Vulnerability

From where I sat tonight, I enjoyed clouds, cooler weather, and a day when I’ve felt more me than I have in days – maybe weeks.

Summer heat gets me down, y’all.

So, here I sit on this cooler day finally enjoying myself – reading & writing, tending to my soul & spirit…contemplating many things, including relationships.

See, that date has become something…so, it means letting someone in…

I am so, so used to single life. In single life, I’m only responsible and accountable to me (to an extent).

I mean, it is my desire to bring my husband good all the days of my life (Proverbs 31:12) – but I’ve already failed, I’m sure. So, I try moving forward – that whoever he is will truly find good when he finds me as his wife (Proverbs 18:22).

But, I digress…

In single life, you don’t have to let anyone in.
You don’t have to be vulnerable and wonder if they can/want to handle it.
There’s always fear in vulnerability.

If you move forward with someone – there’s risk. You let someone into your pain, your mess, your darkness, your weakness, your faults – along with your joy, your celebration, your gifts, your passion.

Entering a relationship requires trust.

For me, a big area of vulnerability is this blog. My heart shared, post after post; and, there are questions that go with that:

  • What if “he” finds it?
  • What if he doesn’t like what he reads?
  • What if it scares him?
  • What if he doesn’t understand the struggle, the doubt, the darkness…?
  • What if I find myself to be too much or not enough?

Honestly, though, this openness & willingness to risk vulnerability is essential to any relationship – whether two weeks old or fifty years old (not that you should spill all day one, there are levels to this…)

We cannot connect with others without it – and, yes, at some point it will lead to conflict, disappointment, and misunderstanding. It’s what you do together to overcome that which will make the difference.

Just as you hope he/she will be that for you, this gives you a beautiful opportunity for you to be open & accepting of him/her in their darkness, weakness, struggle.

In doing this for one another, you find the beauty to overcoming this fear – you find a partner, a war buddy.

And, you discover someone who loves your heart: weakness, faults, and all. You discover someone you love: weakness, faults, and all.

So, do we fear vulnerability? Of course we do.

But, overcoming that fear leads to something we are all hoping to find in this life – and it leads to the kind of relationship & love that glorifies, honors, reveals, & represents God and His love for us.


I listen to a lot of [Christian] Hip-hop, and recently, there is a song that has worked it’s way into my heart. It comes along these lines so well. It deals with this kind of openness and vulnerability, from the perspective of the one being supportive and accepting, and loving. I want to share it with you, as it may be an encouragement to others, too (KB – Lights Go Out (ft. Blanca & Justin Ebach) – Reach Records):

Purpose – Redemption

I’m not Catholic or Orthodox, and typically not a part of a church body that participates in Lent. However, as a personal practice, more years than not in the last 10 years, I have participated in Lent (in a personal manner).

Recent life events have left me with some questions and some heartbreaking thoughts that I know God will use this Lent season to teach and grow me.

Tonight, in that vein, I am participating in the 5 minute friday tradition (last week, I actually did my 5 minute Friday post on my Tiny house blog)…I know it’s Sunday, but unfortunately, I find myself late many weeks.

This week’s theme:

PURPOSE…

“You didn’t want heaven without us, so Jesus you brought heaven down”
-Hillsong ‘What a Beautiful Name’

This song has me wrecked recently, especially this line… He didn’t want heaven without us…

This goes with my reading tonight.
Tonight, I spent time in 2nd Peter.

He has a lot to say in the 2&3 chapters about evil days: false prophets & teachers, evil doers, fleshly desires, condemnation, and more… I won’t take the time to break it all down – honestly, it’s a lot.

But, I want to focus on one specific section:

“But, do not forget this one thing dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief…”

  • 2 Peter 3:8-10

So, what’s this all about?

It’s about purpose.
And, that purpose? Redemption.

Recently, I’ve had to come face to face with my belief: sin, death, mortality.
Do I really believe some perish?

Unfortunately, I do. And, honestly, the question of someone’s eternity is HEARTBREAKING.
But, Jesus has been working in my heart – if it’s that heartbreaking for me, how much more heartbreaking is it for Him to have Creation reject Him?

So, what’s it all about?
Purpose – redemption. Human souls. Love.

He created a way – desiring that no one would perish, knowing some would anyway. Giving His people the knowledge, tools, and compassion to reach as many as possible, and then commissioning us to do so.

