“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” –C. S. Lewis
This week has proven to be a time of temptation to withdraw and to not be vulnerable. It’s been a hard week, filled with trying times in both my life and some of my closest friends’ lives. Pain, sorrow, and heartbreak have been present. A recurring theme I noticed was the willingness of all of us to be vulnerable and say, “No, I’m not okay, and here’s why.” The support and love to and from each other in our hard times grew us even closer, and I think I can speak for all of us when I say that no, it was not easy being vulnerable and admitting our deep pains. Though difficult, the vulnerability kept us from burying our hearts in the casket C. S. Lewis mentions in the quote I previously mentioned.
Sharing in our struggles presented us with an opportunity to love each other even deeper. For me personally, I was presented with an option: to cast my anxieties on God or run. (1 Peter 5:6-7) I like to ignore problems and pretend like they don’t exist, but from past experience I knew that was not the solution. So I cried to our Wonderful Counselor. A lot. For my struggles and my friends’. None of our problems are quickly solvable, but I try, and sometimes I do struggle, to be thankful for the trials. They bring us closer to our Father. We grow closer together. We learn to be vulnerable. We learn to love and be loved. “To love is to be vulnerable.”
Even in this tough week, I have felt loved by many. Friends and family have supported me emotionally, and even the donations to my mission trip to Ecuador have been more touching than could have been imagined.
Before closing, I have an Ecuador update. First, I want to thank those of you who have donated to my trip. Your thoughtful gifts have been felt this week and were a huge encouragement to me. I feel your love now, and I pray that God uses me on this trip to share His love with the Ecuadorian people.
Next, I’m only $650 away from reaching my fundraising goal of $950 to complete funding! If you are able to assist financially, here are some options:
PayPal: Create a PayPal account for free! (https://www.paypal.com/home). Next choose “Send & Request,” then “Send money to friends and family.” At that point, you can enter either my email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or name (Erica Grogg). You will see my picture.
Cash or check: please give cash or check donations to me directly, or via mail. I will send you my address if this is your preferable route.
Thank you for your support, both in prayer and financially. If anyone would like to grab a cup of coffee so I can share more with you about my heart for missions, please contact me!
Happy Valentine’s Day and much love,
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” –1 Corinthians 13:7,13