Weaknesses. We all have them. Some of them affect us (and those around us) more than others; but there isn’t a person on this earth who carries strength in all areas. Our common thread is this: the world encourages us to hide those things which make us seem weak. In a job interview, when asked what our weaknesses are, we try to word an area where we lack in a way that presents as a strength (i.e. I am such a perfectionist that I have a hard time not completely tasks to a ‘t’; I love work so much I have to make myself leave at the end of the day to the expense of my family and friends, etc.). In dating relationships, we often try to conceal our imperfections in order to present ourselves in what we consider the best possible light. As women, we hide blemishes, dark circles, and other places on our faces and bodies that we find undesirable. There are items of clothing we spend lots of money on that make it appear we are more fit than we actually are. But, at the end of the day, there is only so much we can hide. The more people get to know us, the more our weaknesses come out.
Readers, I am coming to you today in a really weak place. I have struggled with knowing what to write the past few weeks because my heart feels so lacking in wisdom. This in-between has made me restless; and no matter how I try and pretty it up, I am just plain weak these days. I think we are so often scared to admit our weakness because, in ways, we idolize our areas of strength. Even as someone who writes in authenticity, I want to be able to come to you with a joy-saturated message each time. As I’ve been in the Word, searching for refreshment, seeking renewal, my emotions fail me and all I can really muster up is, “I need You, Lord.” He brought these words to mind this morning:
“But He (Jesus) said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me .For the sake of Christ then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities For when I am weak, then I am strong.”- 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (emphasis mine)
You see, to admit weakness stirs up uncomfortable, awkward feelings in many of us. It’s too raw; too real. Even Paul was begging the Lord to take away this thorn in his flesh, this weak spot that the Lord continued to allow to exist. But here, God reminds us that, not only should we not hide our weaknesses; we should also make them known and rejoice in them. Why?-For the sole purpose of making God’s strength shine through even more.
Friends, here is my weakness today. I am ready for answers for our girls. I am sick of daily mustering up the energy to fight for joy as I sit restless. I am tired of some trying to encourage me to not obsess over an answer. I am frustrated with the continued encouragement of many around us to simply work on getting the girls stronger. Here is the thing: I see His strength in their weaknesses as well; therefore I rejoice. As their mom, God has given me eyes to see the perfection in exactly how He has created them, and while I continue to go to therapy and long to see them thrive to their fullest ability, I am very content with the way God made them in the here and now. My goal will never be to stamp their identity in whether their strength is outshining their weaknesses; for I know that this is not the Lord’s purpose for them as well. Our Father has made it clear that His goal for them for me, and for you, is always to make His strength known to us and to others in the midst of who we are. Our family’s journey is not about us. It is about the God in us.
Same goes for you. What are those things that you feel the need to hide? The imperfections that just won’t go away, no matter how hard you try? You see, the world would encourage you to cover those things up, but I want to exhort you to come out of the hiding in order to rest more fully in His strength. Friend: He can handle it. Yes, even that. His weakness is greater than your biggest strength, and the very thing you wish didn’t exist might be the thing He wants to use to make His glory known. This is where joy is found. This is where you can stop camouflaging and start living more fully. Dear reader, you do not have to hide. You have an audience of One and He is working around and within you in order to bring peace and healing to a broken world. Him. And, a funny thing happens when we begin to open up about the hidden things of our heart. When we stop feeling the need to hide, we start finding our way to freedom. We can be our true selves around everyone, knowing that the goal is to show Him in all His glory and strength anyway. The point was never to make your abilities known. The purpose is to point to Him.
My heart feels lighter as the words flow from my heart to these keys, because I know He is making all things new, including my attitude and emotions. Our flesh fails, but God is the strength of our hearts and our portion forever (Psalm 73:25). He will not leave me, or you, stranded in this place. His light always shines through the darkness, and His purposes for us stand firm. As we bring our hurts and hards to His throne, He takes them and molds them into something beautiful. I see this in Ally and Bailey Grace’s lives, and I see it in mine. Only Jesus. You see, we often want to wrap our imperfections up in a pretty package, but at the end of the day, my weakness is going to present as just that: weak. But strength, His strength. It will always triumph.
What does God wish you would be more real about with those around you in order to show Himself? There is a watching world all around us, and even those who don’t believe crave the authenticity of a heart content in Jesus, His grace, and the plans He has. My prayer is that as I lay out my weaknesses, that He would make Himself known all the more. That you, dear reader, would stand in awe at a God who can take a weak, sinful woman like me and reveal the cross and His great love. His perfection in the midst of imperfect me. Oh, how I long for the day when I stand at the gates and the only words I have to utter are the same words I utter today, “I need You, Lord”. He promises us now and always that this will be enough. Only Him. He is so very strong. Let’s choose to rest in Him today.
“I thank Him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because He judged me faithful, appointing me to His service…the saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display His perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen”. – I Timothy 1:12, 15-17