My thoughts

Live Out Loud

liveoutloud

Living vulnerable is never easy! Yet, living with an open heart is freedom! 

How many times have you just not said what was really going on in your life? I am going to guess…a lot! Me too! I have had the sign LIVE OUT LOUD in my bathroom for 9 years as a reminder for me to really show up in life. Why? Because few women ever live but we all die and for some of us it has been a slow death for years. I want to live! I have lived hidden in the quiet place of my heart where I alone know the truth in me. I would rarely let others in. For some of us, it is the orphan heart that the Father in heaven wants to come heal. For others, it is the burns and scars we have carried from this life that we need to forgive. For me, it was both.

Are you ready to stop hiding? 

Being truly vulnerable is hard! The fear that washes over that I will be rejected or looked down on tries to lock my heart away every time. The tremble and shudder I feel caused me anxiety and missed opportunities for connection.

Here’s the deal! Can we really live without a true connection?

Paul said this to the Colossian church:

 I wish you could know how much I have struggled in prayer for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for my many other friends who have never known me personally. This is what I have asked of God for you: that you will be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love, and that you will have the rich experience of knowing Christ with real certainty and clear understanding. For God’s secret plan, now at last made known, is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the mighty, untapped treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossian 2:1-2

Paul’s prayer was that they would be knit together by strong ties of love so that they would experience Jesus. This kind of love between people expresses a hidden treasure of wisdom and knowledge that we can not learn any other way. This way of loving and relating to one another guarantees that we would know Jesus. Can we even really know Christ if no one knows us? I don’t think so and I will tell you why. Because alone all we know is ourselves and while self-knowledge has its uses. It is in the trenches with other imperfect creations that we learn Christ! While I have been through many trench moments. The Lord is walking me through a new one. Have you ever struggled with asking for help?  We all like to be the person who can help another. Yet, when it comes to needed help. Asking is hard. I don’t fear to ask for volunteers. I don’t fear to ask leaders to work a job for a youth event or some other delegated tasks. But I do fear to ask for help when it comes to money. I fear that others will think I am weak or irresponsible. It’s a pride issue. I know it.

When the Lord walks me down a pathway and into new territory I want to run away and hide away. I want to go back to my default setting which is “I will just go over here by myself and figure this out on my own.” I have one thing that stops me. It is my personal life statement! This is a statement I developed in a leadership training class using my life experiences, my unique lessons so far, and my values. My statement is:

Fearless in living, Faithful in everything, Forward regardless!

and so I keep going trusting and believing that if He brings me to it He will bring me through it. I will not worry about tomorrow because He is already there.

The pathway started with a statement of love:

MY BANNER OVER YOU IS FAITHFULNESS

Those words became the statement for my 2017 year. Then as we continued on in the year. Life went crazy and now husband has been out of work more months than he has ever been. He has put in applications. He has been to interviews. Nothing. We have had some money put away in the bank for times like this. We are pretty conservative type people. Friends and family have helped us out by giving my husband odd jobs and such. Some have just brought over groceries and handed us checks. I am floored and in awe of the love and faithfulness of the Father through His people. This past weekend we were able to get a haul of apples from a friend. So hubby started canning as he usually does. Here comes the vulnerable part. We decided to put out an offer on Facebook to see if anyone would be interested in canned apples for a blessing donations. Why? Because God provided apples and we have a mortgage to pay in November. Plus, in our family, we use what we have and we do what we can.

I simply said:

apples

 

That was one of the most vulnerable things I have ever posted! But we need help. So I asked.

The journey has been interesting and wild. God is good and has provided all along the way and with my statement to help keep me on track I set out to find as I have many times before my whys and whats:

Fearless in living: We are struggling and need help. 6 months no work is hard to deal with and I have empathy for those who have been here and will be here. A connection is a goal.

Faithful in everything: The Lord gave apples so we will be faithful to use what resources He provides. He is good and faithful to us.

Forward regardless: I will not stop and hide away my heart. I will live out loud and keep moving forward. Growing in connection with others and in Christ.

How will you move into vulnerable living with others?

What do you need to bring out of hiding? 

Thanks for reading friends, 

Starla

 

 

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