Today’s guest post is from Cassandra Smith, founder and author of Letters to God.
These are all beautiful words when we are receiving them but painfully difficult to divulge at times. And yet, I believe a mutual exchange of these very things are what build meaning. What does this mean for us as women, friends, leaders, and mothers? As women, I believe we seek emotional connectivity with the men in our lives at the expense of nurturing additional relationships with appropriate vulnerability. While I believe this is healthy for a marriage, I do not believe this is our only relationship in which vulnerability is needed.
I know that as a single woman, I often am too quickly willing to bare myself emotionally, hoping this will create a bond between me and my hoped for man. As a youth worker, I see many young girls following in this trend to look for meaning in a boy. I have not always led the charge for emotional purity, and I too often have ended up sharing these mistakes to those I lead. Young girls are easily caught up in social media overload of emotion and openness in ways which are not honoring to themselves. Yet, I scarcely blame them. Few have been taught propriety and emotional modesty.
But this post is not to condemn or point a finger at women. Rather, I share these moments because I believe we are all seeking something God intended for us – nakedness. Before sin destroyed perfection, we were naked and unashamed. There was freedom in complete openness, honesty, humility and transparency. In Christ, the curse has been broken, and I believe that he is gently ushering us back into that openness. While my natural tendency is to want to seek that with a man, I believe it is important for us to practice this vulnerability with our sisters first. I believe our girl friendships is the face-to-face place we can share and relate on how we are learning vulnerability before God. This is the most important thing. We must learn how to open up our spirits and souls before God as he leads us as the ultimate Man, Warrior, Father, Healer, Helper, Counselor, Teacher, Provider, and Redeemer.
As we share such things with one another on a peer level, we can also pass this onto the younger generation who is seeking guidance and direction on how to relate with one another. Not only can we pass on maturity and relationship skills, but I believe that we can promote hope and provoke healing in each others’ lives. We start to see that vulnerability and openness heals not only our hearts but the hearts of our daughters, friends, and younger sisters.
Youth face extreme challenge at a desperately young age. How we reach out to them? How we enter into their trials and brokenness? How we offer them hope is only going to come from humility, openness, and vulnerability. No longer are cliché sermons and a long list of to do’s and to don’ts going to be a guidance force amidst the young. The world desperately needs strong women, willing to be open and vulnerable with a young generation, to lead them out of a place of brokenness and heartache.
So this is my challenge to you:
- Vulnerably come before the Lord. Let him bring you into openness before him.
- Seek humble and open relationships with women to spur one another onto growth and relational maturity
- Enter into the lives of youth with openness and vulnerability. With open ears to listen, engage with those who need a big sister, mom, or mentor.
We all lose when we hide. There is too much at stake to stay hidden. “…they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, ‘Where are you?”’ Genesis 3:8b-9NIV