The Year of Bravery. You’re going to hear about this journey throughout 2014. One of the things I didn’t expect to explore this year was vulnerability. When I think of bravery, I think of strength, going above and beyond, pushing the limits, being fearless, exploring new possibilities, standing up, speaking out. I don’t think of vulnerability. That sounds weak, meager, it sounds scary as anything.
When I look at this woman to my right, I know she is vulnerable. She has just lost her husband not even 60 days before.
She is about to go out, to see friends, to do one of her first events without her husband by her side. But I don’t think of her as weak. I don’t think back on her as meager. I think of her as courageous and strong. I admire her.
I don’t know if I know that woman anymore, that vulnerable woman. After about the first three years, when she got through those first few hurdles, after she went through therapy to “solve” her trauma, she moved on, moved forward. But in that time she put up walls. She found a way to deal with fear and pain in unhealthy ways – by worrying them to death and by being constantly fearful of the “what ifs”.
I am not vulnerable. I have worked so hard to be strong, independent, to be what I thought was brave, that I have become a bit cold. I have lost much of my empathy for others who are hurting and fail to tolerate things that bring me down. I shut those things out. And then I break because it all becomes too much and inwardly I feel all of these things, but I refuse to show them outwardly for fear that I will not be brave.
This isn’t bravery. This is fear, pure fear. Fear I will be hurt, I will lose again, I will fail. Fear of so many things that I have no control over.
In this year of bravery, I think I need to rediscover vulnerability. It’s part of the reason why I’m meeting with a wonderful group of women every month – to ask those big questions that I’m so afraid to ask out loud because then I will have admitted that I am fearful of the answer.
So today, I want to share with you one of my big questions and to be a bit vulnerable with you, to be a bit brave with you:
Why does God allow so many horrible things to happen to good people – even when they pray, beg, plead, for those things not to happen?
This is a question I’ve struggled with for the past 5+ years and I find no answers. None of the platitudes erase the pain this questions brings forth from me. So I’m asking, I’m being vulnerable. I don’t expect an answer, a reason, an understanding. Most of me knows there is none to this question, but I still have to ask it out loud. The second part to this question is that it’s hard for me to believe in a God that allows these things to happen. I can’t reason it.
Thank you for allowing me to vulnerable with you.