Moms with Cancer: Day Six

be vulnerable

By Niki Hardy


I’m a Brit with a stiff and immaculately bleached upper lip, strong is what we do and I can keep calm and carry on with the best of them when the going gets tough, but you know what? I’ve discovered Americans aren’t so different. Brought up on a diet of a sound work ethic and the belief you can be and achieve anything if you work hard enough, the US default is often to batten down the hatches and just-keep-going in a crisis. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place for strong for sure but our strength can also be our biggest weakness. 

While in a morphine induced haze and on a drug induced high, I proudly lifted my green hospital gown to show off my surgery staples and new ostomy bag to our friends who’d come to see me, and to be honest, we’re still arguing about who was more horrified by my behavior – them, me or the poor nurse who walked in on the whole thing!

So I’ve learned the hard way that over sharing isn’t the same thing as vulnerability. I can assure you bemoaning the gory details of your colonoscopy to the lady on the check out or posting pictures of the results on Facebook, is not being vulnerable and won’t bring us love and understanding when we need it most.

However you’re feeling today I want to assure you that you are loved seen and enough.  You are safe to show up with God and in community, just as you are. And with the right people; the people who are for you and with you, you’ll find the joy, belonging, creativity, authenticity and love we all crave. In other words, we’ll start to breathe again.

Suppressed emotions control us while expressed emotions heal and free us and if we want to experience all God has for us in the midst of our darkest todays we must allow Him and others into our most tender places. It’s there we find what we’ve been longing for all along.

Reflection questions: 

  • Take a moment with God and share a few things you’ve been too afraid to tell Him, confident He loves you and there’s nothing you say or do that can change that.

  • Who have you been hiding your feelings from that you’d grow closer to if you shared vulnerably with them today?

  • How might you take some time and be honest with them?

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