I used to feel strong. And invincible. And capable.
That was in my younger days.
And then somehow, later into my 30’s, it was like the hurts and wounds from childhood, adolescence and beyond, somehow caught up with my heart. They leaked out, affecting my emotions or my reactions to life. And with it came pain…
I have learned a lot about feeling weak. About being weak. And I’m realizing that perhaps it is not a horrible thing. Because I believe that I am in a better position to depend on God and listen to God when I am down on my knees in pain. God is teaching me through weakness.
I spoke with my mom today about a friend of hers who recently committed suicide. Although this woman’s family knew of her struggles with depression, they had no idea that she was contemplating ending her life. Her anguished husband speaks of the last time he saw her, as she was supposedly off to work that morning and he was off to walk the dog. He thought nothing much of her encouraging comment to him as she left. Turns out it was her goodbye to him.
I think she was likely letting him know that what she was about to do was not his fault.
But still, what if she had been about to be more open, more honest about what was really going on, and how much pain she was in? Why couldn’t she have cried out to him, “Don’t leave right now! I need to talk to you! I am afraid. I feel so weak. I feel like ending my life…”
Maybe things could have turned out differently.
I know it’s not good to play the “what if” game.
But I think that weakness is frowned upon by most of us. We don’t want to appear weak to others. Or vulnerable in any way.
The familiar “how are you” ritual of society can sometimes get under my skin.
The world sees weakness as a deplorable condition. We hide our weakness, our struggles, our tears behind our walls and our masks, constructed for protection.
But what if we were all able to drop our masks, take down our walls and
I have found that when I open up and let others know about the struggles of my heart, it leads to more authenticity in relationship. It leads to honesty and openness. It leads to love. But then again, I am blessed with community. Perhaps you are in a place where you cannot find those people with whom to be open and vulnerable.
Pray for that. We need that. That is true community. To support one another, to love one another and to uphold one another when one of our community is hurting, is in pain, is feeling weak.
Weakness, in itself is not a bad thing. The apostle Paul felt weak at times. Many of the Psalms were written by people in pain and who were feeling weak.
In our weakness Jesus becomes our strength. Because Jesus becomes the only thing that we have; the only thing we can reliably hold onto.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…” 2 Cor.12:9
Weakness drives me to my knees …. it drives me into the arms of Christ.
And that is the best place to be.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express…” Rom.8:26