ve titled, “The Year of Me and Jesus”.

  • Jesus is creative and playful. I mean think about it. He made the wind, music and flying squirrels. How creative do you have to be to think up flying squirrels? Laughter is from God also. Think about the story of Abraham and Sarah. They were in their 90’s, and God told them to expect a child. Sarah laughed, and I’m sure Abraham joined in because it seemed impossible. They were old enough to be great-grandparents but God had a different plan for them. In the same way, Jesus was playful and loved laughter. In John 21, after he was buried, his disciples were fishing for hours and they caught nothing. Jesus sauntered out of the tomb and eventually onto the beach. He called out to them and suggested that they try to other side. They did, and the nets were teeming with fish. Jesus rose from the dead. He could have shouted, “It is me. I’m alive”, but instead he stands on the shoreline, hands in his pockets and asks, “Catch anything?” The story is made richer when you see the playfulness of Jesus.
  • Jesus is necessary for existence. “We need Jesus like we need oxygen. Like we need water. Like the branch needs the vine. Jesus is not merely a figure for devotions. He is the missing essence of your existence. Whether we know it or not, we are desperate for Jesus….To have Jesus, really have him, is to have the greatest treasure in all worlds. To have His life, joy, love, and presence cannot be compared. A true knowledge of Jesus is our greatest need and our greatest happiness.” John Eldredge. Some days, I can’t get through the day without Jesus’ help. I won’t say I’m glad for my accident because my life won’t ever be the same as much as I wish for it, but I am thankful for this season because it brought forth a dependence on Jesus that I never had and probably wouldn’t have had if not for my accident.

We are about half way through 2018, and I’m already blown away by the doors God has opened and the adventures he will take me on. In the next half of the year, I’m praying to become closer to God and understand more of his personality. I continue to pray that God uses my story and continues to change my heart as I’m impacted by the wonderful people of Ukraine.

My Story: God’s Story

My story.

Before when people would ask me to share, I would be terrified—I never knew what to say, or how they would react.

Now when people ask me about my accident, I don’t mind talking about it. In telling my story, I get to tell everyone of my God who puts the stars in the night sky.

This story is about hardship and trials, but also about a God that holds me close. He wraps me in his arms and whispers in my ear, “I love you, child”.

In being His child, I’m not promised a life of ease, but He says that He will be right next to me and hold me through it. Even in the hard days—the days where it takes everything within me to get up—I see the threads of grace that God has woven into my story.

The threads He has woven into my story speak of a God who holds me when I cry but puts people in my life that understand that but don’t let me wallow in it. They speak of people that celebrate the small victories that we often take for granted like walking up stairs.

Then, it becomes His story.

His story of grace, of life, and of peace.

My accident—a year and almost 5 months ago—will forever be a milestone. It will be a time that I look back on and say “if God can do that, then He surely can do this smaller thing.”

It’s my story, but it’s also His story.

Reflections and “me too”

This week has been a tough one, but one full of reflecting on my life.

God is good.

Life is messy.

This detour was not in my plan. The longer this detour is going on, the harder it is to cling to that fact that God is good.

A year ago, I wouldn’t have thought I would be here. I figured my life as I knew it was over. I embraced the label of disability. By God’s grace, I’ve made it this far, but it’s not without hard work.

The past 15 months have been hard, but the next year will be even harder. It’s going to be hard and exhausting work to get back to floor nursing, but it’s not impossible (as of now).

This week God reminded me that my story is valuable and needed.

My story is my story, but it’s also God’s story. God is the master storyteller.

Morgan Harper Nichols says it best in her song, “The Storyteller”:

The mountain where I climbed

The Valley where I fell

You were there all along

That’s the story I’ll tell

You brought the pieces together

Made me this storyteller

Now I know it is well, it is well

That’s the story I’ll tell

I shouldn’t be ashamed of my story or think that God can’t redeem or use it. When I believe that, I am greatly underestimating the grandness of His power.

I’ve been thinking about the power of “me too”. There’s something about being vulnerable and admitting “me too”. We don’t say it because we’re afraid that people will think less of us-that we destroy that perfect image in their head. The thing about being vulnerable is that there is a line to not cross. We shouldn’t air our dirty laundry under the guise of vulnerability, but also we shouldn’t be ashamed of what happened to us or what we have done if we have repented of our sins.

My story is valuable because God can use it to bring himself glory. My story points to God as my healer and hope. If I choose share about what God has done and is doing, God might use it in someone else’s life.

I just have to be faithful and say “me too”.

The Blessing of Community

College was strange.

It is the only time in your life where you are placed in a community of people who are the same age as you for an extended period of time. You get to live life with other humans who have a similar purpose, but come from vastly different backgrounds.

My first apartment was strange. I was so used to walking across the hall for something. I had to plan to hang out with people whereas in college, they were just there.

Henry Nouwen writes, “Community is not an organization; community is a way of living; you gather around you people with whom you want to proclaim the truth that we are beloved sons and daughters of God.“

Living in a community allows us to call out in each other the aspects of God that we find in each other. The thing about living community like this, it that we first have to is to recognize in our belovedness. Nouwen shares that ministry starts “because your freedom is anchored in claiming your belovedness”.

