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Brave Vulnerability

Written by: Erica Campbell

I had a conversation with a woman, very dear to me, who has walked through incredible emotional hardship. Over the course of her life, she has experienced rejection from her father initially, then from within her family, others, and finally from her own husband—the last of which is most painful for her. Despite her brokenness, this woman is stronger than she realizes. Of course, some days challenge her so much that she’d rather just give up, but somehow, she finds the strength to carry on as she awaits a miracle of restoration in her family and in her marriage.

Recently, she was asked to share her story at a women’s event. But for many reasons felt unworthy of such an opportunity. When she told me how she was feeling, it hurt me that she’d believe this about herself. In my eyes, she’s the exact type of woman who should be sharing her story—someone who’s walked through the fire again and again but still chooses to call on God. The enemy, however, would like nothing better than to convince her that she has nothing valuable to share. He’d prefer to hold her imperfections and flaws over her head and keep her quiet. Knowing the lie she was believing, I encouraged her to seize this moment and share exactly what God has done in her life.

This moment was so crucial because God uses women with vulnerable hearts to help set other broken hearts free. Vulnerability is key in God’s inner transforming work; it forces us to grapple with our limits, feel the gravity of our mistakes, and in complete reliance turn to our only true source of hope: our Father in heaven. In our culture, however, vulnerability is portrayed as weakness. As such, we’re trained to hide it from others. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Jesus tells Paul in the moment of his greatest vulnerability, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Upon hearing this, Paul responded by telling the Corinthian church, “Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

When we overcome the world’s false perspective of weakness and see things through the lens of Christ’s Kingdom, we realize that it is to our benefit and to the benefit of those around us to own our vulnerability. When we do—and especially when we share it as part of our testimony—God uses the hard circumstances of our lives for His glory. Places that have wounded, broken, disappointed, and rejected us can become places where Jesus stands on our behalf and magnifies His name, while simultaneously restoring us. Thus, learning to be vulnerable is a beautiful, necessary, brave thing—the fundamental opposite of weakness.

So, let’s resist the enemy who tells us we should shut all our hurts, pain, and mistakes behind closed doors. Let’s expose his lies by boasting in our weaknesses, knowing that is when we offer Jesus the surest platform upon which He can display His power through us. As one of my favorite writers, Ann Voskamp, says, “The world has enough people who live a masked insecurity. It needs more who live a brave vulnerability.”

So, again I say, let’s resist. Instead of hiding, let’s choose, as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:10, to “delight in our weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when we are weak, then we are strong.”

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