This is a tough, heartbreaking topic to write about. I hate the thought of spending eternity without some of the people I care about – even spending eternity without my “enemies”. But, the reality is, it’s likely to happen.

And, if it hurts so much for me – how much more for Him, after creating and offering restoration?

So, that leaves me – in the gap. Attempting to live out the great commission in my life. In the tension between here & now and eternity.
A part of the Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven, trying to be a light of love to as many people as I can.

So, what’s this all about?
Purpose – human souls. Love.
Redemption.

Ah, Back to Ireland.

2013 was the last time I got the opportunity to visit Ireland. I have been twice for ministry opportunities.

Now, I have the opportunity to return this July.
I.Am.So.Excited.

Each time I go there, I fall more & more in love: with the place, the people, and spreading the Love of God across the ocean.

It’s another great opportunity to spread God’s love across the globe. My biggest passions meet in this: ministry, people, travel, and Ireland. 

So, as you found your way to this blog, please pray with me about ways to support: prayer is greatly appreciated. Of course.

But, if God moves your heart to donate (any help at all is so much appreciated), here are some ways you can do that, too:

  • A “gofundme” option is available.
  • I started an Etsy shop: TinyNepheshArts.  If you are looking to purchase some art, including custom orders, I have some pieces available for sale.

Prayer is always appreciated for sure.
Prayer that God would bring in the finances for the entire team.
That we would make connections, make an impact, and become more globally minded in our living.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me: scentfilledsoul@gmail.com.

Thanks in advance for support and blessing.


I also enjoy the opportunity to pray for those who read my blog. So, as you are praying for my next adventure, let me know below what I can be in prayer for for you. Blessings!

 

Hope in a Hopeless World

I was talking to a family friend tonight, a fireman, and I made a joke as I always do about single Christian young men (you know, just in case the one I’m waiting for fights fires 😉 )

I’m not sure he understood the reason for the question but his “uh, not really Christians” answer gave me pause.

Recalling that Cousin’s husband, a paramedic, had once commented that his field & the fire fighting field you wouldn’t find a lot of believers.

And, I thought, how sad. For my field, which is notoriously lacking in faith filled people, and for their fields.

Surrounded by hurt, pain, brokenness, darkness, hatred, evil, and unknown each day, how do these people do it without faith? How?

image

“The work is too heavy…you cannot handle it alone” – Exodus 18:18

As I shared on Instagram with my Bible study time last night, I know I can’t do it alone. It’s in my weakness, His strength is shown; in my limitation, His limitlessness is revealed.

Though some see faith as weakness, I have to be the container for the hopelessness of the hopeless. I’ve sat with & cried with so many who have no hope. I have wrestled with knowing my life may be the only light in theirs. And, it takes an incredible amount of strength to stand in faith at those times.

This field He has called me (and my firefighter friend, and Cousin’s husband) to is not for the faint of heart. And, sometimes, those of us in it need support and/or extra faith.

And, honestly, I can’t imagine being hope in a hopeless world without the Source of Hope. It just wouldn’t be possible.

Neighbor

We live in a world (at least in America) where we don’t get to know our neighbors anymore. We just each go about our independent lives, disconnected.

But, I try to say hi to any neighbor I see. My sister & I have made friends with the guys across the way, just by being willing to say “hey, how’s it going?”

I’m also really enjoying getting to know the family who lives above them.

Recently, God pulled on my heart in regard to them: for prayer & encouragement of them.

He’s a pastor of a small local church that God led him & his wife to begin. God called them to be shepherds to new people. I learned today that they don’t have a permanent church home base yet and they recently had all of their ministry stuff stolen (along with the trailer it was all in).

I didn’t know most of this when God was pulling on me to be in prayer & to be an encouragement.

But, here’s the thing – we don’t have to know the whole story if God is moving us to action. Our only responsibility is to act.

Whether at home or work or wherever, if God is moving you to pray for your neighbor, then pray.
If God moves you to speak life, then speak it. (BTW: He has already asked this of us, lest we forget.)
If God is moving you to bring a gift, invite someone to dinner, to care for someone, or whatever, then just do it.

We have nothing to fear (from our neighbors or anyone else) when we are walking in God’s plan for us. We have everything to gain by doing so.

And, moving in response to His call gets easier each time we do it.