This week I’m doing a blog swap with Eliana, a member of The Young Writer’s Workshop and author of her blog Eliana The Writer. A blog swap means that she will post an article I wrote and I will post an article she wrote.
Here is my article “Learning to See Your Siblings as Best Friends”
Below is a wonderful article Eliana wrote on Vulnerability:
Vulnerability: A Pillar of Lasting Friendships with Other Daughters of the King
Vulnerability. What does that word bring to mind for you? A cornered animal with no escape? A soldier without protection on the battlefield? Someone who was seen as strong being exposed as weak? Something personal being spilled into the open?
Oxford Dictionary defines vulnerability as “the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.”
The word “vulnerability” naturally feels negative. It seems like a weakness a girl doesn’t want. Isn’t being vulnerable just that — being weak?
From my experience, it’s a strength.
Being vulnerable is being open.
To me, being vulnerable is opening up about what’s really going on in my heart and mind. But is being open really a strength? Is it really a good thing for you?
Well, I’ve found, as a young girl navigating friendships with other young girls, that even though being open is hard, it’s worth it.
I’ve never been one to be content with small talk. Even if I saw somebody every day, I’d only consider that person an acquaintance if we merely talked about the weather.
But when someone really opens up and becomes vulnerable to me, that’s when I feel like I can open up to that person. That’s when a person becomes something more than an acquaintance.
Becoming vulnerable is one of the biggest steps to becoming close friends. When I meet someone, sometimes I wait for the other person to make that step. And sometimes, nothing happens. Other times, I make that step, and then I discover the other side of a quiet girl and make a beautiful friendship.
What if you made that brave first step of being vulnerable instead of waiting for it?
Being vulnerable is being honest.
If you want to make that first step, you have to be vulnerable, open, honest. Often we can close ourselves off and settle for light talks.
“How are you?”
“Good! How are you?”
“Good, thanks for asking!”
We all have this exchange with people very frequently. I almost have it programmed into me to say something shallow like “good” no matter how I actually feel. But I find that when I’m more honest with people, there are fewer walls and less separating us from really understanding each other.
When you are most honest, you show who you really are. You show how you really feel, what you really think, what is really happening in your life.
Of course, we need to practice discernment with whom we open up to. It is best to start with small steps. I’m not going to encourage you to pour out all your life’s regrets to a stranger. But to grow closer to someone, you need to open up some and go outside your comfort zone.
You might be telling yourself, “If I open up and share how I’m really feeling when my friend asks, she won’t care. She won’t want me to bother her with all that stuff.”
Try flipping it around. How would you feel about a friend opening up to you? I, for one, would feel honored that she would ask me for advice.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 5:2 (ESV)
Christians are called to bear each other’s burdens.They should be ready to help each other with whatever they are going through.
We should always go to the Lord first with our burdens, though. Our true Friend is Christ. God should be the center of every Christian friendship because He is the one who gives us our friendships in the first place.
Friendships are gifts from God.
I had a unique experience in a Bible study once. The lady leading it put out paper cards on the table. Every card had a name from the Bible and its meaning. Each of the girls in the Bible study picked whatever card stood out to her.
After we had all chosen our cards, we took turns saying why we had chosen it. We could have just said that the name sounded nice, or something little like that, but as we shared why we chose those names, each girl shared a little piece of herself as well. One girl chose the name “Hagar,” meaning “stranger,” and told us how she often felt like somebody on the outside looking in.
I hadn’t known these girls for long, but when they opened up, I felt like this was a special place. These were real people who had real problems. They were people I could trust with my inner burdens.
Sometimes you may feel like you’re the only one who could ever understand what you’re going through. But really, on the inside, other people aren’t that different. And when friends open up to each other, there is an understanding between them that you wouldn’t find any other way.
When we meet people we can trust, they are gifts that God has given us. It is God who gives us every opportunity we have to make a friendship. He calls us to sit by the girl who is all alone or talk to the girl nobody is talking to.
I know you have somebody in mind. Try opening up; God might give you a special friendship that will bless you for years to come.