“And they overcame him (meaning the accuser or satan – parenthesis mine) by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony...” Revelation12:11a (NKJV)
I was at a local restaurant with some family recently. One family member seemed to know everyone in the restaurant on a personal and intimate level. Although this family member consistently frequents this restaurant, and is a connector by nature, it seemed a bit overwhelming to me. I’m slightly introverted and a little on the shy side. Although, I am pleasant and polite with those I happen across casually, I don’t generally purposefully attempt to engage them and gather facts about their lives. I was challenged by this and had to ask myself why.
In her Ted Talk, The Power of Vulnerability, Researcher and Storyteller Brene Brown has found in her research that “People who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe that they are worthy of a love and belonging”. Along with this, she states that “Connection is a result of authenticity – those who were willing to let go of who they thought they SHOULD be in order to be who they really are – those people are more connected”. Wow! So God’s Word lines up her research. The scripture above (Rev 12:11) tells us that our stories really matter. Being willing to share our stories not only connects us with others, but could give us an opportunity to even share the salvation message with others through simple vulnerability.
Brene goes on to say, “Is there something about me that if other people know or see about me, that I won’t be worthy of connection ”? I have to respond to this with a resounding YES! I have felt that if I shared my real self with others, it would disconnect them from me. In reality, that might be the very thing that draws them to me. And, as a result, to my Savior Jesus Christ. Brene further states, “The one thing that keeps us out of connection is our fear that we are not worthy of connection”. I have definitely believed this lie and kept to myself out of fear of rejection.
Not only has God declared you worthy, but He has stated that your story is worth sharing. Sharing your story not only builds community and connection, but could lead others toward seeking a saving knowledge of the Messiah. In John, 4:39 referencing the woman at the well, scripture says that many believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony. This certainly challenges me to be more vulnerable in all the places God puts me and has called me to be a witness. My Sunday school and Church; my workplace; even restaurants I might frequent. I want to share the changing of my heart, life and soul through the love of Jesus and my identity as a daughter of the King with everyone in which I come in contact.
Christian vocalist and speaker Lori Kennedy believes in sharing the gifts and talents in which Christ has blessed her. Authenticity, transparency, and vulnerability are imperative to touching hearts for the Lord. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse from those in authority over her outside of her family of origin, Lori has had to overcome much to fulfill the destiny that God created just for her!
You can find out more about Lori and her ministry, Alpha Omega Ministries, at her website www.lorikennedy.com.