Thursday Tip: Vulnerable
Yesterday was certainly a surprise for me. I wasn’t anticipating such a strong response to my post about letting go. By noon it was the most trafficked post I’ve seen since April. After picking my jaw back up off the floor and mumbling… “wha?“, I quickly opened the post to read what I was apparently missing. And that’s when I realized I hadn’t actually read the post the FIRST time before hitting publish. Spelling errors, missing words – if you read the post before 8:00am MST I apologize! HAH! Only you know that I attempted to use cagaries as a word. (It’s not.)
Not two minutes after I cleaned up the mess and had a little laugh, but also some self-punishment: “Ginger! WHY didn’t you use spell check? THINK. Let’s not get lazy!” I poured my off-brand honey nut cheerios and heard the familiar ding from my phone. I wandered over to the counter and discovered a text message from one of my favorite lovelies, Meredith. I’ve known M since she was in 8th grade and I was a sophomore in college. I was her Senior Counselor at summer camp and she has been a faithful pen pal ever since! Here’s what greeted me when I opened her note:
“Thank you for your blog posts and thank you for allowing others to see your imperfections… Your post sincerely encouraged me today and I appreciate them. I just wanted you to know I am thanking God for you.”
At this point I put down my spoon and closed my eyes. Two minutes ago I had been agonizing over my imperfect post about coming to grips with imperfections. Y’ALL. It’s a disease. I have this need to control every bit of information about me. Even as I share my struggles I still want them to be wrapped up in the prettiest package possible. Photo edited: check. Spell-check: check. Relatively decent sentence structure and grammar: check. Sharing enough without sharing too much: check.
I quickly responded to M: “Thank you so much for taking the time to write. Perfect timing. I had just realized I never spell-checked the post OR reread it. OY! Your text brought grace at the right moment.”
One text and suddenly I realized how humanizing vulnerability is for the soul. It’s good for the writer and the reader, the speaker and the listener. When we are willing to share our imperfect skin, homes, wardrobes, hearts, and stories, we offer something better than perfection. We offer ourselves. We are essentially saying, “I don’t have it all together, but I’m willing to share myself just the same.”
As I sat thinking another text came through from M: “Haha. I didn’t notice those imperfections, just saw all of the truth.”
Aren’t those words to live by? There’s no point in faking perfection. If we live in truth, the imperfections take a backseat to God’s purpose for our lives.
So here’s the tip: let your guard down. Allow your friends to walk into to your messy house. Honestly answer the question “How are you?”. Stop competing on Social Media. I’ll start. Here’s my perfectly messy living room as of right now. Laundry, baby clothes, bags, shoes, it’s everywhere. I have to step over my junk to get to the kitchen. I should put a really cool filter on it and Instagram that. 😉
“Authenticity occurs when real people say real things about real issues with real feelings. When you’re authentic you live what you are.” – Chuck Swindoll
Following and failing… and then getting back up again,