Getting to the root of Connection

“Connection is the one thing that gives people meaning,”, says New York Times best selling author Brene Brown, “It’s the one thing everyone is driven by.”

But what if you don’t feel connected. What if you are uncomfortable letting people really get to know you. Shining a light on this might just set you free.

Shame is the answer. Shame keeps people disconnected because shame says there is something wrong with me and if someone gets to know me too well they might uncover it. If they uncover all that is wrong with me I will be unworthy of a relationship with them. It looks at the things culture values and says I am not that and i fear you’ll figure it out if you get to know me too well. It keeps us alone and imprisoned.

Dr. Brown found that those who walk out of shame have one thing in common. Vulnerability! Vulnerability breaks the power of shame. Vulnerability says I love you before you say you love me.

You are able to be vulnerable when you understand and feel a deep sense of love for yourself. A deep sense that you ARE worthy.

Dr. Brown also discovered that those who were vulnerable were also courageous. The latin word for cour means heart. Being courageous with others is telling the story of who you are with your whole heart.

The last quality those who came out of shame shared was authentic. Being able to let go of who you should be for who you really are.

God created us all exactly how he wanted us to be. We are not created perfect, but flawed intentionally. It is in our brokenness that we need God most. This is when we seek him.

When we understand God’s story and how much he loves us, we are free to love ourselves the same way. In this freedom, we become courageous, vulnerable and authentic.

Following the Nudge

The book of Ruth is such a great example of how God blesses us when we partner with him, listen to his still small voice and follow his “nudge”.

Ruth has lost her husband and find herself in a place in life when she has a really big choice to make.  Does she follow Naomi, her mother-in-law, back to Judah, to a strange far away land or does she stay in Moab where she is comfortable and her surroundings are familiar.  Gosh, how many times in life are we faced with  huge life changing decisions like these?

Ruth ponders this decision and decides to go with Naomi.  She even goes so far as to say, “Where you go, I go and Where you die, I die”! Wow! very powerful statements and  quite frankly a very powerful commitment on her part.  Ruth stands firm in her decision and is clearly convinced this is the way she should go.  In the end she meets her prince charming and soulmate, Boaz.  A wonderful man who marries her and literally sweeps her off her feet.

Ruth clearly felt the Holy Spirit leading her and in the end was truly blessed.  She dared to go outside her comfort zone, dared to get off “her mat” and make a move.

There are so many mysteries about God and heaven while we are here on earth.  One day we hope to find out so many answers, but for now on earth one thing we do have is testimony.

When I was in my mid twenties, I found myself single, yet yearning to find my one true love, my soulmate.  On a trip home to Florida, I shared this with my mom and we went and prayed with her dear friend and bible study leader, Jackie.  Jackie sat across from me at lunch and held my hands as she prayed the most beautiful prayer.  In the end she asked the Lord to show me my Boaz.

I returned to Atlanta where I was working.  I was in a routine, working at my dream job in journalism and very content.  Shortly after my return though, I started to feel “the nudge”.  At the time I did not connect this to God working in my life, but as I look back I can see he was there working the whole time.  I have no doubt in my mind that he heard my cry and Jackie’s prayer loud and clear.

I stood on the second floor of Phipps Plaza in Atlanta and announced to my friend Gail that I was moving to Dallas, TX..  Now, I had hardly been to Dallas.  I had driven through one time on a long cross country road trip, but I had hardly spent time there.

But, I knew that I knew that I knew I was supposed to move to Dallas,  It was all of a sudden this crystal clear feeling or “nudge” I felt.

Long story short, I gave my 2 week notice to CNN Interactive and loaded up my black lab Marley and off we went o Dallas.  I moved in with my good friend Erin and her new husband and eventually found a job and a new apartment and started my new life in Dallas.

Two and a half years later I met my Boaz, my one true love.  I was walking in from dinner with my friend Laura and walked literally right into him as he was leaving his apartment.  You see, he lived two doors down from the condo I had just moved into one month earlier.  The condo that I knew the first time I laid eyes on it I was supposed to move into.

One and a half years later we were married.

It was in the surrender.  The surrender of letting go and letting God that God was able to move in my life.  To lead me to my Boaz, my love.