I have proven something to myself about being able to be strong.
The circumstances are too fresh to write about specifics, but the past few weeks have been the hardest of my life. I know I have only been strong by the strength God has given me, but I have been strong and not failed in the midst of something that most people never go through. There is a certain amount of peace and letting go of fear in me as a result of that. I haven’t been perfect, but as I look back I can hold my head high and feel good about how I have navigated the past few weeks.
There’s only one time I can think of that I lost sight of true strength, reacted in fear & felt the need to “be strong” on my own.
I reacted to feeling hurt and became scared of how vulnerable I was. There was definitely a type of strength in that moment, but it wasn’t the beautiful kind. It was a strength I grabbed onto and pulled out of my past experience of protecting my heart. It was ugly and abrasive, strong and sharp, the kind that hurts as you draw from it. The kind that hurts others as you surround yourself with it.
Thankfully it repulsed me. Thankfully I had already experienced the beautiful, tender, healing strength that God allows us to draw from. The contrast was appalling. Over the course of those ten minutes alone in my office I purposefully chose to reject the strength I could conjure up myself. I abandoned it and the anger that accompanied it, I wept, and I fell once again into the vulnerable strength of God’s arms.
Over the past few weeks I have jotted down dozens of random thoughts and notes to myself as they have come to me. I am now starting to go back through them and piece them together. This single note sums up the way I have chosen to walk this part of my journey:
“I believe the only way I’m going to be legitimately healthy and strong on the other side of this is if I don’t pretend I’m strong right now. I do believe that the crisis will be over soon. Then the healing will start. But in the middle of this crisis, I have to feel weak when I feel weak and not pretend to be strong for anybody.”
For someone who struggles with a fear of not being strong enough, this is a very vulnerable position! But I know that it has allowed me to experience the purest form of strength there is. I have a fresh understanding of what God says in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
I can say with the utmost confidence, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:16)
When we lean fully on Him, not only does He allow us to make it through, He keeps us tender and healthy all the way through.