Readers of my book, Chasing My Father, have commented that they are surprised that I am so honest about my shortcomings and my sins because it makes me “vulnerable.” They’re concerned that I’m, “open to moral attack, criticism, or temptation, capable of being wounded or hurt.”
Earlier versions of my book were written as a novel, where my life was lived by a character named Katie. On a weeklong meditative trip in the summer of 2012, I realized that it was my life, wounds and all, and the book became a memoir, revealing my deep dark secrets that only God and I had known.
It’s true I’ve made some very poor choices in my life, including two marriages. It’s not that I regret being married, but I wasn’t married to the person that God intended. We shared common interests and had fun together, but when life became difficult, we found that we didn’t share the same God. I’m not proud of other actions in my life, or how insecurities drove me to be judgmental and treat others with an air of superiority.
But is repentance really complete if we don’t reach deep down into ourselves and root out the idols that are occupying the space in our hearts intended only for God?
C.S. Lewis writes in The Four Loves: "To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”
Some readers may attack me for poor decision-making and using others to gain what I wanted. I’ll look forward to having that discussion with them and take personal responsibility for my actions. Some will judge me forever, casting me off as a “poor example.” But then there will be others who want to talk with me about the grace and mercy that we receive through Christ. I could only receive Christ’s love when I was willing to admit my vulnerability.
I’m okay with being vulnerable, because I want to love again.
(click below for MP3 file)