My freedom lies in believing that I am beloved.

I remember one time, as an RA, we were asked to spend some time in solitude. It was an amazing experience because I was able to sit, just me and God, after the craziness of training. We were given this article called “Moving From Solitude To Community To Ministry” by Henry Nouwen. The article reaffirmed the vast majority of what God had been teaching me this summer.

I sat there in solitude, simply dwelling in the silence and being with God and God alone. It was important for me to sit still and listen to the voice of the one who calls me beloved.

God calls me beloved.

The more that I dwelled with that phrase, God began to speak to the corners of my heart, the center of my being, and slowly I began to accept his love for me. I sat on the edge of a pond where a gaggle of geese were relaxing. I began to watch and study the geese. A group of them flew to the opposite side of the lake to feed.

I watched as a clear leader stepped out of the water.

He took one timid step, intently watching his surroundings.

He stretched his leg out as he took another timid step.

He was constantly on guard and he took small steps forward.

Sometimes I feel like that goose. I know what God is asking us to do or accept, but I timidly step forward. Kind of like this idea of being His beloved. I step forward timidly believing that I am loved, but constantly looking for the other foot to drop. It sounds crazy because you would think that being loved would be an easy thing to accept. Meanwhile, God had become so vulnerable in his pursuit of us. He became so little, so dependent in a manger and on a cross and is begging me, “Do you love me? Do you love me? Do you really love me.” How crazy is that? The God of the universe loves me.

It is a gift freely offered by the creator of the universe.

As a result, I am more prepared to do and capable of loving others when I accept that the King of the World and Creator of the Universe loves me.

The aspect of community changes when you don’t live in the dorms anymore. I have to be more intentional about seeking out people to do life with. I am beginning a new journey.

One that reflects my belovedness.

Tenth Avenue North wraps this idea up well in their song “Beloved”.

You’re my beloved lover
I’m yours
Death shall not part us
It’s you I died for
For better or worse
Forever we’ll be
My love it unites us and it binds you to me
It’s a mystery

I am choosing to walk in the freedom of accepting that God desires me to be exactly the way he created me. He chose me to play in his story of redemption. I have a purpose in his plan. I desire to choose to live in the freedom of God. The freedom that doesn’t worry about what other people think of me.

The freedom that accepts myself for who I am—crazy, beautiful, smart, and weird.

The freedom that steps out of my comfort zone. The freedom that loves God with abandon.

The freedom that crosses oceans and roads to share the gospel.

I want to choose in to God’s desire to change the world. I want to choose in to loving people without judgement. I do not know what God has planned for this year, but I know that his plans are better thqan my plans.

God is good.

So, I’m going to be honest-really vulnerable-with you.

I keep repeating the mantra “God is good. God is good to me. God is good at being God.” from Lysa TerKeurst, but I don’t know if deep down I truly believed them for a time.

I keep saying “this is the year of me”, but not doing anything to promote my healing.

I believed wholeheartedly that “God is good and He has a good plan” right after my accident, but the longer the journey has taken, the more I’ve found myself doubting that truth.

Life is hard.

It’s hard seeing friends do things that you used to be able to do. It’s hard. It’s hard wanting to do everything, but having to pace yourself. It’s especially hard looking forward to something but right before you leave, your brain is not having it. Life is simply hard.

Life is messy.

It’s messy when you make progress but not as much as you would like. It’s messy to want to socialize but your brain hates people.

When you’re in the valley, it’s easy to doubt the goodness of God, especially when you’re in the valley for longer than you thought you would be. This is what happened to me. I knew God was good and His plan for me was good, but recently I struggled to believe it in my soul. Life is harder than I thought. Recovery is a lot harder than I anticipated. On the 17th, it will be 15 months since my accident. I’ve come a long way, but I’m nowhere near where I desire to be. I got angry at God. I yelled at Him, wondering why he chose to save me, but not heal me completely? I shook my fists at Him, wondering why life was so hard now—why I’m 23 going on 93 (sometimes it feels that way). I feel like my youth has vanished.

The funny thing about God is that He wasn’t upset with me for being real with Him, but He didn’t let me stay there—in the pit. He put people in my life to encourage me to rise up out of the mud. It was my choice to listen to them. My mom confronted me about this fact. I was saying these things but she wasn’t seeing me do anything. I wasn’t doing therapy. I got back to driving, but that was about it. It was hard, but good having her say that to me. I didn’t really notice that I was even doing that, until she brought it to my attention. She challenged me, “Do you believe that God is good and that he has a good plan for you?” That rocked me. I thought about that and my gut response was “no”. I knew that it should be “yes”, but it was “no”. Over the next couple of weeks, God used songs and people to tell me “You are loved. You are loved more than you could ever know. I’ve got a good plan for your life. It’s hard right now, but good things are coming.”

So, I’m still struggling to figure out how to believe that when things don’t work out the way I want them to, but I believe it more than I did last month.

God is good.

God is good to me.

God is good at being God.

So, I’m choosing to believe that and fall in love with being alive.

