Throughout my life, people have always encouraged me to be vulnerable. The idea of which is simple – open up with others and share what you are feeling. However, just because it is a simple idea certainly does not mean that it is easy. But vulnerability is worth it.
As I spent the month of June in Ethiopia and Kenya with Young Life, I found myself feeling an array of emotions and sharing those emotions with my Expeditions teams and the local Young Life staff. This led to the start of some incredible friendships. For instance, when club ended at a Young Life camp in Kenya and everyone in the clubroom left to go spend 15 minutes with Jesus, a boy fainted. A few people from my Expeditions team stayed composed and began preparing to take the boy to the nearest hospital, as he remained unconscious. I, however, was not composed. I was incredibly scared and immediately began gathering the rest of the team to pray. We prayed and we wept, and I felt truly vulnerable as I pleaded to the Lord that the boy would be okay. I felt vulnerable as I cried with others that I did not know well, but I was terrified that the boy would not make it. I was scared for the boy’s life. I began asking myself all kinds of questions. How could he have passed out? How hard did he hit the floor? My Expeditions teammates and I prayed, and then we prayed some more. However, in the midst of everything, I suddenly felt a sense of peace. I knew that the boy’s health was in the Lord’s hands and that my God was present amongst us. A few hours later, we received word that the boy regained consciousness and he had a severe case of Malaria, which had caused him to fall unconscious.
Prayers were answered. Friendships within my Expeditions team were strengthened. The Lord had used our fear and vulnerabilities to draw us closer to Him and each other.
There is something so beautiful about praying to the Lord with others because it encourages vulnerability to speak to God in the presence of our peers, which is why it is so amazing that the Lord promises he will be amongst us when we gather to pray in His name.