I would venture to say that most women want to be seen by others as strong women full of courage and strength. After all, God made us to be nurturers and fixers. We become the wife that is there in every way possible for her husband. If children join our family, we become mothers who spend years leading, loving, and training them.

But when our husband dies, our whole world is shaken and the dimensions of it all changes. Vulnerability enters our life like never before. We fight it pretending that we are not that woman who cannot deal with what has been throw at us. We’ve always been able to handle everything in our lives with God’s help. So what reason do we have now to allow ourselves to succumb to vulnerability?

I tried this for the first six months after Bob died. Inside I was so crushed and broken and my heart was deeply hurting every waking minute with what I call that deep, deep soul pain. Finally, I came to the point where I couldn’t pretend to be a super widow any longer. I succumbed to the wave of grief. At first it took me under and kept me under. After awhile it kicked me up to the crest of the wave where I was able to gasp and take in some air. There were times when it threw me up on the sand where I laid completely exhausted until the wave came back inland snatching me back.

I reached out to get help from a licensed Christian psychologist who helped me see that vulnerability is not a bad thing. God was not disappointed in me for being human and experiencing human emotions. It was ok to cry as often as I needed to even if I break down in front of others. It was alright for me to be insecure and afraid. It was normal for me to feel as if I were living in a strange country where no one understood my language. It was okay that my mind was in such a fog that I was easily overwhelmed and could not even concentrate to read my Bible. There was nothing wrong with me questioning God. For a long time I wasn’t even able to pray.

As this time of vulnerability has gone on, I am learning many new things about who I really am as a person – things I never knew about myself. All my life I have strived to be as perfect as I could possibly be. Do you know how much pressure and stress that put on me? I tried my best to be everything my husband and my daughters needed, but I could never be all I wanted to be. Now I realize that I don’t have the capability to reach perfection and meet the needs in my family members lives. And you know what? That’s truly okay. I can be vulnerable.

Vulnerability is helping me get to know God in a whole different way than I believe I could have ever known Him otherwise. I am much more sensitive to His voice. I am so much more aware of His blessings than ever before. My belief that I am not walking alone in the land of widowhood is stronger because somehow my belief that God is really walking with me has gone from head knowledge to heart truth.

Are you willing to allow yourself to be vulnerable? How has vulnerability made positive changes in your life?

2 responses

  1. I opened my eyes this morning and just like all other mornings did not want to get up. I always talk to God before I ever get out of bed and today I just confessed to Him that I don’t think He is enough anymore. I was frightened by that thought because I know the dangers of turning our backs on God but I had to be honest. I decided to get online and see what would come up when I googled, “God is not enough”. I immediately came to this site and began reading your June 6, 2012 post. When I saw the reference to Larry Crabb, I knew God had led me here. I have been reading, for the third time, his book, “Inside Out”. I highly recommend this to all christians. Although I am divorced instead of widowed, I related to all that you said. I have no one in my life that I can relate to or that says the words I need to hear. Thank you so much for these posts. I have received comfort from them. God sends what we need for each day and we are not to be worried about tomorrow but it is so hard. I have spent my whole life trying to “get it right” only to realize through MUCH pain, that I can’t do anything right. I, like you, wonder how much more pain do I have to endure? A quote that I came across recently said, “God did not come to take away our pain but to carry us through it”. As humans we want the pain to stop but from my experience, the more you seek God, the harder this life is. If we did not suffer, we wouldn’t see our need for God and could never relate to a suffering world. Everything is for our good and His Glory!


    • Hi Janice. There was certainly nothing wrong with telling God how you felt this morning. He knows our thoughts anyway. I understand your feelings of God not being enough. It’s hard because we want a physical God with skin on whose arms we can feel around us. We want to hear A physical voice comforting us. And God knows that. After all, He made us this way.

      Thank you for stepping up and not being afraid to share your thoughts and your heart. If God used something in one of my posts to help you today, I am so thankful.

      I can remember during the first year of grief how I would ask “When is this pain going to stop??!!” It was such a deep, deep soul pain like I had never before experienced in my life. My Christian psychologist said, “What’s the rush?” It took me a long time to understand his answer, but now I see how much that pain has changed my life and how God is usng it to make me more aware of Him making our relationship much deeper.

      May I suggest a grief CD for you to purchase and listen to every day? My counselor recently suggested it to me and I have found it to be very healing and helpful. There are 3 parts: an introduction, an imagery exercise and words of affirmation. I listened to the whole thing the first time. Now I listen to either the imagery section or the words of affirmation section every day. Pick a time when you can relax, close your eyes and there will be no interruptions. You are grieving and I believe this could help you in that process. It is called “A Meditation to Ease Grief” by Belleruth Naparstek. You can order it at Amazon.

      Thank you for reading and for being vulnerable, Janice.


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