There are those of us who are independent and extraverted, naturally in charge either because people believe us to be or because we are loudest in the room, those who are almost defiantly unwilling to relinquish control or charge of the situation, ambitious, driven, energetic, hard working born leaders. This is a small number of the population and that is on purpose, thank you, God. I can say that because I am one of them and know that if everyone had this type of drive and energy, there would be this massive imbalance and tenderness and gentleness being seldom seen. Just the truth here. But I have learned that people consider me strong because of something else. It has nothing to do with my powerfully energetic exterior or fighting driven loud soul. It has everything to do with God choosing to strengthen me by great trials and losses that would kill most and tried to even me. And God chose to hear my prayer and help me and rescue me. I lost valuable, treasured, loved friends around the same time as losing Daddy. They all died at once. One was bad, three was devastating. Among other stressors occurring the same time, I was a vegetable, an empty shell of this powerhouse I once was. The go-to girl, the girl who would do it and make it happen, the brazen girl who fearlessly stared or fought down every obstacle and battle was a naked, trembling leaf. I had never experienced such depression. And God chose to fortify me again, build me up side out with the full knowledge that He was the strong One and I was the broken shell His strength was restoring and strengthening. I would be lost were it not for the grace of God. I would be alone and unloved were it not for His grace. I would be nothing washer it not for Him. And this knowledge, attitude of contrition, this appreciation and joy at being given a millionth chance, this wisdom that God is the strong One, this is the real strength of me. And now that I have this, glory all to God, I recognize it in other people because God gave me a bonus of empathy. I can see this silent strength in quiet ones, children, elderly/very mature people, sisters and brothers in Christ, some really poor people, so on. I can feel it. I could not feel much before my lesson was taught me or I felt the wrong things and focused wrong. Strength is spiritual first and foremost. It is humbly drawing close to God, the source of strength. Then the strength trickles down to the mind and then physical. Internal has to come first or it is useless. I had it eight from time to time before but now fully understand it. God is our strength. We are strongest close to Him. It is really that simple. Remember always that God keeps things simple and clear, so if it sounds confusing or complicated, there is an enemy whispering sweet lies into your ear to keep up defeated. Always remember that. Recognize it and rebuke the enemy out loud in Jesus’ name and draw close to God, read the Bible, pray. God will give you strength and wisdom if you humbly ask Him. He is very, very generous!
Habakkuk: 3. 17. “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18. yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. 19. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.”
Whatever season we are in, dry season, flooding, burdensome, happy, God is our strength and purpose. His love and strength sustain us. He is good when nothing or noone else is.
I am stronger now because I can cry. There is immense power in the humbling defeat of just breaking down and letting the tears flow. Denying you have feelings is an ego thing, a pride thing. We have our feelings hurt deeply sometimes and rather than swallowing it and acting tough, if we let it out it proves we are human and shows we are humble. We are saying, “God, this is too much for me and my body can’t hold this pain in and I let it out for you to take. Please help me.” Maybe you don’t actually say those words but your spirit does when you weep and wail. That is why God comforts you. Ever wonder why you don’t keep crying forever? God comforts those who mourn. He hugs you and is with you. We have comfort. Any time humility is present and a request for help, God is there. And if you do keep crying forever, you are asking yourself or something or someone unrealistic for that help and only God can do it. Only God can heal wounds better than they were and mend broken hearts. I know this personally many times over. When you weep and fall to your knees in prayer, God steps in to your humble heart and heals stronger, so you end up at your strongest. We are strongest when we are least (being humble) and God is stronger in us.
Without struggles in our lives, we can not know ourselves and what we are really like, how we handle pressure, what we need to work on, how we learn, our pride level, so many things. If we only possess a perfect life in which no conflict was present, for one it would be dreadfully boring and two, we would never have the opportunity to know or improve ourselves beyond the extent of the mirror looking at the outer shell of ourselves. To truly know ourselves and what we are capable of and what we need work on, how can we grow wiser, learn, challenge ourselves, learn to lead, etc.? And without knowing ourselves deeper, how do we know God deeper, whose fingerprint is below the seen, in the soul and not on the seen shell? Not that we are God but that He reveals Himself in us in our inner soul when we worship and follow Him. Every great novel has an antagonist and a crisis. Some have several. Would it be worth the read without it?
