I cried like a big fat baby this weekend. The ugly cry. The one where you use tissues like they are going out of style and your eyes become puffy, squinty mess. I looked in the mirror once and actually startled myself. Yes, it was the bad. But it was also something else.
It was good. It was soothing. It was healing.
I get told a lot, that people see me as strong. It is true, I am strong-willed gal. I can be stubborn. And I don't like to buckle or cave. I am a fighter. It has served me well. Well, except for that one day in the first grade when my parents had to come get me from school because I decided I wanted to stand up on my desk and refused to get down. Oops.
But lately I have been thinking about strength, and what it really is.
I am realizing my view of strength is becoming all twisted around, changing and morphing into something I never thought it could be.
I am finding that strength, true strength, is weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9-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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
Strength is when we allow ourselves to admit we don't always have it all together. The very portrait of strength is to become what many say is weak, yet in that very place is when the power of Christ works in and through you to its greatest potential. In our weakness we become mighty.
What else is strength? Here is how I see it.
Strength is being willing to show emotion. I recently heard tears referred to as liquid words. Love that. Too many times in the past I have uttered the words "Oh no, I don't want anyone to see me cry." Why is that? What is wrong with letting your tears speak the words your heart can't bear to utter? Nothing.
Strength is being willing to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is the willingness to let your walls down. To let others see you as who you really are. Not only in your perfection, but in your flaws. What is wrong with letting others see that you don't always have it all together? Nothing.
Strength is being willing to surrender. To yield possession of your burdens to the power of the Lord. To let Him carry your load. You might feel like "you got this" but the truth is He wants to carry it for you. It's not strength to walk around carrying a load because you can, it is strength to relinquish it because you are willing to. What is wrong with unclenching your fists and opening your hand and heart to our Father? Nothing.
Here is how God sees strength:
2 Corinthians 2:10 "…For Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong."
Our weakness, our vulnerability, the traits some criticize? It is the very thing the Lord loves.
So this weekend I packed my bags and went away for a couple days to be loved on and ministered to. I admitted I didn't have it all together, but through that I found I really didn't want to. I stopped fighting tears and let them wash over me. They brought life and healing in ways I never thought possible. I let others in to that space and was wrapped in the sweetest of embraces. My life was changed by admitting my need, and my lack. I realized, meekly, my truest strength will not be to display my togetherness but becoming more comfortable in my weakness.
As daring as it feels, I have never felt so safe. This weakness has never felt more lovely. And with it a strength that's never felt so tangible, is rising up inside this heart of mine.