LaKeisha Rainey Collins: Beauty for Ashes Column
The power of vulnerability: How acknowledging the reality
of your weakness makes you stronger
Blog by Lakeisha Rainey Collins
Posted June 26, 2017
Vulnerability.

It’s one of those things that none of us really want
to feel. To be vulnerable requires us to let our
guard down, and in becoming less guarded we run
the scary risk of our weaknesses being exposed.

God forbid!

But it's frightening because we all probably have
previous experiences that show vulnerability
sometimes leads to being targeted, taken
advantage of, and hurt. So, to avoid that, we keep
our weak areas under cover and refuse to ever let
anyone see us as anything other than strong. This
is one of those reasons why many find themselves
acting one way when their reality is the total
opposite. This is where faking it, or pretending, is
often birthed.
Credit: Getty/Keith Berson
In my last post, I talked about the downside of faking it ‘til you make it and how it only holds you
hostage. When you live a life of pretense, you live out of touch with your reality. If your reality is that
you are hurting and broken, removing yourself from acknowledging that in actuality makes matters
worse. Pain, left unattended, can be deadly.

I learned that lesson a little over a year ago when I consciously ignored not feeling well. As a wife, a
mom of four, business woman, ministry leader – and all the other million hats we tend to wear as
women – I didn’t want to be seen in a helpless state. I knew I was sick, but anytime my husband would
ask me about it, I’d give him that infamous lie we all tell:
I’m fine. I was not fine at all, but I’d just put on
my Superwoman cape, because, well, that makes us invincible, right? Well, that also proved to be a lie
since I ended up in the hospital, hearing a doctor tell me that if I had ignored my symptoms any
longer, things could have been fatal.

Pain, whether emotional or physical, is nothing to play with.

In order for me to feel better, I had to admit that I wasn’t as
fine as I let on. You know, it’s okay to not
be okay. None of us, as Godly magical as we are, can be super ALL the time. And if we truly want to
live whole and healthy, we must sometimes be willing to expose ourselves in order to get to the place
where we can be covered in God’s healing and grace. It is often our willingness to welcome
vulnerability that leads us to victory.

It makes me think of the woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5:25-34). To me, she displayed
vulnerability at its finest.

After 12 years of non-stop bleeding and seeing countless doctors (Which she probably did privately),
she was in bad shape. Now, during that time women weren’t privy to the feminine hygiene products we
have today, so I imagine
that time of the month was quite embarrassing for them back then. Not only
that, but during their time of menstruation, women were considered unclean, and so was anything or
anyone they touched. So, for over a decade this woman likely lived a secluded life.

When she heard that Jesus was passing through, my take is that she went back and forth within
herself between two options:
Do I stay inside and remain trapped in this issue, or do I risk exposing
myself in this crowd of people in order to receive my healing?
She had no doubt that she would be
healed if she could just make it to Jesus, but I picture her dilemma being not wanting all those people
to see her in such a way. Her clothes were probably stained and drenched from the constant flow, and
she likely even looked weak and fragile as a result of losing so much blood. No one wants to be seen
like that.

Still, she had a choice to make and hers was this:
I don’t care who sees me dirty, bloody, broken, and
fragile, I’ve got to see Jesus, because I refuse to live plagued by this issue anymore
.

See, you’ve got to want it bad enough.

She pressed through the people to make her way to Jesus to get her healing. Here's what is amazing
to me, though. She managed to make it to Jesus without being noticed. It wasn’t until after she made it
to her place of healing that attention was brought to her when Jesus wanted to know who touched
Him. What was exposed then was not her issue, but her testimony of healing. In her willingness to be
vulnerable, she was still covered from being a spectacle. That’s what happens when you take your
focus off people and onto the power of the Lord.

Let that guard you’ve put in place off duty and allow Jesus, THE Lifeguard, to rescue that
amazingness you’re suffocating underneath all that pain.

    Be vulnerable, and take that seemingly long walk to the altar.

    Be vulnerable, and make that doctor’s appointment.

    Be vulnerable, and talk honestly with your loved ones.

    Be vulnerable, and forgive those who hurt you.

    Be vulnerable, and acknowledge your pain.

    It’s not weakness, my friend; it’s actually strength.

Don’t worry about who’s looking or who will talk. Press through the crowd of those shaming voices in
your head, through your pride, through your false display of strength, and make your way to touch
Jesus. Vulnerability, placed in our Savior's hands, leads to healing.

Read last week's blog: The danger of faking it 'til you make it

LaKeisha Rainey Collins is an Mobile, Alabama-based wife, mom of three boys and one girl, Founder
of Beauty for Ashes, Inc. and author of two books --
Beautiful Me and My Baby Has Wings. Learn
more about her
here.
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