Seeing strength differently.
"Doesn't that mean they are just weak?" The words were said in a whisper so only those at the table could hear, but they pierced my heart like an arrow sent with power and force. I can't really blame the speaker. It was my own reaction which changed my demeanor and caused me to become so defensive.
How do we fall to the temptation of thinking we have to be strong?
I don't know how the words were meant, but I know what I heard. I heard derision, and judgement, and I felt frustration and shame. I looked at the speaker and whispered a solid no.
But I was wrong.
I have questioned and doubted, wondered and weathered, ran and hid, stood and stayed. In all of these times (me by myself alone) I have been weak. I am weak. I can't do anything on my own, not anything that turns out well. I am weak when I hold onto grudges and I am weak when I let them go. I am weak when I stand up for myself and I am weak when I don't. I am always weak. I often have more than I can handle by myself. Life is not always easy, and no one ever said it would be. I often feel overwhelmed.
But in today's society these ideas and admissions are looked on with derision, as defeat, as if you were a child.
But we aren't supposed to be in today's society, and the culture we are to live in is upside down.
The only thing that got me through my questioning and wondering was God carrying me as I searched for answers and Him showing them to me. The only thing that helped me when I ran and hid was that I was (hopefully) hidden by God himself, or He was with me when I chose to hide elsewhere. The only thing that allowed me to stand and stay was the fact that God was holding me where I needed to be.
His grace covers me when I hold onto grudges.
His love pours through me when I forgive.
He wraps love around me when I am attacked, regardless of my response.
I come to the point of knowing I can't handle whatever it is I'm facing, and I can acknowledge that God will handle it. I can trust Him to be strong when I am not. I can trust Him to strengthen me.
We fight so hard to be seen as strong, doing things by ourselves, and not needing help from anyone...
but the truth?
The truth is we get help from God when we don't even realize it, and He's allowed to work through us so much more when we acknowledge His hand.
I was defensive because I knew I had been weak and didn't want to admit it.
But when I am weak, He is strong. And I know that should be shouted from the mountain tops.