When Strength Looks Like Weakness

This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one word prompt.  The prompt today is “weak.”  Also linking with Grace & Truth and Fresh Market Friday.windswept-484796_640

For years I tried to be strong.  That was how I wanted people to see me: someone successful, who could be relied on, who had it all together, someone who would readily help other people, but who didn’t need help herself, because she was strong.

The weaknesses that lay under the surface?  That was where they could stay.  It seemed better that way.  No-one wanted to know about those.  And maybe if I ignored them, they would just go away.

But here’s what I learned:

  • It is not strength to shove your feelings so far down inside you that you struggle to bring them back up again, or to acknowledge them, even to yourself.
  • It is not strength to plaster a smile over the pain and keep going, pretending that everything’s okay.
  • It is not strength to  close off your heart from others and to stay silent about the doubts and fears that are consuming you.

It is weakness. It is stubbornness and pride.

On the other hand, once I started to open up about the things I had shut away, it looked like weakness.  It looked like asking for help, it looked like tears and questions and the admission that I was deeply broken.  I looked more like someone who was falling apart than someone who had it all together.

It looked like weakness, but it was strength.

It was the strength to face the truth, the strength to invite God in to the brokenness, the strength to be honest with others instead of hiding behind a mask.

And it was the way to healing and wholeness, because acknowledging our weakness is the path to receiving God’s strength.

I think this is what Paul meant when he wrote: “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 12:9-10 NLT)

It still doesn’t come naturally to me to admit weakness, but I know that when I do, it shows strength, and it makes a way for God to come in and fill the gaps with his power.

It allows him to be God and lets me know that, weaknesses and all, I can just be me.

-Be my healer, be my comfort, Be my peace.Cause I can be broken, I can be needy,Lord I need You now to be,Be my God, So I can just be me.-

“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.  This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.”  (2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT)

 

I was pleased to have an article featured this week at Blessed Transgressions: “When you wonder if you matter to God.”  I’d love if you’d come and have a read.

 Crystal Twaddell      Grace & Truth : A Weekly Christian Link Up

When strength looks like weakness: It is not strength to plaster a smile over the pain and keep going, pretending that everything's okay.

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30 thoughts on “When Strength Looks Like Weakness

  1. Thank you for your words today Lesley! I have lived most of my life being the strong one. It has gotten me to where I am today but if I am honest it is when I admit I am broken and weak that God can truly work in and through me. Blessings on your weekend!

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  2. Yes so true! I have struggled with burying myself and my pain so often – which makes others think I’m strong even when I’m not. But as I’ve admitted my brokenness I have found so much healing in Christ that truly when I am weak He makes me strong.

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    1. Thanks, Cheryl. So glad it ministered to you, and also that you liked the song. I discovered it about 6 months ago and it’s one that God has drawn me back to many times.

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  3. Amen girl! It can be so hard to let it go and admit our weakness when we have survived by being strong. It is incredible really how our God will meet our needs miraculously when we open up to Him and to others. I am so grateful for those times when I allowed my crushed self to open up.

    Thanks for your post about the truth of weakness and strength.

    Thanks for visiting too!

    Have a wonderful and blessed weekend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kelly. It’s true that sometimes being strong is about survival and it can be helpful for a time, but at some point we do need to be honest about our weaknesses. I agree, it is amazing how God can bless us when we do. Hope you have a great weekend!

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  4. I have newer heard this Laura Story song before, but I need to remember to let God be my God, so that I can just be me. Thank you for sharing your heart through this post. -Jolene

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  5. Hi Lesley! I am very grateful for your post today. You know, we are just not perfect people. We make mistakes, we are weak sometimes. We have to remember that about ourselves, and also in the people who honor us by sharing their weaknesses.
    May I always find the strength of God in my weakness, and lead others to that strength in theirs.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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  6. Oh wow!!! I clicked on your post from FMF bcs your title is opposite of mine (“When Weakness is Strength”) and wondered if we were sharing similar things! I totally get what you are saying!

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  7. Great stuff, Leslie, especially this: “It still doesn’t come naturally to me to admit weakness, but I know that when I do, it shows strength, and it makes a way for God to come in and fill the gaps with his power. It allows him to be God and lets me know that, weaknesses and all, I can just be me.”

    Liked by 1 person

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