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Strength



I have been called strong several times the past couple weeks. Lots of people in the past few years have called me strong. My own children told me the other day that I’m the strongest person they know, and that they could never be a strong as me. I most definitely don't feel strong, but people keep saying it.

When I was younger, I wanted so badly to be strong. I want to be seen as strong. I want other people to look at me and think I was strong. So I put out this image of strength and bravado. I pretended to not let things bother me. I would have never allowed anyone to know I had any struggles or weaknesses. I tried to act like a badass. I put up walls as a shield so I could look like a fortress. Behind it was a weakness and fakery—an absolutely terrified little girl who struggled with everything about herself. The "strong independent female" was a fa├žade. Not one person ever thought of me as strong.

I knew all the scripture. I could have quoted Psalm 73:26 that says, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Or Psalm 46:1 that says, "God is our refugeand strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Or Habakkuk 3:19 that says, "The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills." I knew all those verses, but that wasn't what I meant when I said I wanted to be strong—or so I thought.

When I surrendered—truly surrendered—my life to God after divorce #1, I admitted to God how weak I was. I allowed God to strengthen me in my weakness. I started allowing myself to be vulnerable to other people. I started to let people see my weaknesses. I started being real with people. God even had me start this blog and tell people my deepest pain and how He brought me through it. Twenty years ago, I would have never told a soul some of the things I can openly talk about now.

When I started sharing my pain and the things God was teaching me. this crazy, magical thing happened. People started seeing me as strong. I got what I had always wanted, but now, I know I am not strong. God is strong, and He is in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says that God's power is perfected in my weakness. And it is, because only through God's power have I ever had an ounce of strength.

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