The other day, I stood with my heart on my sleeve and all of my feelings on the table, completely vulnerable and completely terrified. And it wasn’t until then that I saw this mighty thing that God has done –that He’s been doing for a long time.
Two summers ago, I sat on a plane sobbing over the words of Wild and Free and the realization that I might be the most defensive person that has ever lived. I was overwhelmed by this realization that I’d been operating in fear and lack and spent too much of my energy trying to keep my heart safe. I wanted to be vulnerable, to be known, to drop my convincing self-sufficient persona. I didn’t know how, or where to start. But I asked God to fix these broken parts of me me, and He did. He is.
I’ve learned that I can’t be really loved until I’m really seen, and I wasn’t ready to love unconditionally until I believed that I’m already loved unconditionally. Loving from a place of fear and lack and self-protection has left me disappointed and disappointing every time. It’s the security of the Gospel that makes us brave. That tells us we’re already safe. That allows us to love people and let ourselves be seen and know that even if it all goes to crap, we’ll be okay. We can love generously and graciously because we already have everything we need.
Johnathan Edwards gave these reasons for Christian happiness: that “Your bad things will turn out for good, your good things can never be taken away from you, and the best things are yet to come.” The gospel allows us to show up wide-open and unafraid because we’ve found our security in the finished work of Jesus and we know it can’t be taken away from us. We know that any of the pain vulnerability sends our way will be used for good. We know that our provision comes not from the responses of the people around us but from our Father, who owns the cattle on a thousand hills + delights in giving good gifts.
This hasn’t spared me from pain. It hasn’t always kept me from hiding or from picking up my old, familiar defenses. It hasn’t cured my selfish heart of its inclination to withhold, self-protect or stiff-arm when things start to feel too vulnerable. But I believe the Gospel transforms every facet of our lives, and that things are shifting here. I’m shaky and scared, and somehow braver than I’ve ever been + I’ll be over here believing that God’s protection is sufficient and His provision is plenty.