by Kasia Kedzia
“You don’t really know who you are until you stop being who you aren’t.” – La Funk
Just when I thought I had learned something about vulnerability I was challenged to, yup, be more vulnerable. This time it was different, the challenge came not in the form of sharing feelings, but taking risks.
“I’m good at taking risks,” I’ve thought in the past, I try new scary things all the time, I travel to unsafe places, I speak in front of large groups of people. This risk was different. This was articulating what I want, who I am, what I hope for, what I desire, unapologetically. My stomach literally churned with nausea; as it did hitting publish on this post.
I remember speaking at a conference a few years ago. The session was filled with about 100 men and women. I was speaking on leadership and dreams and somewhere in the mix of it all I said, “… I’m sorry but I want to get married someday.” The statement was filled with hesitation and shame, like it was something I felt I shouldn’t want because expressing this desire in my head felt like I was expressing discontentment with what I had. The entire moment at the podium came and went in less than a minute and I thought it all passed. Yet, after the session a man came up to me, looked me in the eyes and said, “Don’t ever apologize for saying what you want. Own it.”
It would be about 4 more years before I would own the dream of wanting to be married. I’ve started owning other things too, my age, 39, that I want to have a little girl someday, that I want a partnership that centers around God and service in my community. In the past, I wrestled with each of these things inside, wondering if it would “cost me what I really wanted.” When asked how old I was I’d jokingly say, “25 plus shipping and handling” for fear of the stigma around age, or when faced with a choice to date someone who was amazing in every way to me but didn’t share my convictions I’d be really torn and I’ve compromised in the past.
Rm15:13” I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace as you trust in him. Then you will have more and more hope, and it will flow out of you by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
As I’ve grown in my trust in God this year, I’ve learned that being vulnerable is being brave, honest and specific about my likes and dislikes. It’s placing my dreams in God’s hands and trusting that He will provide in His way at His time but I have to authentically show up each day and do my part, be me. This, in all honesty, terrified me, it exposed just how much I have been scared of judgment from others and just how much I questioned God’s goodness and that He did in fact have a plan for me.
Prov3:5 “Trust the Lord completely, and don’t depend on your own knowledge.”
“To live is to love. To love is to risk pain. To risk pain is to live. It’s what it means to be truly human.” – Lysa Turkurst
I’ve learned to give myself permission to not be perfect. To just be me. To accept that not everyone will like all of who I am, but that does not by any means reduce my value or worth. I have learned to refuse to be intimidated by the process. And part of that process is feeling pain, or hurt or rejection in the present or from the past when it rears its ugly head.
I’ve learned to focus on my bigger purpose, the purpose we all share, that of simply being human and letting others see that they are not alone. We make the world a better place by simply showing others they are not alone. When I embrace and love all of who I am I have nothing to prove, I live in love not for it. Living from this place of fullness has been amazing. It doesn’t mean I don’t have days that I am not disappointed, that I don’t miss someone who’s no longer a part of my life, or don’t feel left behind. I do. But when I do, I am learning to be with these feelings, let them come, trust God’s got me and move through them instead of run from them. I am learning to allow them and be uncomfortable because it’s worth getting to the other side, God uses it.
I trust a God who allows hurt. I don’t fear the hurt anymore because I have seen God bring good from it. To be human is to be vulnerable. As Lysa Terkurst writes, “It demands a trust in God that’s no joke. Trusting God is the hardest lesson to learn but the most crucial.”
Is54:10 The mountains may disappear, and the hills may become dust, but my faithful love will never leave you. I will make peace with you, and it will never end. The Lord who loves you said this.”
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Since those first days, I have made it out of the Projects, finished my Masters degree in International Development, and moved to DC to work in my field. As a young single Christian woman my struggles today are a little different than they were when I first came to know God, but who am I kidding, not much. It's the every day battle for my heart to be pure before God, to strive to please him, and help others to seek and know Him.
Over my years of a faithful walk with God I have received much grace and compassion and have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams. Through out it all one thing has stayed consistent: God's word. Through His word I have been inspired and it has kept me faithful even when faith seemed like a foreign concept and God seemed deaf to my prayers. I started emailing my Quiet Times which helped me stay accountable as I shared my struggles and fought for understanding. Some wrote back and said they too were inspired and could relate. I hope some of my times can help inspire others who are seeking and fighting just like I am, to get to heaven and take as many as possible with me along the way.
Like what your read? Check out my blog: http://stronggirlforlife.wordpress.com/
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