I have some very emotional people in my family. I am the first-born and am more like my dad than my mom in thought. My brother, who is seven years younger than me, is very much more like my mom in mind. Throughout my childhood, there were many emotional expressions that did more damage than good, so I always withdrew to my own logic to keep from "being like them."
I struggle with valuing emotions and often find myself being accused of being "insensitive" and have been nicknamed "Cyborg."
I'm much better than I used to be, but it used to be at the point that I would actually "bind the enemy" when I felt the need to cry. How crazy is that? I felt that crying was a spiritual attack. Kind of extreme. :/
Now, my background was a breeding ground for this ideology of having to do it on my own. I was abandoned by my parents at different points in my life. I left my parents house right after high school graduation with an infant. I was active in my church in leadership positions, was full time in college in an accelerated psychology program, so it had a larger work load than a general undergraduate program, and worked two part-time jobs all at once.
Let's just say that expressing weakness is ironically a weakness of mine.
In yesterday's post (Frustrated Much?), I described my brand of pride. It has had moments of cockiness, but generally it manifests in a "I can do it" sort of way. I called it my "survival mode." But I can logically see that obviously God carried me through. There is no way that I could've really gotten through as well as I did without some help. However, I still wear it as a badge of achievement, as if I did it on my own.
*shaking my head at myself*
From this rocky place of not allowing Jesus to be my Lord, I have had to be taught and am still being taught a few lessons:
Weakness is simply an admission and opportunity for God to express himself
His strength is made perfect in my weakness.
My weakest moments are the most intimate for us. He can love me, He can express His love for me in grander ways when I am week. I have never been married, but I have dated and I know of the bonding that happens over vulnerability.
Allowing others to help me actually helps them
After, even a small amount of time, my strength and abilities are somewhat evident. I am not an easily hid presence and even when I have tried to hide my talents, they are exposed for me.
Though I don't see it as so, I have been told that when I allow someone to see my weakness, not to mention actually HELP me, they feel honored. I'm not some great and mighty person, but because I have kept myself so guarded and don't offer many opportunities for someone to come in and help, the person that does get the opportunity (which is always rightly appointed by God, because I would never be able to find the amazing people He sends me on my own) just feels special.
I am not enough
Even at the peak of what brilliance I have, it does not compare to what He can do. This is why the idea of "impossible" exists for me, but not for Him. No matter how hard I try, what actions I take, or the intentions of my heart, they do not compare the unimaginable glories of Him. I cannot become anyone better than he created me to be. i cannot manage any more efficiently and proficiently than He can. I am not enough to do it all. I do not have enough energy to accomplish all that I need to accomplish. I do not have enough will power to do and be it all. However, when I reach the end of myself and He takes over, it is always mind-blowing. He doesn't just give me the strength, but favor, and ability on top of it. He is abundant and makes me abundant when I don't reject His will and way.
I thank Him for my weakness. The more I realize how weak I am and how great my need for Him is, the more empowered I become through Him. Also, the more I allow the people He's placed in my life in, the easier the load. I sometimes forget that salvation and life isn't supposed to be hard. We glorify the underdog story so much, that I think I forget that His burden is light and His yoke is easy. It is only me that makes it hard. It was no shock to Him that I would be where I am today. That I would be who I am today. And as it is true for me, so is it true for you, He has equipped you with the community that you need to accomplish His will for your life if you just access it.
What have your experiences been in recognizing weakness as your greatest strength?