"I cry out to you, O God, but you do not answer;
I stand up, but you merely look at me."
Vowing to never be vulnerable again---promising myself to be on guard and have my defenses at constant ready, I cast a leery and skeptical eye toward emotional attachment beyond the most superficial. Only lowering the drawbridge over the impenetrable moat filled with doubt and distrust for small children, sweet babies, and my dear sweet women friends. A handful of men are allowed through the side door---mostly those of kin, and a few long time friends. All others are treated with polite but distant arms length wariness.
A sad state, perhaps--but--I am in survivor mode. I am reading Strong Women with Soft Hearts and God is using it to teach me. He knows how I have suffered and He has made promises in His Word concerning those that are afflicted:
"But those who suffer, he delivers in their suffering;
he speaks to them in their affliction.
He is wooing you from the jaws of distress
to a spacious place free from restriction"
His desire is for me to trust Him---with a heart open and vulnerable--to His plans for me. He wants me to look to Him, acknowledge what He has done for me by faithfully loving me and remembering He will provide any balm needed. To be vulnerable is voluntarily place myself in a situation that could bring pain, for the sake of a larger purpose. Open to loving and seeking those He places in my path without regard for the potential of pain---to be used for His good purpose. To remember His promise-
"My heart and my flesh may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
Above all else, I should remember the vulnerability of Jesus--when He chose to live among us--knowing the pain and suffering he would endure. Yet He loved us deeply enough that He endured it all with no immunity from the pain. My skewed notion of strength becomes a puff of smoke in the wind when faced with the reality of a God who made himself know in His vulnerability--clinging neither to beauty nor honor nor power. He became my beacon of trust in a fallen world filled with pain and sorrow. Trust that in my openness to His plans--with the exposure of my heart to the possibility of pain--HE will be glorified.
All I have to do is trust Him--
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."