On my route to Target (love that place!), there’s a giant sky blue billboard for the Better Business Bureau that declares simply, “Start with Trust.” That’s a great slogan for the BBB, but for almost anything else in life, especially relationships, such a difficult thing to do. Those three simple words got me thinking about all the things I place my trust in…airplanes, my deep freeze, my hair stylist, my husband, God, and a few sweet friends. The more I thought about it I realized that I put my trust in objects much more easily than I do people, and sometimes, even God. With people, the stakes are so much higher, and the potential for hurt so much greater. If my hair stylist lets me down and I end up with a mullet–it grows out (I would probably cry every day until it does, but it would grow!) So far, with each of my many trips in an airplane, I’ve arrived at my destination in one piece (although there were a few trips with Air India that I wondered). And when my deep freeze was on the fritz and I ended up with a bunch of rotten meat, I was bummed out, but we replaced it. However, when a friend that I’ve trusted breaks that trust–it hurts, and it’s not something that I can easily fix. But trust is the starting point of any relationship where we can be honest, transparent, and vulnerable; and if we never get to that point in our relationships we risk never experiencing all that God has for us.
Vulnerability, or it’s cousin–authenticity, is something that everyone craves–I know I do. But craving it and achieving it are two very different things. In my experience, you have to first give it to receive it, and that’s hard to do. It’s never easy to lay your heart out in front of another person. However, nearly every time that I’ve been honest and vulnerable God has used it to help someone else–and often times that person is me. There’s so much freedom in realizing we don’t have to be perfect, because none of us are! I think it would be great if we started creating a culture in our circles of influence where people are free to be vulnerable and honest without fear of judgment or rejection, and instead, they would know that as they share their struggles we’ll be there to encourage them and cheer them on on their journey. We need each other, and we need each other to be real!