My husband likes to joke that I stalked him and he saw me hiding in the bushes. Literally, that has NEVER happened. Metaphorically though, I probably go into hiding more often than I even realize. Vulnerability is scary!
I haven’t tried too hard to hide my vulnerabilities on this blog (I’ve written about it here, and here), but even so, many of them remain hidden. Vulnerability hurts. And who of us really wants to show our brokenness?
We all have some level of brokenness though. Even if you can’t think of any negative events in your past, your own sinful nature creates a cycle of “naked, afraid, and hiding.” We simply all fall into that cycle. We can even read the first instance of this as early as the third chapter of the Bible. When Adam and Eve decided to eat the forbidden fruit, they were immediately aware of their own brokenness and vulnerability. They were scared of God, even though they had walked with him before this moment. Instead of facing Him, they covered themselves with leaves and hid in the bushes.
While the message of Adam and Eve is certainly specifically about the fall of man, there is a lesson that goes even beyond the fall – when we’re aware of our vulnerability, we become fearful and want to hide.
How Vulnerability in Marriage Leads to Greater Intimacy
Vulnerability is defined as “being open for injury.” It doesn’t mean that injury must occur, but simply that you are not trying to protect yourself from being hurt. If someone had told me, “you’re going to feel vulnerable in marriage,” I wouldn’t have believed it. And, since I didn’t know this truth, I wasn’t really prepared for the emotions that I felt on my wedding day. Especially not the feelings of “I’m not enough.”
My “not enough” moment came as my mom, my Aunt and my bridesmaids left the room one-by-one, and I stood alone for the first time that day looking at myself in the mirror. Instead of feeling beautiful (as I had always heard every woman does on her wedding day) I began to pick apart every piece of myself.
I thought: “Look at my hair! I shouldn’t have dyed it last week. It’s way too dark. And it doesn’t even look that primped. And my make-up! Why’d I choose to do it on my own? My arms are insanely skinny! And this dress. Why’d I choose this one? I can’t believe we spent so much money on a dress that doesn’t even look good.”
At that time, I had a history of feeling like I didn’t make the mark somehow. It affected my relationship with others and my relationship with God. But on this day, it made me question if my soon-to-be husband was actually going to go through with this.