To Love Is To Be Vulnerable

CS Lewis on lovePINIT

When you quote C.S. Lewis, not another word is needed. He’s brilliant. But I do have a few more words, simply because you cared enough to pray for our little lamb. We lost our sweet Lavender on Wednesday afternoon. I wept that day, and have cried several times since. It’s hard to explain how significant lambs have been to my heart. It caught me by surprise. But then again, lambs and sheep are significant to God, and what matters to His heart, matters to mine. {Jesus is called “The Lamb of God” and “The Good Shepherd.” We are the sheep. And one thing I’ve learned about sheep: they need a good shepherd!}

A few years ago, I wouldn’t have cried over an animal. I didn’t have an animal, and honestly, didn’t want one. You know my story: I thought they were too messy for my clean loving self. {And they are!} But here’s the deeper truth: I didn’t want to love something I knew I’d lose. I don’t like heartbreak, and didn’t want to invite it into my life if I could keep it out. I saw friends who cried when they lost a family pet. Why invite that kind of pain? My way of avoiding it: don’t get a pet. Ever. How sad is that?!?!

God knew what He was doing when He spoke Franklin into our hearts, and knew what He was doing when we started dreaming about life on a farm. Not a neighborhood, not a nicely developed subdivision, not a pristine and perfect house. God gave us a farm. A farm meant to delight our hearts and break our hearts…all for the purpose of enlarging our hearts. What started with Buddy and Bella has turned into a huge farm family: chickensducks, turkeys {which I don’t talk about because they’re my husband’s project…as in, farm to table}, a surprise puppy, and the unexpected Easter lambs. We said yes to life with every animal we added, and I’ll never regret it.

Oh, it hurts to love. And it will hurt again and again. But let’s risk our hearts. Let’s give our love away and risk the heartache that will surely come. Let’s love deeply and freely and fully to the very end. No holding back, no playing it safe. {Who wants an unchangeable, unbreakable, unredeemable heart?}

Let’s say YES to loving with our whole heart today!

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  • katie anne - I love reading your raw, real truths. I realize your words are your own but to go a little further doesn’t loving with our whole hearts mean not hurting ANY of gods creatures. Your lamb was surrounded by love to the very end. Shouldn’t all animals have this right. According to Gandhi, “I do feel that spiritual progress does demand, at some stage, that we should cease to kill our fellow creatures for the satisfaction of our bodily wants.” With Love & PeaceReplyCancel

  • Cindy - It’s the vulnerability and openness to life that makes us bleed…and yet, can you imagine living a life that where emotion and love were locked away in a box. You are touching so many more lives than you can imagine with your truth Linsey…thank you for touching mine. All of your animals are blessed to live at the Ten 10 Farm. Sending you love…ReplyCancel

  • shelley - You always speak so eloquently the words I need to hear. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • SimmEcats - (Comfort for your brave beautiful heart, by William Blake)

    Little Lamb who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee?
    Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
    By the stream & o’er the mead;
    Gave thee clothing of delight,
    Softest clothing wooly bright;
    Gave thee such a tender voice,
    Making all the vales rejoice!
    Little Lamb who made thee?
    Dost thou know who made thee?

    Little Lamb I’ll tell thee,
    Little Lamb I’ll tell thee!
    He is called by thy name,
    For he calls himself a Lamb:
    He is meek & he is mild,
    He became a little child:
    I a child & thou a lamb,
    We are called by his name.
    Little Lamb God bless thee.
    Little Lamb God bless thee.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - So sorry to hear about Lavender! 🙁ReplyCancel

  • Sandy - Oh Linsey, I’m so very sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you and your family. The loss of any family animal is always so heartbreaking. My prayers are with you and your family.ReplyCancel

  • Lynda - I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your little Lavender. How adorable she is – she looks like pure sweetness. God Bless.ReplyCancel

  • Katie Clooney - Oh Linsey, I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Lavender. I am sure she is happy where she is enjoying loving memories of you and your sweet farmily. God bless.ReplyCancel

  • christina - Oh, Linsey. i’m sorry for your family’s loss. not having wee ones of my own, only pets, i know right where your heart is. i lost a pup a few months ago, and it just takes your breath away. they have a way, God’s creatures, all of them, of getting into your heart. your heart is so big and there’s room for even more sheep. thank you for your words, they are a reminder of what joy opening your heart can come from allowing yourself vulnerability. sometimes i need a good reminder.ReplyCancel

  • Andrew Fockel - Linsey, thank you for continuing to be such an advocate for loving with our whole hearts. Hearts that are free and alive. It’s one thing to just talk about it, but it is another thing entirely to demonstrate it in the midst of the heartache and the grief that we do open ourselves up to when living this way. Very powerful, thank you!

    Part of me wishes there was a way to avoid the depth of the pain we open ourselves up to when we say Yes fully to love, joy, vulnerability… But I’d like to hope the truer, deeper and growing part of me recognizes that it is worth it. And that the times I have experienced the embrace of my good and loving Father in the midst of the sorrow, (and when I have actually let Him embrace me) are among the most cherished moments of my life.

    I recently heard a wise older man, reflecting on his life, give the counsel – the greatest risk of all is to Risk Love. For from that flows everything else…

    God Bless you guysReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - I’m right there with you…wishing we didn’t have to go through the pain to get to the love and the new heart with more capacity for love. But if God is in it and His fruit is produced in me through it, then I say yes to whatever “it” is. And a huge yes to the wisdom you received from an older man: RISK LOVE!ReplyCancel

  • RoseAnne - I’m just now online again & seeing your posts. I’m so very sorry about the loss of Lavender!! You’ve been on my mind and prayed for since reading of her sickness….though just now a different kind of prayer….one of peace for you & your family & also thankfulness that you opened up your heart to love. You are a light for all of us….I know I’ve gleaned so much from your raw honesty & emotion on your blog. Thank you for that gift!ReplyCancel

  • Katey - We lost our 12 year old kitty last year & adopted a rescue a month later. We can’t imagine not having Annie around now! Love heals! Thinking of you.ReplyCancel

  • A Brave New Year » Bravehearted Beauty - […] let my heart break over Lavender {and did all I could to save […]ReplyCancel

  • Looking Forward To 40 » Bravehearted Beauty - […] thing can receive more life, light and love. Let the pain out so you can let the love in. As C.S. Lewis wrote, an unbroken heart is impenetrable and irredeemable. That’s not the kind of heart we […]ReplyCancel

  • Remembering Boaz + A Different Kind of Miracle » Bravehearted Beauty - […] I’ve never prayed for a cat before. And honestly never imagined I would. Because I wasn’t an animal person. And do you know why? Yes, there was the mess, but there was something even deeper: I didn’t want to risk loving something I could so easily lose. I didn’t want to risk having my heart broken. I didn’t want to give my heart away to someone or something that wouldn’t stay around long. I didn’t want to be vulnerable and broken by love. Remember the C.S. Lewis quote I shared after losing Lavender? […]ReplyCancel

  • Vulnerability. | you life and inbetween - […] He goes on to write…”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.” […]ReplyCancel