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Wholehearted Living

I was recently sitting with my discipler when she introduced me to the idea that honesty and vulnerability are two completely different things. If you had asked me prior to this conversation, I would have 100% admitted that I am a very vulnerable person. For the first time in my life, I am realizing vulnerability is hard for me.

The truth is, I will be honest all day long. I will be honest about the good, bad, and the ugly all day long and sometimes even a little TOO honest. It doesn’t bother me to speak up and speak my mind, so for these reasons I thought I was always living a vulnerable life. Vulnerability, though, is found in the deep places. The places we cover and hide so we can appear to be stronger than we are. One google search led me to “vulnerable people are not afraid of negative emotions”.

Recently, I have also been introduced to this term called “avoidance” and that puts language to what I have been doing to protect myself from being vulnerable. I have avoided being vulnerable with my community, my closest friends, my husband, but most importantly myself.

You see, I will be honest all day long, but in the name of honesty I have always felt guilty for having feelings of disappointment or anger aka “negative emotions”, because in the grand scheme of things the Lord has done so much good in my life. He has saved me, redeemed me, restored me, forgiven me. He has done far more than I ever deserve. Considering all He has done, this feeling of gratitude kept me from allowing myself to feel negative emotions. I had thoughts of, “well I am disappointed in some areas of my marriage, but I know God is in control and I just need to suck it up and be a thankful wife” or “I am angry I have to set firm boundaries and distant myself from a family member, but I am so thankful for God’s protection so I will just be thankful instead”.

And while, gratitude is a great thing, I have learned I don’t have to choose gratitude over disappointment or thankfulness over anger. They can actually coexist. The reality is, God wants to be with us in all aspects of our emotions. He isn’t proud of us in the midst of our joy and let down by us when we feel angry. He actually wants to share in the joy of gratitude and thankfulness while also sharing in the burden of anger and disappointment.

When recently, thinking of how I needed to take my anger and disappointment to the Father, I got really mad. It just felt exhausting and annoying, because carrying our negative emotions to Him isn’t just a one time thing, it will be something I will have to do on a regular basis for the rest of my life. After processing through why I was mad, I realized that every single time I have previously taken my negative emotions to the feet of Jesus, He is always so quick to comfort me. Through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, I do feel like I was mad because it is easier for me to avoid and not feel that I have to work through these negative emotions with Him. It is hard, because the anger and disappointment don’t always immediately go away, but I do know without a doubt that He cares about the pain I am feeling and He is with me in the midst of it. He is there to provide His reckless love and tender mercy.

I think as women, in the midst of our responsibilities, it is so easy to shove down those negative emotions and just keep moving forward in life. But I am here to challenge you, just as a friend challenged me, don’t go another week shoving down or moving past those emotions that you are carrying. Allow the Lord to sweep in and pick you up and place your feet back on solid ground.

Let’s be women who are not just honest but who are also vulnerable and real with where we are at because that is truly wholehearted living.


Ashlyn Vance is on the Creative Team at The Radiant Faith Project and serves as one of our Content Creators! She's originally from Alabama but currently resides in Greenville, SC with her husband, Dylan and dog, Remy. Ashlyn never viewed herself as a creative person until she started digging deeper into her identity in God. She realized the truth is that we're all creative because our Father is the Creator. The past couple of years the Lord has opened doors for her skills in content creation to be refined under talented leaders. In her free time she likes reading, hiking, and being outdoors.

1 comment

1 commentaire

Dacy Lee
Dacy Lee
05 juil. 2022

So good! Thank you for this reminder. May we be women who “cast all our cares on Him”…- knowing that we do this because “He cares for us”. 1 Peter 5:7

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