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The results of being vulnerable...Part 1

Earlier this week I blogged about vulnerability and how painfully difficult it is, yet how much peace and freedom you receive by shedding light in the darkest of darknesses.

With this in mind, I have recently made a conscious effort to push myself outside of my comfort zone in respect to sharing my story, specifically to those closest to me. I kind of feel like this has been coming in stages for me...

First was my family. By "family", I do not define that as my closest blood relatives, I definite it as the people closest to me, my inner circle, who I believe God brought into my life with great purpose. This was not easy, but because Monica and I share this journey, there was some comfort for both of us in knowing that we were not alone and not being judged by those who we love.

Second was starting this website/blog and sharing our stories with you. For me, this was actually the easier stage because there is a certain amount of anonymity being a faceless story. The harder part was that I told myself that if I was going to do this, truly give my all to the blog, that I had to be 100% honest, even at the expense of drudging up the really painful/raw/shameful parts of my past. The ones that I had suppressed for so long that brought so many negative emotions. A huge blessing in this stage continues to be the freedom and peace that I receive every time I make a new blog or see that someone new has visited the website. Hopefully the pain that I have gone through can be a light to someone else who is struggling.

That brings me to the third stage, expanding my inner circle. Being vulnerable to whoever reads my blog online was such a HUGE step, but I knew that in order to continue my own personal healing/growth living with BD, I had to make a bigger commitment. I kept pushing off this stage because I was getting to a comfortable place with my anonymity. If you read Tuesday's blog, you read one of my favorite mantra's from my friend Adam, "You have to get comfortable being uncomfortable". Dang it. I preach this to people all the time, and now I had to start practicing it again myself. So I did...

I looked at my inner circle and realized that it is larger than I gave it credit for. Bobby and I have been blessed with finding what we consider to be our "church home". In it, our inner circle has expanded to include some of the most loving, accepting and exceptional people we have ever met. "Why have I not shared this part of my life with some of these people?" Well, simply, it was fear. I KNEW that these people wouldn't judge me for this, but it was an entirely different level of vulnerability for me. I see these people socially, fellowship with them, have strong friendships with them...this was not going to be faceless vulnerability, this was just plain "out in the open, I know who you are, I pass you in the hallway kind of vulnerability". These are our friends, some who have quickly become our closest and best friends...and this was a hard pill to swallow.

With Adam's quote in mind, I wrote an email to one of our pastors and his wife and two of our closest, best friends from church. I had the emails sitting in my outbox for hours. I wavered back and forth pondering whether this was just TOO vulnerable. Finally, I threw caution to the wind and hit send. I heard the familiar "swoosh" sound of a sent email and knew that there was no turning back...

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