I remembered what I was writing about the other night when my computer ate my entire post. I was recalling the talk given by Lisa Whelchel at the Women of Faith conference. (Lisa played Blair on “The Facts of Life”, which anyone around my age will remember as a sweet, predictable sitcom about teenage girls in a boarding school.)
The Sunday after the Women of Faith conference ended, our Community Group teacher (that’s Sunday School for all you normal people) asked the women in the class to share the one thing that impacted each the most. As I considered my answer, I was surprised to realize that it wasn’t something from my favorite speaker of the conference, Patsy Clairmont. I LOVE Patsy. She is just a tiny package of wonderful. I want to put her in my pocket and take her home with me so she can be my friend. She is funny and honest and wise and smart and interesting and so funny (I know I said funny twice. She’s that funny.)
But my time of greatest impact wasn’t any of the times Patsy spoke. It was the one time Lisa spoke. She talked about realizing as an adult that although she had lots of people she knew, who liked her, she had no deep, real friendships. She described the process she went through of learning how to be a friend, how to identify a safe person, how to find potential friends. It resonated with me because I have had very few close friends in my life. I have been blessed with a couple, but they have been rare.
One thing she said that continued to play back in my mind long after she finished her presentation was that someone told her “You’re good at being transparent, but not so much at being vulnerable.” That really struck me. I thought, yes, I have become fairly good at transparency. I open my world up, in my blog, in my Community Group (still Sunday School for those who stick with traditional naming systems), to my friends. But vulnerable? That involves letting people speak into my life. That involves opening up to input. That might mean going beyond the first level of transparency to a deeper level of truth underneath.
It sounds hard, and messy, and scary. It sounds like I might not maintain complete control. I might be, well, vulnerable.
I’m not sure I’m there yet. But I am pretty sure it’s someplace God is taking me, so I’d better get good with it.