Beautiful You Devotional ~ April 2021 / Volume 25

Nobody likes to feel vulnerable. It creates anxiety and feelings of intense fear. It provokes feelings of shame and isolation. To understand it’s impact, I want to share a few definitions that may help us to become aware when we experience vulnerability:

(1) someone in need of special care, support, or protection because of age, disability, or risk of abuse or neglect; (2) able to be easily physically, emotionally, or mentally hurt, influenced, or attacked. It also means exposed or naked. All of these definitions carry a negative connotation because it infers a place of weakness that all of us want to avoid like the plague. A very human reaction and one we should not condemn ourselves for.

Photo by <a href="">Gaelle Marcel</a> on <a href="/s/photos/love?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>

“For the enemy has persecuted my soul;
He has crushed my life to the ground;
He has made me dwell in darkness,
Like those who have long been dead.
Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me;
My heart within me is distressed.”

Psalm 143:3-4

Photo by Ian on Unsplash

The Book of Psalms has been a very comforting place for me for decades because David, in particular, is not afraid to show his weakness, despair and dependency on God. As a matter of fact, he is learning to trust God in every situation he finds himself in. He does not ascribe strength or ability to himself but cries out to God to be his strength, his refuge, his salvation. He understands that there is only one place of safety and security and that is, under the shadow of The Almighty’s wings (Psalm 57:1).

The impact of trauma through abuse, neglect or victimization of any kind leaves us feeling vulnerable. It leaves us full of shame and toxicity to the detriment of our soul. Somehow we feel at fault or we were told or led to believe it was because of our own evil that these things happened to us.

The enemy of our souls loves to take these faulty belief systems and drill them into our psyche until we are left so vulnerable and broken that it can be a challenge literally to get out of bed every day and complete even the simplest task.

We are told many times to “suck it up” “forget the past” “stop talking so negative” and many other statements that undermine the healing process. What a victim needs is not to disregard what happened, but to remember in a safe place. To acknowledge the impact of the abuse and grieve that impact on his/her soul and life.

The grief in these abused and wounded places is very deep and needs to be allowed expression for any healing to come. However, it craves expression is a safe, nurturing environment that won’t condemn the victim but embrace them in all their vulnerability.

Psalm 22:12-20 (NKJV)

“Many bulls have surrounded Me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.
They gape at Me with their mouths,
Like a raging and roaring lion. I am poured out like water,
And all My bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It has melted within Me.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And My tongue clings to My jaws;
You have brought Me to the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They pierced My hands and My feet;
I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me.
They divide My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots. But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me;
O My Strength, hasten to help Me!
Deliver Me from the sword,
My precious life from the power of the dog.”

Journal entries from my healing journey

“My disappointment is still with myself. It seems like every time I turn around I’m disappointed in what I did or didn’t do in my life, marriage, ministry. Everything! It’s like my life has been hit by Hurricane Matthew and I’m still picking up the pieces. Still cleaning up the debris, assessing the damage. I never quite realized there was so much clean up. So much scum under all the debris and mud; things that came in with the flood and the wind.”

I want to elaborate on the the passage above in Psalm 22. Many scholars believe that this passage is a prophetic utterance of the Spirit of God through David as to the crucifixion of Jesus and what he experienced on the cross. I believe that to be true. His words are heartbreaking. You can hear the anguish of his soul as he describes his torturers. There is no more vulnerable image in all of scripture. And it was experienced by our Savoir and Lord, Jesus Christ. No wonder He is called our sympathetic High Priest (Hebrews 4:15).

He does not withhold his anguish from the Father as he is crying out his pain, fear and utter helplessness. He even calls his life, “precious” in verse 20. That’s so beautiful to me because most who’ve been victimized don’t feel that way about themselves at all. He is agonizing over what’s being done to Him and detailing every moment. This is not a sin. It is a model for us who have been wounded. It’s an example of what we are to do when we feel vulnerable. We are to cry out our sorrow to the Lord.

We call out to Him to come sit with us in our pain, acknowledging it’s impact on our souls, relationships and the way we interact in the world. Reaching out to the only Comfort that can heal. Of course, the outcome is not to stay in our pain, but to honor it and give dignity to where we’ve been and the impact on our lives. This doesn’t keep us in our pain, but allows Jesus lordship over it so He can integrate it into a story of redemption not defeat.

Redemption is God’s specialty. Look at Paul. A man who was a murderer, out of ignorance, but became the most revered apostle of the Bible. Look at Hannah. She was not able to bear children and was mocked for it, but she poured out her anguish to God and he gave her a son, who became the most powerful prophet in Israel’s history. God is all about taking the broken things and redeeming them. And he does the same with us!

Don’t fear your vulnerability but acknowledge it, invite God into it and let him redeem it and make it the most beautiful part of your story!

Here are a few ways you can learn to sit with your vulnerability in a place of power not fear.

#1- Know that God is not afraid of your vulnerability neither is he condemning you for it. When you experience feelings of vulnerability or feeling powerless, go to God and ask him to show you “why” you feel this way. Ask Him to reveal the source. Is it a past situation or a current struggle? Write down what He says and include as much detail as possible.

#2- Accept your feelings and yourself for having them. Remember we said before, feelings are indicators that something needs our attention. So give them attention but not power to overcome you.

#3- Lean into God’s strength when you feel vulnerable or when you actually are. How do you do that? You go to His Word and let it comfort and strengthen you. Go back to those scriptures in last week’s devotional (Volume 24). He is your Redeemer and Refuge. He will guard and defend and protect you. (Psalm 91) Trust that He sees you and is for you because He absolutely is!

You’re Arms they are my fortress strong

When arrows fly and the battle’s on

Your Presence be my dwelling place

Where my head is lifted high above my enemies

From HOPE (Poetry by Crisie Hutchings)

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[DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed counselor or therapist of any kind nor is this devotional an attempt to provide those services. The contents and suggestions in this devotional are results of my own personal experience with these issues and are not meant to be professional advice or therapy. This devotional is not a substitute or replacement for regular therapy or the use of mental health resources. If the content here causes triggers, please see your regular mental health professional. Any content applied to your life along with any consequences is of your own volition.]

[If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, available 24/7. or visit ]

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Copyright (C) 2021 Crisie Hutchings. All rights reserved.

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