I recently completed an insightful book by Dr. Brene Brown entitled, “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.”
It is an important book on vulnerability, transparency, and courageousness—all concepts and gifts that I am trying to hone in on in this particular season of my life and work.
A close sister-friend of mine, who also read the book, recommended it to me because she agreed that I could benefit from this particular narrative and research.
Because we both read the book, we often send each other random messages in the week, that say, “vulnerability is…” and we fill in the blank.
Recently, we laughed when I shared with her, “vulnerability is… me attempting to Parallel Park when people are watching.” We chuckled because we both know that parallel parking is certainly not a skill that I am very good at, let alone, when people are observing and making me nervous.
Because I find myself fascinated with how the concepts of vulnerability, transparency, and courageousness are illustrated in Brown’s book, I often find myself just thinking inwardly, “vulnerability is…” throughout my day.
Last Sunday, after church service, I went to the grocery store, Walmart to be precise, with what felt like not enough money to cover what I had in my shopping cart. I was trying to accumulate groceries to merely get through the week.
Have you ever been there? — Where you are strategizing not how to experience the week ahead, but how to simply survive the week?
I was budgeting in my mind how to balance the groceries and gas for the week to hold me over until the following Friday: Pay Day. I had a particular figure in my head that I simply could not go over.
Financially, even with working multiple jobs and tithing, things have been tough as of late and the insecurity of potentially not having enough has been incredibly daunting. As I was placing bread, water, and eggs in my shopping cart, I said to myself: “vulnerability is …grocery shopping and being unsure if you have enough to cover your groceries.”
As I was walking to the cashier, in my mind, I played the scenario out of watching the sub-total accumulate and having my debit card decline at the register in front of those behind me.
That crippling thought, led me to say to God in a very assertive and commanding voice, “Don’t embarrass me, God.” Just like that. It was almost as though I was speaking to an unruly child in the middle of the candy aisle. But right away, He responded, “but have I ever?”
I paused for a moment at that truth and courageously walked to the cashier. Even with so many groceries in my cart, not only did the debit card not decline, I managed to stay under the budget that I set out in my mind.
He is not a God of ‘not enough’. God is a God of provisions and abundance. God functions when we are not enough, when we feel as though we don’t have enough. He is always more than enough and He will never leave us hanging.
As I step into a new dimension in my life’s work and ministry, I realize that a part of the reason why I have been going through constant financial hardship in this moment of my life is because God wants to know:
“Sophia, even when you’re down to your last dime… Even when you feel like you don’t have enough and that you are not enough, will you still faithfully answer the call that is on your life?
Will you still serve Me in the same capacity when you are running on empty as you would when you are on full?” My answer is “yes”.
We must understand that many times when we are so afraid of not being adequately covered, healed, provided for, protected, loved [you fill in your blank], it is because we are projecting what we feel about our circumstance onto God.
Nervously anticipating my upcoming Christian book that is extremely transparent and vulnerable, I found myself asking God, “will you cover me in this venture too?” Of course He will.
If He covered me in the midst of my mess, no doubt He will cover me as I deliver His message through the ministry that He has birthed in me. God is like that.
Many of us were conditioned to never question God. But the truth is, because God is God, He can handle our questions. He relishes in us being honest and transparent with Him.
Just know that when we question Him about His inability and unwillingness to be our help, He is often asking us right back, “but have I ever?” “Have I ever let you down?” “Have I ever embarrassed you?” “Have I ever not saved you?” “Have I ever shamed you?” “Have I ever?”
If you feel like you are running on empty and wondering if God is going to do it for you this time, I implore you to lift up this simple prayer:
Dear Gracious God,
Thank You for being my present help. I’m grateful to know that You have my best intentions in mind and at heart, always.
I am thankful that Your plans for me are never to harm me, but to unravel good.
I’m thankful that I can be transparent and vulnerable with you always.
Even when I don’t feel like it, I know that I am courageous simply because Your strength dwells in me.
No matter how I feel, what I have, or don’t have—I know that You remain a God of ‘More than Enough.’
This day is a gift; I don’t want to merely survive it; I want to experience it and find all the joy in it.
In Jesus’ name, I pray.