a relationship in which a person or thing is linked or associated with something else.“
I’ve always thought of connection as the result of something that brings two people together. But what brings two people together?
Most often it’s a shared interest or something you have in common with someone else. In my experience connections often lead to relationships. However there’s a factor that links connection and relationship together. To connect with someone is easy, just find a common ground to chat about – right? But how do we jump from a connection to a relationship? You might be thinking that the jump is a result of hanging out, the result of multiple coffee dates and walks along the beach. But is that really the answer? Yes, I believe all those things contribute to making that “jump”. However, I also believe that there’s an ultimate factor that creates the link; a factor that allows the jump to take place. This factor is vulnerability. To have relationship we need connection. But to have connection we need vulnerability. Vulnerability in sharing small things, as well as the larger things in life.
“To be vulnerable is to have the courage that allows you to be exposed to the possibility of being hurt”
As humans we long for connection, we long for relationships with others. This is how God created us (Genesis 2.18: “it is not good for man to be alone”). If God intended for us to connect with others, to build relationships.. then shouldn’t we be obliged to do so?
We can’t have connection without vulnerability and vulnerability means exposure. We need to take that courageous step to open up to people, to expose parts of ourselves that we never thought we would. This could be in the form of sharing a personal experience over a cup of coffee, or showing an old photograph that leads to conversation of past tragedy.
“There is beauty in vulnerability”
There’s something about being vulnerable that not only scares me, but truely horrifies me. Maybe that’s because I’ve been hurt in ways I could never foresee. It’s hard to come back from something that nearly ended you, something that broke you and kept you from connection for years. It’s only over the recent year that I’ve been building up courage to connect. After years of essentially hiding away or running from someone as soon as the possibility of connection arose. I had been trying to avoid the risk of vulnerability. Trying to avoid the hurt of rejection or betrayal or loss. After all, the less people I had close to me, the less likely I was to be hurt – right?
I’ve learned that despite my past, I am worthy of connection. There is beauty in vulnerability because there is beauty in connection. I have had to make the conscious decision to be vulnerable with people around me. Without that vulnerability and exposure to hurt, I would never have the opportunity to create connection or build relationships.
Vulnerability leads to either rejection or acceptance.
Through life, not every person we are vulnerable with will accept our desire for a relationship. This may hurt but it’s okay. Not every relationship will last either. This is okay too. We are all humans, we are prone to sin and we are finite. People closest to us will one day cease to exist. Everything on this earth is finite. Nothing lasts forever. I suppose that’s why God sent Jesus to save us, to create a possible for infinite life with Him.
A perfect example of the cycle of relationship is my relationship with my Heavenly Father. My relationship with Him came from my willingness to be vulnerable. To confess my shortcomings and heartaches. In His word, God tells us His grace is sufficient, for His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12.9). I found comfort knowing that nothing I could ever say or do would stop my God from loving me and wanting a relationship with me. Knowing this made it easier to be vulnerable with Him. Connection was established and a relationship was formed.
My aim for 2019 is to build authentic Godly relationships with people around me. God has a plan, it’s time for me to stop rejecting it out of fear. My strength and courage comes from Christ alone.
– c x