The Price of Vulnerability: "The Bridget Shoe"

“I had given up on life. And then I got a text from someone that turned things around for me…”

I could hear people in the room silently sobbing as she told her story.

“...I want you to know that you are not alone. We’re here for you…”

The tissue boxes were being passed around.

“My prayer is that my story will bring you hope…”

I could tell by the look in her eyes that she was holding back tears with every ounce of strength within her. When I looked around the room and saw the number of people nodding their heads, I knew then that she had done something powerful. Her courageous demonstration of vulnerability had broken through the guarded walls of every person sitting in the room.

Let’s face it - one of the hardest things for us to do is to be vulnerable. And I’m not talking about vulnerability with our close circles; it’s not hard for us to be real and vent to our best friends. I’m talking about the vulnerability that requires you to fully let your guard down, reveal your heart, and allow others to see right through you. This type of vulnerability leaves you feeling naked, unprotected, and, at times, even ashamed. The question is who in their right mind would choose to be vulnerable with the public or people they have no relationship with?! Recently, I’ve come to a heavy realization: the world needs more people to pay the price of vulnerability in order for others to find healing.

Now, I want to be clear here. I’m not talking about people who choose to share their entire life’s story to indulge in a pity party. Those are called attention seekers - they share things for selfish gain and only fill their newsfeeds with pointless garbage (if that’s you, sorry I’m not sorry!).

If being vulnerable were an easy task, everyone would be doing it. But the reality is that being vulnerable comes at a high price. Make no mistake; vulnerability is not weakness. As a matter of fact, choosing to be vulnerable requires strength and courage! It means that you are choosing to reveal and share your heart at the risk of being emotionally attacked and harmed. Some of us feel that we just aren’t built with the tough skin to take on the negativity that hateration nation might bring. But I want you to know that while the criticism may come, so does the overwhelming love from those that feel they are not alone because someone finally understands what they are going through.

It’s this level of vulnerability that expresses love, tears down the walls of fear, and reaches deep into the hearts of others who are on the verge of losing hope. It breaks us on the inside, provokes us to show mercy and compassion, and allows us to connect with others. And even though it puts a target on our hearts, it creates an even greater target of love towards those who need to know that they are not alone.

Here's my challenge to you: take some time to reflect on your story. What experiences have you been through that, while hurtful, have allowed you to grow? What parts of yourself are you hiding from others that could set someone else free? Are you willing to share it?

This week, I will be sharing a part of my story that requires me to be vulnerable with you...

Each post is named after a pair of fictitious shoes. Bridget means “power, strength, vigor.”