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Vulnerability is a Strength

Updated: May 4, 2023


There are a few ways of looking at vulnerability, and for me, all of them require courage and risk. It's something I value and cherish in other people and in the relationships of my life, and each time I see it (or feel it) in others, I usually end up having coffee with that person.


But, growing up in the Western Suburbs of Sydney was not a place for vulnerability; there, it was a weakness. At the age of 11, I was beaten up by a local boy. I don't remember the cause of the fight, but I do remember fleeing from him when I realized I could not fight. My bloodied nose gave away the evidence of the punch... but to my parents... I fell off my bike. I was too ashamed to admit I had been in a fight and way too ashamed to admit I had lost. Vulnerable is what I felt, and I did not like it at all... I wanted to hide... This great arena of life was not what I expected.


Tomorrow, I'm releasing my second book, Three Trees. It's not like Eden's Blueprint, as this one is fiction, but there are still those same intense feelings of vulnerability and a powerful desire to run and hide. The encouragement I gained from so many of you from writing my first book has been the momentum behind writing the second. You all have given me the courage to step back into this arena of life again.


It takes a lot of hard work to bring a book into being. From the birth of an idea to the time needed to write. I needed to believe I have a story others want to hear. Then there's the huge task of bringing it to production. There were moments in this process when I doubted every aspect of this journey. It has been a vulnerable space for me that has taken a choice to risk something and then a choice to be courageous.


So, where did I learn it, and how have I found it to be a strength rather than a weakness?


To tell you the whole story would be a long blog, if not a book in itself! But let's just say... it took courage to be seen.


Vulnerability became a thing when I found myself, like Adam and Eve, hiding from the failures of my life. It took love to draw me out of those places. Love became the most powerful invitation for me to look at myself again. It took time, and it took me learning to trust God, others, and myself again (maybe I never really trusted myself anyway).


Invitations into a relationship with someone, for me, are always tested and always a little bit risky. I want to know the person I'm hanging out with is prepared to share at a level similar to me. I want to know if the person can be trusted with what I share and won't run away when my story is laid bare.


So, today I sit in front of my computer, and my thoughts are wondering about the launching of Three Trees. It's fiction, but it's very much my story. From start to finish, it is my story. It is the way I interact with God (aka the Designer), the way I interact with Trish, my children, and my friends. But even beyond all of that, it is the way I interact with myself... Have I been true to myself? Have I been honest and genuine? Have I been vulnerable?


There are other thoughts ... will the book sell? Will it be critiqued harshly? Will anyone even want to read it? They're all there, and they're real. But at the heart of it is a person who is inviting you to see me.


May my story give you the permission you may have lacked to step back into the arena and believe in yourself once again. My friends, we were not designed nor made to run and hide when failure happens, or we make mistakes. We were made to love and be loved, and sometimes, that takes an enormous amount of courage.


Here's a little truth I have found out about vulnerability... love is manifest when we choose to open our hearts in safe places. It is in this truth I have discovered the power of Jesus' love. I have seen it restore, heal, and redeem (and that's just my story).


An 11-year-old boy had no idea of what lay ahead of him, but running from his fears and worrying about what people would think of him... only created hiding places and not safe places.


For me, tomorrow is a day to come out of hiding and allow my story to be seen, and hopefully, you will see the brilliance of the Designer in and through it all ❤️


Matt



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