Strength In Weakness
ETIW Weekly Newsletter: November 20th 2023
Read, Listen, Or Watch
(can be played in the background/with phone locked)
Newsletter reading with soothing birds, river streams, and relaxing yet contemplative piano music.
Lately I have been thinking about a certain Bible Verse:
“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…For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
~ 2 Corinthians 12: 8-10~
It’s pretty intense, I know.
However, lately, I have been seeing the tenderness hidden behind these words. For a long time, I spoke about my desire to live a good life. There are certain things I desire in my life that I honestly thought I would’ve accomplished by now. Living in our current world of social media and chronic timelines full of highlight reels of people’s lives, It is not uncommon for one to feel inadequate and weak in comparison. I too have lived moments of my life that were picture-perfect but were in reality fraught with feigned strength. Jet-setting around the world to run as far from my pain as possible, hoping each new destination would be the key to my liberation.
I begged God to take my pain away.
I wanted to manifest my dream reality, but refused to wake up to the facts that the key to a good life would never be found through my pursuit for excessive pleasure. Despite this inner knowing, these seasons of waiting can sometimes feel like standing in a void of sorts. Running in the dark, yearning for the light.
Eventually I had to stop running and face my self-perceived weaknesses.
I have not always been a kind person, friend, partner, daughter etc. I cannot yet move into my dream apartment/ home/ city etc. I have not yet met someone I feel is meant to show me true romantic love in this life. I do not yet have my dream company. I am not yet financially secure and able to do what I want when I want. I can take action but I cannot guarantee the results. I am the main character of my life, but not the master and creator of the universe. As I began to accept these realities about myself and my life up until this point I was then forced to ask myself an important question.
Where does my walk with God fit into all of this?
Then I recognized that as I continue to walk with God, I become more willing and able to accept my short comings. Not as reasons to hate myself, but as reasons to show me that my worth to him, and to people who chose to truly love me, is not found in the things I own and am able to accomplish. Because I so badly wanted to create a different reality for myself and others, I falsely came to believe this mission was the only thing that made me worthy or valuable.
Those things can be, and have been, taken away from me in an instant.
Many of my accomplishments seemed to lose their relevance. I felt like a failure due to my inability to reach my goals by my anticipated timelines. The friends I hoped to go to the top of life with began to disappear, romantic connections fizzled, and opportunities faded into obscurity. I couldn’t help but feel like a shell of who I expected to be by now.
Of course, I know my life is not over.
But the decomposition of a highly anticipated dream life is a death. And deaths must be mourned. But Jesus often says in order to enter the kingdom of God one must be willing to die and be reborn. Not physically, but spiritually.
To live a joyful life, I feel it is important for me to savor the beauty of what it means to simply be alive. To be willing to accept that I am who I am. And the number one thing I am, is a child of God. A child makes mistakes, disrespects their parent, thinks they know what is best.
There have been many moments in the past 2 years where my spirit felt like it was dying. But it cannot truly be reborn until I accepted that the things I consider to be my weakness truly could be the road to my strength.
I had a lot of growing up to do. It was time for me to stop feeling ashamed of the home I grew up in. It was time for me to confront the place I am in. It was time for me to accept what didn’t work out in my life. And most importantly, It was time for me to accept that I do not have all the control I thought I did.
I began to open my heart to God again. And as time passes I continue to place more trust in His process. Although I will continue to work towards the life I believe I can live, I will no longer feel shame or distaste for what are truly my own version of “humble beginnings”.
I feel these two Bible verses summarize the tone and intention behind this newsletter perfectly: