Fear is a funny thing. It’s not always obvious. It’s horribly uncomfortable. And, it’s often taboo.
There. I said it. That’s my biggest fear. Now it’s out there.
It’s ironic really.
Ironic because I love being completely open. Ironic because I love the freedom to be real…raw…and human. Ironic because I love seeing those traits in other people. Ironic because I’m one of the most obnoxiously relational beings I know.
Yet, somehow, this fear has forced me to hide a piece of my soul from the world. Even from my closest friends. Not because of any lack of trust. But truly out of fear. Fear that if they knew every ounce of my maniacal thought process and pervasive insecurities, they would no longer want anything to do with me.
Frankly, it’s been so well hidden in my life, that I’ve literally forgotten those things exist. I’ve gotten so comfortable with sharing my feelings, that I’ve forgotten there are “whys” behind those feelings. And, convinced myself that no one really wants to know those things anyway.
The friends who do care about those “whys” have somehow found me. And, their deep love cracked that hard core of fear…a place in my life where I feel most vulnerable.
I let my fear of being alone and being vulnerable limit what my friends could be to me…limit the love I’d allow myself to receive from them. But, thank God for their persistence. For their love. For letting God use them to show me another layer of his own unfailing love and grace.
In close friendships, people don’t see vulnerabilities as signs of weakness or dark corners where no one wants to go.
These deep relationships seek vulnerabilities to embrace them.
Once my friends drew the vulnerabilities out of me, I was reminded that if they desired to get that close to me, than Jesus wanted it more. He doesn’t care about dark corners, because he is light…because he embodies perfect love…because his perfect love casts out fear. Even fear of relational rejection.
In the New Testament, Jesus refers to himself as our friend. I’m convinced he does that so we can capture glimpses in our lives today as to how he wants to operate in our lives. How we talk with him. How we laugh with him. How we cry with him. How we debate with him. And, yes, even what we share with him.
Those friends know who they are. And, I’m indebted to their compassion, loyalty and deep love. And, mostly, I’m thankful that God could use them to remind me of how much I’m loved for who I am. Right now. Despite the flaws, insecurities and fears I see in myself. Because He doesn’t even see them. He only sees beauty…vulnerable beauty.
“Knowing and letting oneself be known require overcoming many ancient fears – but it’s worth every risk.” – Arianna Huffington in “On Becoming Fearless”