Relationships are difficult. Relationships take time, effort, work. Relationships are slow to build yet easy to break. Relationships are at the core of who we are as humans…connection.
My husband and I just celebrated our third anniversary. Our anniversary has caused me to look back, reflect. When we were first getting to know one another it was challenging to be open, vulnerable. Trust had not been built. We liked each other, but we didn’t trust one another fully.
I can remember a specific time when that all started to change. When trust in our relationship was built.
It was a beautiful late spring evening. We walked side by side along a river trail. The trees were full of lush green leaves. Cars hummed in the distance. Water trickling over rocks. We walked. We talked. Over ten miles. Until the sun found its place under the horizon and the stars shone in glory.
Yes, we walked. We talked. That evening I tested trust. I opened my heart sharing the dark places of my past. Places that were painful to tread, places I wasn’t proud of. At the end of that walk. As we stood ready to enter our separate vehicles I shook inside with fear. Realizing this could be goodbye forever. He wrapped his long arms around me. Embraced me like never before, held me tight. Despite my uglys he stayed, he held. Trust. I knew then that I could trust him.
As I followed the yellow lines home I realized I had just experienced Jesus through my friend. The tenderness. The compassion. My friend and now husband showed Jesus Christ through his actions. Not only did I grow in trust with my future husband that night I grew in my trust with the Lord.
I have often heard the questions: How can you be vulnerable with people? How can you be open and set yourself up for hurt?
It doesn’t always end as beautifully as it did that spring evening. It doesn’t always look that neat. However, how can I not? How can I not take the chance?
It’s a question we all have to ask ourselves. Is it worth building trust? Is it worth finding love? Is it worth experiencing some pain to have love and joy?
Jesus chose to experience pain. Jesus chose to be vulnerable in order to have a relationship with us? Was His price worth it?
Relationships are difficult. Human relationships are not and never will be perfect. Even though these are true the glimpses that they bring are priceless. That spring evening I will always remember. Not only because of what it did in my relationship with my now husband but even more what it did in my relationship with my God.
Bridges are built through vulnerability. Trust. Love.
Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ESV
1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. NKJV
Ephesians 4:1-3 Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. NLT