The Benefits of Being Vulnerable & How God Can Help A Long-Time Struggle By Opening Up Your Heart
Updated: Mar 21
Imagine you’re around people you don’t know. How do you react? Do you put yourself out there and make conversation? Or do you shut down and keep to yourself? I can tell you, I do the latter. Or better said I used to do that. God delivered me from social anxiety.
I’m going to talk to you a bit about vulnerability. I’m no Brené Brown but I can share with you my own personal experience. I can share how God heard my prayer. How He transformed me within a 10-day trip after over a decade of dealing with shame and the fear of rejection.
What I learned is that vulnerability is a good thing. It opens something in you that God can step in and work in you.
If you’re signed and read TBL emails you know I went on a mission trip. How I prepare for this trip is through fasting and prayer. I ask God to equip me and make me ready to do His good work. And boy does He do so much more than that.
What Happened to Me on a Recent Trip
As mentioned, I prepared for this trip by fasting and praying. One thing I kept praying to the LORD was: “Don’t let me hinder you. Don’t let me hinder you” I keep repeating this. Knowing how I am around people I’m not well acquainted with I knew I would get in God’s way.
On the first night in Mexico, I felt I needed to tell my roommate about my social struggles. I don’t know why. This is not something I tell people. But I’m glad I did. This is my first act of vulnerability. She was so graceful and encouraging and I gained a friend.
One morning after breakfast, the team and I have prayer and worship. Again, I repeat to God, “Don’t let me hinder you.” When it comes to prayer requests I want to say something but I can’t make myself speak up.
At the end, people start to leave. I feel someone staring at me so I look up and make eye contact. I look away. This person knows something. I turn around to leave then I hear my name. “Hey Brisa. I feel like I need to pray for you.” Let’s call this woman of God, Kay.
I never said what I needed prayer for but Kay begins praying. One of the first things she says is, “You are not hindering God.” Again, I didn’t tell anyone about this specific prayer. And when I tell you I lost it, I lost it. She spoke encouraging things to me. And said the opposite about what I was feeling and saying about myself. I hear everything I need to hear. The Holy Spirit spoke through her.
God broke chains off of me. I was not the same after that.
My Past Struggle
Let me give you some background information. I call it my past struggle because I don’t wrestle with it like I used to. You see, I have struggled with social anxiety and social discomfort for about 17 years- over half my life.
This has affected me and deprived me of making authentic relationships with people. My biggest problem was being vulnerable and open. I had a wall up and very few people were willing to climb over it to get to me. I thank God and bless those who had no issue climbing that wall. And stuck around.
Those that don’t know me well assume I am stuck up. And I often hear that I look intimidating. But that’s not it at all. I’m just scared on the inside. The thing is I do like talking to people. I enjoy having conversations. But sometimes I physically can't make words come out. It's as if they are caught in my throat. So I close myself up most of the time.
All this stems from a moment in middle school when I felt rejection, humiliation, and betrayal. These were triggers for me. Since then I did my best to avoid these things by not allowing to put myself out there. Shame came later in my adult life because of it.
The enemy kept me silent. Now I can say I am free from all that. Glory to God, thank you, Jesus.
The Benefits of Vulnerability
Vulnerability is scary. But it’s a risk worth taking because it will lead to bigger and better things. It will lead you to freedom. This is why you confess your sins, struggles, and insecurities before God. And to the right people because we are called to carry each other's burdens. It can lead to something good
Here are a few benefits
Vulnerability is also humility. Humble yourself before God. Lay down all your burdens, guilt, and shame at the feet of Christ. He already knows about all your struggles but wants to hear it from you. Tell Him your weaknesses that where He will work from. Our weaknesses make us strong because our dependence on God increases. So you see there’s a silver lining to that.
Vulnerability is Beautiful
In the present, I’m telling people what God did for me. I’m telling more people about my social anxiety. This is not something I was comfortable speaking about before. But I’m also telling people what God did for me.
Those who are going through what I did let me tell you something: the enemy will no longer shame you into silence. Fear of rejection will no longer affect you. God has made you strong and courageous. You are not hindering God. He put everything in you to do His good work. You were made for such a time as this.
God delivered me from something big. A long time struggle I couldn’t shake off myself. He gave me a breakthrough. And He can do the same for you. Open up. Let people know what you are going through. Have others pray for you about it. Don’t deprive yourself of God’s glory in you.
Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
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