Weakness Made Strong

There are a few things that I have struggled with most of my life. One of them is fear and the other is abandonment. When I was a little girl, I never felt safe in my home and I felt very alone. I kept most of my fear bottled up inside for years. I’m talking 40 years. That is a lot of trauma to keep bottled up inside! I wanted to protect the lie that I had been living for so long because in a strange way I thought I was protecting myself. I didn’t even talk to God about it. 

God has been working on me for years to open up to Him. Even though He knows what I have been through, He still wants me to talk to Him about it.  He wants me to bring it into the light. He wants me to tell Him “I am afraid” or “I don’t like this” or “I feel like I am not going to make it.” I had gotten into a destructive habit of not speaking things out loud to Him. Now, this might sound silly to you, but I have learned that things need to come into the light before they can be dealt with. If you keep things bottled up inside, that is not healthy. I had to come to the point where I felt safe saying things out loud to God. He really wanted me to tell Him things so He could help me deal with them.

Psalm 86:1-7 says, “Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer, answer me, for I need your help. Protect me, for I am devoted to you. Save me for I serve you and trust You. You are my God. Be merciful, O Lord, for I am calling on You constantly. Give me happiness, O Lord, for my life depends on You. O Lord, You are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask your aid. Listen closely to my prayer, O Lord, hear my urgent cry. I will call to You whenever trouble strikes, and You will answer me.”

He wants us to run to Him for help. That concept was hard for me to learn because I didn’t have anyone in my life that I felt like I could go to for help when I was a little girl. So, I believed a lie that there was no one to help me and I only had myself to rely on. Even though God knows what is going on, He still wants us to tell Him how we are feeling and turn to Him for help. King David has always fascinated me because he pours his heart out to God throughout the Psalms.

I would like to share a journal entry with you. “God, I have struggled so hard to find you and know you. You are my father and my friend. You want to hold my hand and walk with me. I don’t have to succeed to please you. You are pleased by me reaching out to you and asking you to help me live my life. You look at me with loving eyes and not condemnation. You know exactly what I need and you promise to supply my needs. I have felt so vey alone most of my life but I am never alone because you say you are with me. I need your comfort Lord. I need for you to hold me and never let me go. You are my kind, gentle and loving heavenly father. You accept me and love me because I am your child. You want me to pour my heart out to you and you want to wipe away my tears. I need your arms wrapped around me every day of my life. You are my God and I will trust in you.”

I have learned that God wants me to be brutally honest with Him and ask Him to help me in every situation. I have to get out of my mind and speak my thoughts out loud to Him. It is the only way I can deal with what I am feeling. For instance, I have to tell God when I am afraid and not beat myself up for being afraid. I have always been ashamed of my fear and very unwilling to admit it. I berate myself because God tells us to “fear not.” But, recently God asked me to look at that phrase a little differently. He told me that He is telling me not to fear because He is with me and taking care of me. He isn’t shaking his finger at me telling me to “fear not.” He is lovingly telling me that He doesn’t want me to fear because He is working and taking care of me. He wants me to tell Him when I am afraid so He can help me.

I have recently been shaken a bit with a medical condition that I have battled for a long time. I have gotten kidney stones for 40 years. Those little buggers are so painful and horrible. I usually can pass them on my own but there have been times when I have to have surgery to blast them so they will come out. Last week was one of those times. I am always fearful of surgery and this time was no exception. The doctor had to put a stint in and it was causing tremendous pain. I felt like I was going to die. They kept telling me to take more pain medicine, but I don’t like the way it makes me feel, so I tried to manage it on my own.

All of the emotions of being in pain and not being able to do anything about it came rushing back to me. When I was a little girl, one of my Dad’s favorite sayings was, “Pain doesn’t hurt!” So, I believed a lie that there was something wrong with me if pain hurt. My body was remembering all the years I suffered in silence with the pain I was in emotionally and physically. I didn’t have anyone to cry out to. I am telling you that when I was in pain I hid it from everyone; even my mother. I suffered in silence. But that is not what the Lord wants us to do. He wants us to cry out to him. I have had to teach myself to cry out to God. I have to allow myself to call on Him to help me. That has been a foreign concept to me for so many years. I actually told myself that I was a cry baby if I told God how I felt. And if I am honest, I told myself that He would let me down and not answer me. I was playing the comparison game between my earthly father and my heavenly father.

I have been reading Ann Voskamp’s book “The Broken Way” these past few months. She is teaching me so much! I would like to share a few things with you that she says.

1. “Trust Him in all this brokenness. It is a gift.”

2. “Abandonment is always a soul’s worst fear. Even when life abandons you, you are in the arms of God.”

3. “Satan’s literal name means ‘prosecutor.’ What seems to be undoing you, can ultimately remake you.”

4. “Something holy happens in broken places.”

So, I have decided that I am going to cry out, yell, scream, whatever I need to do to be honest with God about how I feel. I am going to trust Him in all my brokenness. I am going to trust Him with my pain. Pain is a sign that something is wrong. Even when I feel abandoned, I am in the arms of God. I am going to cling to the fact that what seems to be undoing me is going to remake me. And finally, something holy is happening in my broken places. I am not going to be ashamed any more for my feelings. I am going to fall at my Savior’s feet and ask for help.

My friend Patti sent me this verse because I asked for prayer for my shaken soul. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time He said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So, now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

I am giving myself permission to boast in my weaknesses so that Christ’s power can work through me. We live in a world that doesn’t like to talk about the things that make us look weak. We shy away from sharing these things with one another. We want to look like we have it all together. But, I look at Paul and his mindset and I see how much God changed him. God gave him the strength to endure and He will do the same for us. Let’s ask Jesus to help us finish the race strong dear friends knowing that He has a holy work to do in our broken places! Until next time…

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