“You are so strong.”
I had just cried with a sniffling lip, not an hour before. So strong was not a word I was feeling at the moment. Angry, I looked down and felt the same guilt I always do when someone says that to me. I fear these times when people see me one way, but I think another. The guilt comes from this belief that I am not allowed to be anything but reliable, mentally stabile, and the faith leader God has called me to be.
I wish I could see what they see, but I am blind. I know why and I can easily explain it now. The strength is not from me. I am a daughter of the Great I Am. Being his child, God makes his home right here in my heart. His inner love and ability pours from me, and the display is something incredible. Amazed at this relationship, I know what I feel, but I do not see what you see.
God embraces me in my troubles and weaknesses. Just as you and I comfort our child in theirs, he comforts us in ours. This gift of love is endless, and the saying, “I want them to see Christ in me” is real. I am blessed to experience fellowship with the Father, and you are blessed to witness his love pour out in many ways.
I am human, and I allow myself to share my weaknesses every day. I know that the guilt I have isn’t because of anything anyone says or does; it is my anxious thoughts and ideas working against me. How can I share my vulnerability with others, and still, they say I am strong? It is a dynamic that is hard to grasp, especially when my current state of being is weak. Paul, living under a completely different set of circumstances and persecutions, writes in 2 Corinthians 129-10:
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
I’m not going to lie, I never delight or boast about my weaknesses, but I have begun to accept them as something I don’t have to hide. The longer I walk with the Lord and understand this verse as it relates to my life, I will be able to march boldly. The power of Christ is mighty and lives in me. His presence makes it possible to be weak, for when I am weak, then I am strong.
I promise myself to stop feeling guilty for what others see in me. Jesus puts that there, and the Holy Spirit works to shine in a way I may not understand, but accept. I aim to delight in my weaknesses and hardships. This is a soul in training and withstanding the process of cultivation. I cannot be who He needs me to be until I allow the work inside to begin. God and I have come a long way, and we will build this relationship through an evolution of me. I trust and abide in Him.