“Because God’s writing your story and He never leaves you alone in your story, and His perfect love absorbs all your fear and His perfect grace carries all your burdens, and your story is a happily ever after because Christ bought your happily ever after so you always know how this story ends.”

Ann Voskamp

Giving in to Negative Thoughts

A bad day does not make for a bad life (Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it).

This week, I gave into my fears, of failing, of letting people down, of being imperfect.

I have learned over the years that the only difference between an adventure and an obstacle is attitude. I gave in to my negative attitude this week. I allowed myself to follow the mental tracks of self-doubt, negativity, hesitation, and uncertainty.

I failed.

I failed in almost every area of life this week-oversleeping, and not having words. Utterly and absolutely failed.

I gave in when I allowed my failures to define my life.

I fell into old patterns of fear.

I had a bad day-a few bad days-but that does not give me permission to go down this trail fear.

I gave in and allowed my thoughts to define who God is and what He meant.

In my failures, I gave in and decided to control my life myself.

And, guess what….

I failed miserably.

I had no control of my emotions, of my life, of even my alarms.

It hurt.

Failure humbles me and reminded me that I am not the One who breathed the stars.

Just when I thought I knew that being brave and audacious meant, I was reminded that I need to be brave in my failures.

Admit my shortcomings and buck up.

Offer the failures up to the King of Kings and move on.

King David writes, “Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him” Psalms 62:5. He knew all about failure. He failed at many things, but he kept returning to the steadfastness of the Lord. He presents himself, his failures and successes, before the Lord.

Finally, at the end of the week, I gave in and accepted that God was God (C. S. Lewis). I relinquished control of my life and emotions to the One who created me.

Audaciously, I cried letting God meet me in failures. Humbly, offering them up as a meager sacrifice of my messy life.

Bravely, I accepted my humanness and let God be God.

Redeemed, I allowed myself to focus on His grace and not on my failings.

“I learned to dance with the fear that I’d been running from.”

Ben Rector.

I gave in and let God instill joy in my heart in the midst of my fears.


Vulnerability. Community.

These words are used so often in resident life at Christian colleges that they begin to lose their meaning. We say things like “build community”, “be vulnerable and open”, and “facilitate community”.

Do we really know what we are asking for when we say these buzz words?

Vulnerability and community are incredible and beautiful aspects of belonging to a group of people. I have been blessed to be a part of a group that consistently reminds me of the value of these qualities. I’m not afraid to tell them if I’m having a bad day or I’m struggling keeping my thoughts positive.

“Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.”
― Brené Brown

As humans, we believe that showing people our true selves—our hurts, our desires, our passions, our insecurities—reflects that we are weak. In modern society, sharing our emotions is weak, and weakness of any sort is unacceptable. We try so hard to hide the messiness of our lives behind a thin-lipped smile or stifled laugh. We play pretend.

The reality is that vulnerability requires bravery. We are not weak when we share this part of ourselves with others. The part we hide behind our façade of “I’m OK. I’m tired. I’m busy”. These are safe answers when we do not desire to share our heart with other people. They are barriers that we need to put up because we cannot share our deepest desires and darkest secrets with every random person with whom we come into contact with.

Choosing to be vulnerable is risky and scary, but so much more rewarding than I could ever imagine. It opens the door for significant conversations about real life—the triumphs, the trials, the hurts. The very definition of the word vulnerable means “capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, open to assault, or difficult to depend”. When we become vulnerable with other people, we are choosing to enter into this place where we open up our hearts and lives to the point where we can get hurt. This place of unknown emotions where we share our souls with other individuals. I have been challenged this semester to be real, genuine and vulnerable with the people God has placed in my life.

My default setting is to simply assume that everyone could disappear because I have moved so many times. As a result, it is hard to be vulnerable and open with people because the more I open up, the greater the possibility of hurt.

The reality is that I can avoid getting hurt by putting up barriers, but what would I miss out on?

Deep conversations about God at 3 am.

Watching God reveal strengths in my life that others point out to me through my weakness.

Accepting that I am broken so that people can see God as he works in my life.

Sharing songs that speak to my heart with a dear friend.

Sharing my story with people who truly listen.

Reflecting God’s vision of community as we forgive and love each other in our brokenness.

As I challenge myself to be audacious, I decided to choose vulnerability.

To share my heart’s story with my closest friends. To speak the truth in love. To reveal pieces of myself in layers. To not hide behind the masks I put up to protect my heart.

The more I hide behind our masks, the more hurt I become because I feel truly alone in this big, challenging world. Sometimes, all it takes is realizing that someone else struggles with the same vices or doubts. We all have wounds. We all have hurts that cause us pain. There lies that deep-seeded loneliness that emerges in the midst of every success, the feeling of worthlessness that hides behind every accomplishment, and the meaninglessness that sneaks up on the good days which causes us to seek validation in human company, not God.

When you choose to be vulnerable, you allow people to enter into the story of God’s redemption in your life.

We do not feel so alone.

The Christian walk is not one that we can do by ourselves. We need to be surrounded by people who encourage us in our journey, who move us closer to God, and challenge us to keep trusting in God’s timing.

Vulnerability is a choice that is make every day as I choose to take off my mask and simply be a broken person loving broken people.