I pull on my bathing suit and slather SPF 50 all over my Casper-white skin; the whole while I rub in sun protection, I’m thinking about how unprotected I really feel.
No bathing suit covers up my Cabbage Patch Kid-like knees or diminishes my sturdy girl thighs. Smelling like coconut, I slip on my flip flops and pull my cover up down over these knees as far as I can.
The beach in south Florida, however, is littered with women who do not seem to care about their protection. Though some of their bodies are larger than mine, their bathing suits are smaller, cut narrower and scoop lower.
They’re exposed and they could care less what other people think. In the same moment that my thoughts are critical of their poor choices, I’m impressed by their confidence to be so exposed.
Yet, I realize that we all crave exposure, the freedom to be authentic and real with ourselves and with others and to be wholly accepted without fear of critique and judgment.
As broken vessels, our cracks and holes, our dark places and pain feel too ugly. No one would want to see them, to hear about our scars or even perhaps love us in spite of them.
But, He whispers in my ear and says
I’m in the cracks.
Exposing our weaknesses can bring about freedom from the dark places; the ones whose voices we attempt to keep at bay with busyness. Stillness can bring rest, but it can also make those voices louder, the lies more pronounced as the noise of doing has quieted.
You can’t do it.
You’re not enough.
Warriors, your scars and your cracks, your hidden secrets and pain, they open you wide to allow the healing blood of Jesus to pour through them.
And, when you expose those holes, you share your story for His glory and encourage others to find freedom, to find community, to find the Light through exposing their own weaknesses.
Be brave to share with those you trust. Tell them what you need and how you’re hurting. Ask them for help and expose those places. I promise you, you will find freedom to heal.
Aren’t we glad that God can still use broken vessels?