Alive. Joyful. Fulfilled.

Today was SUCH a grace-filled day, that I just HAVE to write a post about it! The purpose of this blog is to share little ways in which I see beauty in the world, and today just hit me in the face with beauty! And so, we have this post. :)

Although there are countless numbers of beautiful places and things in the world, there is really nothing as beautiful as the human person. I am continually reminded of this, but I was especially struck by this today, after really good conversation with household sisters. It is easy to be inspired by breathtaking scenery or an intricate painting. However, nothing is quite as deeply inspiring as making a connection with another person. I don’t know about you, but the moments in my life when I feel most alive, most joyful, and most fulfilled are after I have really solid conversations with other people. It just gets me so excited about life! And that is exactly what happened tonight when I was talking to my household sisters over dinner. We were just sharing our hearts, talking about life, learning more about each other, laughing a lot, and growing as sisters. We were all completely present to each other and I believe truly grew closer together this evening. And so as I take a step back to think about this beautiful encounter, it made me wonder… what was it about this conversation that made it so beautiful? I mean, I have numbers of conversations a day, but honestly, they aren’t always life-giving. What I came up with is that it ultimately comes down to…

Vulnerability.

This can be such an uncomfortable topic for many people. Sometimes just hearing it can send shivers down spines. But honestly it is absolutely necessary in life. At least, it is necessary for truly encountering beauty. And I honestly feel that this was a factor in the beauty I experienced this evening. If we hadn’t been willing to become a little bit vulnerable with each other tonight, the conversation wouldn’t have gone past silly jokes and surface topics. It is so easy to have a conversation with anyone about surface level things. I can easily talk to a stranger about the weather, classes, or jobs. But this type of conversation is not satisfying at the level of the heart. We were created for community. God wants us to be in communion with each other. Even God Himself is a Trinity of Persons in one God. Even God is in community. It only stands to reason that we would feel most alive when in true communion with those around us. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable with each other, we share a part of our hearts. We grow together in community. If we do not allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we will stay isolated. No one enjoys being lonely. It is contrary to who we are as people. But on that same note, there is a battle going on for our souls. Satan tries to isolate us and take us farther away from each other so that he is able to speak lies to our hearts. It is much easier to fall standing alone than standing together. And God knew this and made our hearts in such a way that we seek community, we seek union with each other, and we feel most fully ourselves when we receive that.

With that said, vulnerability is hard. Opening your heart does not just mean the possibility of communion, but also the possibility of getting hurt. However, this is tricky. If we do not open our hearts in vulnerability to each other, we won’t receive the community that we seek, but if we do open our hearts we will most likely get hurt at one point or another. C.S. Lewis once said, “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal.” With that said, we have a decision to make. The beauty we find in other people is very much linked to love. If we love, we will get hurt at one point or another. We have to decide if we are willing to make this choice to open our hearts and receive beauty and love through community. It is what our hearts crave, but it is our decision. Take the risk.

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