Lessons Learned in Helping Others: Becoming Vulnerable Can Help Heal Pain – part 1


Often when we go through difficult things we pull inward and become more guarded. We want to protect ourselves from more hurt and pain. Although it is counterintuitive, I have found that making myself vulnerable has helped to heal my pain. 

A friend of mine shared this thought on a Widow/widower’s Facebook group.

“Living a life of purpose, mission or service can be intense, sometimes heartbreaking and exhausting, and at the same time enormously fulfilling.” 

This statement hit the nail right on the head for me. The things that I have been recently experiencing as I try to reach out and help others fall under the categories of ‘intense,’ ‘heartbreaking,’ and ‘exhausting.’  Yet, despite it all, they bring me great fulfillment and joy. I have come to realize that all of these emotions mean I’m doing it right. I remind myself of quote I had in my room as a teenager.  It says, 

 “I never said it would be easy… I only said it would be worth it.” 

Worth it, it is in the long run, even though in the moment we may not feel that to be the case.  I personally believe that before we came to earth, we signed up to do hard things.  We did it for two reasons…

  1. We wanted to learn how to become better…more like Christ.
  2. We loved and wanted to help those we love.

When I was struggling with the heartbreaking and exhausting part in one particular situation, I prayed for extra guidance. This was the thought that came in my mind after that prayer, and I wrote it down.

 “Don’t be afraid of the pain you must go through.    It will teach you the empathy that you need to learn.” 


To me, this realization opened my eyes to feeling pain. 
It helped me to…
 accept it, 
understand it, 
and find purpose in it.

Christ wept for those he served.  He put his whole heart into his work.  I realized that I couldn’t hold back love because of fear of being hurt.  The only way to really influence someone and make a change is to unconditionally care about them. 

Caring opens us up to potential hurt, 
but caring creates faith in the person we are serving. 

As they feel our love for them, they will remember and become confident in God’s love for them.  As we trust them they will gain confidence to make those changes. Sometimes people are so broken that they don’t know what to believe in. They no longer believe in themselves or in the love that God has for them. They feel unworthy of that love, and some may even choose to believe that it does not exist. 

Sometimes they wonder if they’re worth saving. 
They need someone to believe in them so they can start to believe. 
It opens a place in their heart for it to grow. 
It opens up the opportunity for change.

When people don’t make those changes and choose to pull away, it can hurt.  To combat this, we have to trust that God loves them too.  His hand is stretched out still. He will find ways to bring them back. 

Sometimes we simply have to keep caring,
choose not to get offended and hurt,
keep encouraging,
keep expressing trust and confidence in them,
and wait patiently.