God blessed my Daddy with an exorbitant strength, of will, body and mind. He had an uncanny to eye up a situation immediately and know exactly what was called for and fill the need, whether it was spiritual or physical or mechanical, whatever. God provided him with this as his gift and developed it through years of experiences and opportunities to use and grow it. It was incredible. You could feel him enter the room and he was short but the largest thing in the room. And I learned later that this was not just his own strength but his faith and trust that God would work through Him and provide whatever was needed that he didn’t have. That, my friends, is the greatest power we can possess. And when my Daddy went to be with Jesus in Heaven, he passed that strength to me. I can feel it. It must have been his prayer, knowing I would need it to heal from my great loss of him and everything else that happens in life. And I see that gift as sacred and use it every chance I can. I know that if help is needed, I can provide that either myself or more importantly from God. What is ever the worst that can happen? We die trying and go to Heaven? Doesn’t sound so bad really, so I am game for whatever is in my path to do. I think that is not just true of me but of every single Christian that truly lives for and loves God with all their heart, soul and strength, which should be all of us. Remember that we are on this earth to worship and serve and every time we help someone we are doing both of those. God always is with us to help us do it. Pretty fantastic life, even if there are bumps along the way. God is good!!!
Generally, I have it all together and am the strongest person, at least internally, in the room. Not the best, not the prettiest, not the most talented, but the internally strongest and externally often. It is a gift God handed me down through my dad, not bragging just a factual gift. Since I lost the most important man in my life that I loved the most, I am now knee deep in weakness much of the time, never knowing when the tears will flow, not knowing when a laugh starts but turns suddenly to tears. It is a bizarre thing for one who truly understood her strength to turn into one that has no firm or consistent grasp of it. And let me tell you the ironic thing. I have heard it a million times where God says “In your weakness, I am strong.” To me, that had only been true in theory, in matters of the soul and Spirit, in moments of saying something to help them when they were weak. I have been injured but never floored weak before. And the saying is true. When I have been weakest, I have had a new strength rise up in me, largely because I feel genuinely weak and thus vulnerable. Vulnerability requires a great deal more faith and trust in God to handle things you face. You have to. But then, I have also experienced this weakness where I had no energy to pray and get refocused and then I just stayed weak and barely wanted to leave my bed. And other times that I forced my attention and focus to prayer and getting up and serving my kids or husband, I found that every time I attempted a step, it was met with enough strength for another. Then another. And this is the secret. So I find my strength renewed in an odd sort of seemingly wimpy but actually calling in the big guns spiritually way. And this is a new stronger strength than I have known, not dependent on my efforts and mental and physical prowess. It is based on God’s ability to pinch hit when I have a broken arm. Incredible lesson I wanted to share in case anyone needs hope and a handy secret weapon. You are most welcome. All good comes from God. 🙂
I picture in my mind a spot in a paradise beach, somewhere secluded with palm trees, sand and surf but not too secluded to not have a hammock and ready made fruit drinks. And I picture laying on said hammock and sipping on said fruit drink and enjoying the sound of the surf. Hours float into days and weeks and I am unmoved, peaceful, calm. There is a breeze from the ocean, even a strong one, and the palm trees bend. My soul is reminded that palm trees remain strong in all winds because they bend with it. They are flexible. They do not stand so rigid that they are unmovable and fight the wind just to break away. They dig their roots in and flex. They do not cease being trees. But they live through even hurricanes and are strong get for it. I take comfort in this bending of the Trees. I take comfort that I can move on response to storms that arise. I can flex and not break, but my flexing is bowing to God. He protects me as I bow before Him, no matter what happens. Then I can settle back down after in my hammock and sip my fruit drinks.